Please visit my new project: Prima Materia

Thank you for visiting the Rosa d'Oro blog and please visit the Prima Materia project also at

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

2011 Harvest time!

I always feel guilty this time of year - while my friends in Portland are Facebooking beautiful pictures of a ton of Pinot they are about to crush, or in California they are taking snapshots of 100-year Zinfandel and waxing over the first sniff of autumn, we are working stupid. Like in the dark stupid.

The vintage so far has been mixed. Lots of heat and a dry start. Lots of growers are picking too early with green seeds and no flavor over concern for the heat. Crop loads are large too, slowing it all down. Some clones of some things look fantastic while others, not so much. There has also been a lot of over watering too with the conditions and as a protection startegy during the heat waves. And then, like a light switch, summer goes away and fall temperatures are here. But, our stuff is tight if moving slow and quality will be very high. This will be the latest we have ever picked Dolcetto by about ten days. We just received Carmeneré from Yolo county at a mere 23 brix and 4.35 pH - another record, the vines totally shut down and sleeping all ready. There is a definite sense of excitement as we move toward a greater percentage of estate fruit - the vineyards where we can't call the pick time drive me insane.

Here is our current status:

  • Muscat - lots finished and finishing
  • Tocai - done and racked
  • Bit o' Chenin Blanc - dragging because it was too small an amount to really settle before fermenting
  • Several rosé bits - all working in various ways
  • Sangiovese - Classico clone from Amador barreled down last night
  • Sagrantino - barreled last night
  • Cabernet Franc for me - 2 clones barreled last night
  • Tinta Roriz for me - two lots about to be pressed or extended - not sure yet
  • Nebbiolo - split into three lots, all working
  • Sangiovese Brunello clone, working

2011 Barbera and Sangiovese bottled, my 2011 Trigrammaton and Cab Franc bottled, with many more to come.
Add to this all of the public pourings and events, and the exciting but always difficult to pack in Flight Nights at the tasting room:

This week will see the first estate block of Primitivo picked, Carmeneré for me, estate Sangiovese, Greco di Tufo and a little Refosco with the rest to follow soon. Bottling will be either Nebbiolo or Montepulciano next when a gap opens in the work stream. I also need to tune up the fruit before it is harvested, presorting getting rid of any bird damage or sunburn before it is picked.

This is just the first wave my friends - much more action to come and we begin our estate harvest in the next few days. The next Flight Night will be October 19th and it will be Greek Night - you can RSVP through Facebook RIGHT HERE. We have been splitting it into two seatings which sell out quickly. Hold onto your hats though, in November we are talking about me doing Thai Night (which I am all for as we pursue this Next Restaurant format). So I apologize for the lack of updates and cool pictures - it is either the stickiness, the sense of urgency or the general tiredness of endless 14 hour days that make me forget to pull out the phone. It definitely is not because of lacking excitement.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sagrantino & Montepulciano at Corti Bros

Corti Brothers in Sacramento is featuring our Montepulciano and Sagrantino in their Fall newsletter right now, in fact they pretty much took all that is left - and the prices are killing me... You can view the newsletter HERE

Unique Italian Red Varietals Grown in California

In our store tasting of 23 February 2012, we tasted a series of varietals from the 2010 vintage produced by Rosa D'Oro winery in Clear Lake, Lake County, California. Their Sangiovese was a very good example of the variety and we purchased it. Two other varieties, Montepulciano and Sagrantino were very fine and unusual for California. I would like to tell you about these two wines.
Montepulciano is correctly Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. We have to call it just Montepulciano. The Rosa D’Oro wine is from Mt Oso Vineyards, Tracy Hills, California. Mount Oso, a 3,360 foot peak in Stanislaus County, is part of the Diablo Range. This, then, leads to another possible conundrum: the Tuscan wine known as Montepulciano, correctly, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, comes from the town of Montepulciano but is a sangiovese wine. However, the lovely Rosa D’Oro Montepulciano is from that variety and is very good indeed. Tasting it with the same variety grown in Italy, shows that it fares better than well--and might just be a very good variety for California in the right spot. And the Tracy Hills, just might be that spot.
Tracy Hills is a large viticultural area straddling both San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties in northern California. It is on the east side of the Altamont Pass and is a very deep soil region with a special mitigating climate due to the Pacific winds which keep it cool during the day and warm at night.
Four barrels, 96 cases, were produced. We bought 50 cases. This wine has 13.8% alcohol and is fruity with a brambly character and does not have the rustic character which it often shows in Italy. A very good red wine!

