Memorial Day 2020

This Memorial Day I will be playing the bagpipes at our local cemetery, as I have done for many years, with the exception of last year when my right hand was incapacitated by a stroke. Therefore, for me personally and for all of us who have been sheltering-in-place all these weeks, it feels good to resume a simple act of gratitude. There seldom are crowds at the cemetery when I play and spacing is always respectful on this day, so I am resuming this tradition of thanks to those who have given their lives for all of us, so that we could maintain our everyday-way-of-life, however that may look at this time.

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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhoods

Last week I attended a remarkable virtual meeting of growers and winemakers of the Russian River Valley Winegrowers Association (RRVWGA). The purpose was to hear a report from a “Neighborhoods” committee tasked with distinguishing neighboring tracts of land that are not only defined by geographic features, but also bear their own unique chemical and sensory fingerprints. This investigation has yielded a large body of data, much of which already been generated by UC Davis. More definitive information will be forthcoming, but for a teaser, check out this video on the Russian River Valley Neighborhoods for more information.

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A Spring Message

Happy Passover, Easter and Spring from Alquimista Cellars
Listen to and watch Greg in his Gravenstein apple orchard, as he sends a message of hope and renewal, and also describes some of the things going on in the vineyard right now.

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Alquimista April 2020 Newsletter

Surrounded as we are by uncertainty, our instinct for self-protection tells us to look for what is predicable and dependable. I count myself among the lucky ones in that I am an agriculturist and my work has been deemed “essential” by the powers-that-be, so I am in the vineyards and winery as an AG producer on a daily basis, working to make the agricultural product called “wine” for all. This is my certainty. The vines are now budding out and growing like gangbusters, heedless of the chaos around them and reaching for the skies, requiring our undivided attention to their efforts.

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Alquimista March 2020 Newsletter

Announcing the Arrival of Futures!What’s a better way to celebrate winter than tasting through the 2019 barrels in Alquimista’s cellar? We are happy to announce that our 2019 wines are moving along and mostly ready for barrel tasting, and we will begin selling futures of these wines beginning now. Though a couple of the wines are still struggling to finish primary fermentation, the majority have pushed through even malolactic fermentation and are now starting to take shape.

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A Sonoma County Holiday, 2019

Reflections on the Past Three Years in Sonoma County
As Christmas is now barely in the rear-view mirror and New Year’s Day coming up fast in Sonoma County, we have much loss on which to reflect, and much to be grateful for in the coming year. It is not a stretch to say that the defining events of 2017 and 2019 have been the disastrous fires in The North Bay, most of it inflicted upon Sonoma County. My co-winemaker/proprietor of Alquimista Cellars, Patrick Dillon, has written eloquently about first response and what we were all doing in the throes of the Tubbs fire in his “Alquimista Cellars, Earth, Wind, Fire and 500 Frittatas”.

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Sonoma County Wineries Expect Exceptional 2019 Values

With Mother Nature’s support, the 2019 growing season provided fantastic grape growing conditions.

“This has been a nearly ideal winegrowing season in Sonoma County,” says Sonoma County Vintners Executive Director Michael Haney. “There was just the right amount of heat early in the growing season to acclimate the grapes, mild temperatures continued throughout the season and offered superior flavor development.”

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Join Us for A Special Russian River Event!

A Wonderful Time to Visit!

Join us for a special Russian River Valley Event, celebrating the resilience of the wine industry and Sonoma County after the devastating Kincade fire this past fall.

Half priced shipping on 12-bottle cases and a special winemaker curated exploration with verticals! Please email us to inquire about fees and learn more!

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Greg La Follette on his Practice of Terroir

In this article originally published in and written by Fred Swan, our own Greg La Follette is interviewed about his unique approach to bringing forth the ‘terroir’, or character of a wine that is driven by its environment.

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The Romance of Winemaking

Now that harvest is winding down, it is once more time to reflect upon just why it is that we hose-draggers pursue our own version of heaven: the romance of winemaking.

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