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Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Beast

Finally. After corking 4 vintages manually, we have bought a pneumatic corker. No, it isn't any faster than our home winemaker's floor corker pictured below that served faithfully over 40,000 bottles. Yes, it will pay for itself in chiropractic savings and general quality of life at the end of the day. We bottle our own wines, unlike most wineries that hire mobile services. We glue our own labels by hand if they are not hand-placed self-adhesives, front and back, on non-silk screened bottles (we have 100 cases of Syrah and 150 of Chardonnay to label right now with glue, 210 cases of Muscat and Rosato with stickers). We use a six-spout filler, then down to the corker, then to the capsuler. Usually it is just two people working, so there are two people for three stations, but without a big red corker in the middle of the floor blocking traffic flow, our little line runs much more smoothly. We can bottle 150 cases comfortably in about 8 hours, so though it is my most hated task, it really is just part of the game - and you get to know that we crushed, pressed, barreled, racked, and bottled every darn bottle.

Friday, August 8, 2008

New Summer Releases

We now have for sale our 2007 Muscat Canelli - which is a dry Muscat, about 3.2 pH with about 7 gm/L or 0.7% residual sugar, so think a Euro-styled Sauvignon Blanc with no vegetal tones and an unmistakable Muscat profile. Trust me, this stuff is dry, but with the signature Muscat marzipan nose that creates a true food wine (and cheese wine!) out of the traditional sweet and flabby (but still gorgeous) Muscat.
As we run low on our Nebbiolo Rosato (which has aged nicely and become more complex) we will begin selling our 70% Sangiovese/30% Barbera Rose, not quite as floral as the Nebbiolo but more crisp and food oriented. We have also bottled our last run of Lake Syrah (2006) which is a smoky, meaty Rhone style with minimal oak without any of that violet and vanilla New World style stuff.
Nick's Chardonnay (we are bottling this tomorrow) is the best yet in my opinion. Unctuous in texture (California style) but without any new oak (not California style), our Chardonnay plot was planted in 1994, and the vines a starting to show some of the mineral structure and strength that comes only with age. Enough acid to hold a straight backbone but with a body fit for Univision, and without the distracting butterscotch flavor of so many California Chards, this holds a respectable Burgundy angle as well (but it was proudly done without any batonnage!

Rosa d’Oro Vineyards at 2008 California State Fair

(Press release 7/15/08) Kelseyville, California - July 10, 2008 – Rosa d’Oro Vineyards was invited to pour their estate-grown award-winning wines in Sacramento on July 10th after being awarded twice “Best of North Coast Appellations” for their 2005 Barbera and Primitivo bottlings. The family-run winery built upon a gold medal for their estate-grown Dolcetto in 2006 and four silver medals awarded this year.

Owned and operated by Nick Buttitta, a second generation Italian-American, the vineyard and winery also produces its own olive oil and vinegars.

Rosa d’Oro Vineyards is committed to crafting unique wines of historic interest, such as Moscato Giallo, Refosco, and Aglianico that honor traditional Italian winemaking while highlighting the superb growing conditions of Lake County.

The Buttittas have grown premium wine grapes in California since 1953 and are proud to continue their family’s unique agricultural tradition. All products are available through their tasting room in downtown Kelseyville or online at