Rosa D’Oro Montepulciano 2010 Wine, Tracy Hills, 13.8% $16.29 750ml (#2952)

Sagrantino is a variety that has become a bit of a darling in Italy since the mid 1970s. Its home is the area around Montefalco in Umbria where its traditional use is to make a passito wine–wine made from grapes which have been allowed to wither before crushing. Due to the tannic character of this aromatic red variety, it needs the sugar of the sweet wine style to overcome the variety’s innate tannin. The origin of the variety in California is none other than Randall Graham of Bonny Doon Vineyards.
The Rosa D’Oro Sagrantino is the best expression of the variety, as a dry red wine, I have ever tasted. Again, it is from the Tracy Hills area, Oso Vista Vineyards. There are only some 10 acres of this variety in California. Four barrels, producing 96 cases, were made. The barrels were 2-4 years old. Alcohol is 14.4%. The aromatic character of the variety is well defined in this wine with a fruity, spicy, but dry character. Usually Sagrantino needs other varieties to fill out the wine, but in this wine it does very well alone. It should age well, enhancing its aroma, flavor, and in this wines’s case, its softness.
Rosa D’Oro Sagrantino 2010 Wine, Tracy Hills, 14.4% $17.59 750ml (#2953)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sept. 8 - Lake County Tasting on Treasure Island

The 2nd annual Lake County "Wines with Altitude" tasting will take place on September 8th. Trade tasting starts at 11am and can register by contacting 415-SF-JUICE (415-735-8423) or at
There will be over 100 Lake County wines to taste, olive oil, and munchies.
- This just in: enter wineswithaltitude30 when registering with link at the bottom and receive 50% off -

If you can't visit us on Saturday, please be sure to come by Fort Mason on Sunday for the monstrous Family Winemakers of California tasting - 250+ wineries will be attending, and the consumer tasting runs from 3-6 Sunday with the added feature that WE WILL BE SELLING WINE during it! Details and registration here.

Wines with Altitude event on Treasure Island in SF


at The Winery SF on Treasure Island on September 8, 2012, 12- 3 pm
Go to: to order tickets or....



Monday, July 23, 2012

Lake County Wine Adventure 2013

The Lake County Wine Adventure is coming! 25+ wineries, $35 (in advance) for the whole weekend of tasting. Ridiculous. Awesome. Tasty. Be sure to book a room though as it is a lot of wine to taste and it is usually a pretty warm weekend, and you want to be able to say that you tasted your away around the whole Lake of course.  GET YOUR TICKETS HERE.

We will be running a month long sale of the wines will be pouring (Chardonnay, Rosato, Primitivo, Barbera, and Nebbiolo) and I will again be making all the food. A few snapshots from the last one:


We need your help putting a kitchen in, and we have some pretty sweet pledge rewards to check out!

The 9th Annual
Lake County Wine Adventure
July 27 & 28, Saturday & Sunday 10 am - 5 pm both days
Featuring the high elevation wineries of Lake County, this two-day event is packed with great wines, friends and fun. Enjoy light refreshments and tasty bites at 25+ Lake County winery sites while taking in the spectacular scenery and beauty of Lake County.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Friday Night Wine Pairing Menu 7-13-2012 - Southern Italy

Friday Night Wine Pairing Menu 7-13-2012 

 Southern Italy

- This one is already almost sold out! Please contact us for reservations -

Please come join us as we cook a regionally-focused meal every month paired with our Italian varietal wines.

Friday, July 13, 2012
5 - 7 pm
$20 flight plus food, $15 wine club members

Olive oil poached Ahi Tuna, Caponata, bitter greens
- 2010 Greco di Tufo -

Chestnut Cavatelli, Rapini, Ricotta Salta, Aleppo Pepper
- 2010 Nero d'Avola -

Pork involtini with fennel, chickpeas, pepperonata
- Aglianico Riserva -

Pistachio Olive oil cake, Primitivo peaches
- 2009 Primitivo - 

Rosa d'Oro tasting room located at 3915 Main Street, Kelseyville, Ca. 95451
to RSVP please email or call 707-279-0483

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Barbera Festival

Unfortunately, the Barbera Festival has been sold out for a long time. If you don't have tickets yet then hopefully we will see you next year? If you are attending, please swing by and say hello.

The 2012 Barbera Festival
Saturday June 9th, 2012 • 11am to 4pm

What is the Barbera Festival?
• An outdoor wine and food festival focusing on Barbera wines
• Among vineyards and rolling hills
• More than 80 wineries from all over California
• 10 top area restaurants and chefs offering gourmet food
• Live music
• Local artists and vendors
• Beer and white wine available for purchase
• All net proceeds from the event go to the Amador Community Foundation to be distributed to local charitable causes.
Why a Barbera Festival?
Barbera is becoming more and more popular in California. We see more people excited about it, and asking about it, every day. Many California producers offer a varietal Barbera. Barbera is a great food wine yet quite enjoyable on its own. Still, Barbera remains fairly obscure. We want to bring Barbera to the attention of the general wine buying public.
Where will the Barbera Festival be held?
We have selected an ideal location for the event: Cooper Ranch in Shenandoah Valley, California. Dick Cooper is known as the Godfather of Barbera, and supplies numerous vintners with barbera grapes. A beautiful ranch and a perfect setting among vines and rolling hills. Readthe article by Mike Dunne about the history of barbera at Cooper Ranch.
Tickets are priced at $40 (advance).

• Ticket includes admittance, wine tasting, and commemorative wine glass. Food sold separately.
• Free parking is available on-site.
• No outside food, beverages, or coolers allowed. No pets other than service animals.
• This is a No-Smoking event. There is no designated smoking area on site.
• Attendees must be 21 or older to taste or purchase wine, and will be required to show photo I.D. as proof of age.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Wednesday Night Pouring at Food Inc. Trattoria SF

Please join us on Wednesday from 5-8pm at Food Inc. Trattoria in San Francisco for their monthly wine tasting and pairing night. Muscat, Sangiovese, Aglianico and Sagrantino will be featured and bottles will be for sale at a special price. Special paired plates will be offered with the wines as well. 

For more information please visit Here.

Food Inc. Trattoria is located at 2800 California Street by Divisadero.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Friday Night Wine Pairing Menu - Liguria

Please come join us as we cook a regionally-focused meal every month with a wine pairing.

Friday, May 18, 2012
5 - 7 pm
$20 flight plus food, $15 wine club members

This week you get a double bonus if you join us - our street will be closed and it will be featuring local businesses and wineries showcasing locally produced goods and wine! It may be busy though so please RSVP.

Omaggio a Liguria

 Muscat (New Release!)
Chickpea fritters with bay scallops

Artichokes 2 ways (or more)
Fingerlings, mushrooms, estate olive oil

Barbera (New Release!)
Gnocchi with walnut pesto and prawns

Moscato Dessert Wine
Ricotta raviolo  

Rosa d'Oro tasting room located at 3915 Main Street, Kelseyville, Ca. 95451
to RSVP please email or call 707-279-0483

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tiburon Wine Festival

If you are in the Bay Area please visit us at the Tiburon Wine Festival on Saturday from 1 - 4pm - a perfect day to try the new Muscat and new vintage of Sangiovese

Driving Directions
After exiting Highway 101, take Tiburon Boulevard (Highway 131) east until you reach the tip of the peninsula. As you approach Main Street, the downtown hub, you'll find the Boardwalk Shopping Center on the right and Point Tiburon Plaza to the left. Park your car at one of several lots then leave it. Tiburon is a pleasantly walkable destination. For a helpful map, pick up a self-guided historical walking tour brochure (free) from the Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society in the Donohue Building on Paradise Drive (also available in racks throughout town). Or visit the Tiburon Peninsula Chamber of Commerce office in Ark Row, upper Main Street.

Welcome to Tiburon!

Tiburon's fascinating history and natural beauty also provide a variety of unique attractions. In Tiburon, the 1884 Tiburon Railroad-Ferry Depot Museum—the only dual-use railroad terminal to survive west of the Hudson River—is on the National Register of Historic Places. Old St. Hilary's, a Carpenter Gothic church set in the midst of a wildflower preserve, was built in 1888 and offers stunning views of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge.
Ark Row, former houseboats on Tiburon Lagoon before it was filled in the 1940s, now houses restaurants and shops along upper Main Street. Tiburon Playhouse, site of the Tiburon International Film Festival, shows first-run domestic and foreign films. Windsor Vineyards, the only tasting room for this award-winning winery, offers wine tasting. And in Belvedere, the China Cabin is the restored Social Saloon of the SS China (1866), a national maritime monument with a gilded Victorian drawing room.

Source: Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society
Tiburon Ferry Schedule for 2012 (thru May 13, 2012)
Depart Ferry BldgDepart
Arrive Pier41Arrive Ferry Bldg

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Mountains of olive prunings to burn

Nebbiolo 10 days ahead of everything else

Handsome Aglianico (and Mt. Konocti)

Barbera plus wind machine

Messy messy Dolcetto I hate so much

SF City Hall from last week's Burgundy tasting (i just like it)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Friday Night Wine Pairing in our tasting room

Friday, April 20, 2012
5 - 7 pm
$20 flight plus food, $15 wine club members

Orzo, asparagus, mushrooms, grana padano, lemon

"Vitello Tonnato"
Veal, tuna, capers, arugula, brushetta

Lamb raviolo in brodo

Chocolate, hazelnut 

Rosa d'Oro tasting room located at 3915 Main Street, Kelseyville, Ca. 95451
to RSVP please email or call 707-279-0483

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Vintner's Market

San Francisco Vintners Market – Spring Time In The City

San Francisco Vintners Market is back with a spring showcase of top notch wineries selling their wines direct to the consumer. If you’re tired of going to wine tasting events, discovering great new wines and then never being able to find them again, San Francisco Vintners Market is for you. Similar to farmers markets, our event allows consumers to sample the wines on display and buy them on the spot. San Francisco Vintners Market is the first of its kind wine tasting and buying experience where wine enthusiasts can try and buy wines from up to 200 wineries.

San Francisco Vintners Market will again feature top local wineries and boutique producers from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Mendocino, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Russian River Valley and other regional wineries plus imported wines from around the world. San Francisco Vintners Market features wine at all price points and styles including new releases, library collections and end-of-vintage selections, all available for immediate purchase. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to try and buy great wines at San Francisco Vintners Market.

What: San Francisco Vintners Market – Spring Time In The City
When: April 14th & 15th
Where: Fort Mason Center, Festival Pavilion, San Francisco, CA
General Admission: $80.00 (Includes all wines except Reserve Room)
Reserve Admission: $100 (Includes Reserve Room access to wines priced at $50 per bottle or higher)
Times: Trade tasting 12pm – 1pm Saturday & Sunday (RETAIL WINE BUYERS AND MEDIA ONLY)
General Admission: 1pm – 4pm Saturday & Sunday
Reserve Room Access: 12pm – 4pm Saturday & Sunday


Online Ticketing for SAN FRANCISCO VINTNERS MARKET – Spring Time In The City – April 14 – 15 2012 powered by Eventbrite

Monday, April 9, 2012


This is where the Sagrantino goes next month...

Friday, March 23, 2012

2011 Muscat

We are bottling the 2011 Muscat today, here is a bit of a preview:

But first off:

Behold, the sweet-o-meter!

Retail Price $16
Nova Vineyards, Yolo County
60% Moscato Giallo, 40% Muscat Canelli
Giallo hand harvested at 23 brix 9/22/11
Canelli hand harvested at 25 brix 9/19/11
Low temperature 20-day fermentations,
lots were fermented separately
No malolactic fermentation, just a bit of battonage, no oak
3.29 bottling pH
RS/.7 = 7 grams per liter residual sugar
300 cases produced
Hand bottled
12.5% ABV

The Moscato Giallo portion was harvested at lower maturity to impart minerality, acidic backbone and less tropical flavor to the mix while the Muscat Canelli was harvested at its aromatic peak. These come together to make a serious and elegant Muscat with length, great delicacy and just a touch of sweetness. Enjoy with spicy food, fried appetizers or simply chill down and consume while in the sun.

The 2011 vintage was a strange one with very moderate weather, increased humidity and lower temperatures than usual. Usually warm Yolo County experienced many days of fog and a beautifully slow ripening season that produced good minerality, excellent seed ripeness and only moderate skin ripeness with no sunburn or overripe flavors.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Kelseyville Olive Festival - March 18th

3rd Annual Kelseyville Olive Festival
Sunday, March 18, 2012 from 11am to 5pm

5625 Gaddy Lane Kelseyville

Join us for a day of family fun dedicated to the ancient and majestic olive with

Olive Mill Tours
Product Samples
Vendor Booths
Olive Pit Spitting Contest
Silent Auction
Local Beer & Wine Tasting
Local Wine Store
Hula Hoop Contest
People's Choice Olive Oil Contest
Children's Booth
hosted by Miss Lake County &
Miss Outstanding Teen
with crafts, face painting, bubbles
and more!

The event is FREE!
Local beer and wine tasting for $15 
with proceeds benefiting local non-profit groups.

Musical guest Michael Barrish on guitar
Modern Native American flute,
guitars and storytelling
by Kevin Village Stone and Lindy Day

Schedule of Events:
11am - 1pm Michael Barrish
12pm Olive Mill Tour
1pm Story Time
1pm Olive Mill Tour
1:30 - 2pm My Divas
2pm Hula Hoop Contest
followed by Story Time
2:30 - 3pm My Divas
3 - 5pm Kevin Village Stone & Lindy Day
3pm Olive Mill Tour
3:30pm People's Choice Contest, Raffle &
Silent Auction Concludes
4pm Announcements

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Muscat and Rosato

We hardly ever bust out the filter around here, certainly never for reds. But sometimes you want to be sure the off-dry Muscat is safe and stable and the ml-negative rose won't carbonate itself (though that would be yummy) when forgotten in the trunk during the middle of summer. Both are now ready for bottling in the next couple of weeks. Lets call it May 1st for release.

Oh yeah, we even did a little bottle redesign for the Muscat which I am particularly excited about. Details will follow shortly...

Dolcetto rosé passing through

Thursday, February 16, 2012

SF Chronicle tasting this Saturday

Come visit us Saturday at the SF Chronicle Wine Competition. Our Barbera took another double gold while the Primitivo received its third gold of the year.

Rosa d'Oro Vineyards418 - Primitivo2009Clear LakeEstatePrimitivo$18.00Gold
Rosa d'Oro Vineyards425 - Sangiovese2009Clear LakeRoumiguiereSangiovese$18.00Silver
Rosa d'Oro Vineyards426 - Barbera2009Clear LakeEstateBarbera$18.00Double Gold

2011 SFCWC Public Tasting Smashing Success
The SFCWC (San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition) is proud to invite people from across the country to join them in their annual tradition of enjoying family, friends and wonderful food and wine.  This year we are raising our glasses in cheer of the recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge at the annual Public Tasting held at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco with stunning views of the structure on Saturday, February 18th from 2-5 p.m.
Over 5,000 people converge to enjoy breath taking views of the Golden Gate Bridge as they interact with colleagues and loved ones, reuniting at the annual Public Tasting and reinforcing the tradition of this special day for many wine lovers around the country.  Everyone enjoys outstanding food, conversations and a bit of education, as the peruse samples from over 800 wineries.
Tickets are available now, and they make the perfect Stocking Stuffer for your loved ones.  Turn the annual Public Tasting into your college or family reunion.
"This competition is the biggest deal in American wine," said Paul Lukas, columnist, author and wine educator.