Visit Us:
Michael Baldacci
 
September 26, 2016 | Michael Baldacci

The Story of Garry the Grape

 

Garry the Grape is the tale of Garry, and his adventure through the 2016 growing season to fulfill his dream of becoming a Baldacci Family Vineyard wine, the best wine in ALL of the world.

 

Garry’s story begins in March. It was a cold night, the land was bleak, and the air was ripe with death. One cold spell or a lazy frost supervisor meant it was over before it began for our hero Garry.

 

“There were times when I thought I wasn’t going to make it. It got really cold out there, but I knew if I could stay above 32 degrees I would be a great candidate for BFV wine, and that is what kept me going.”

 

Winter was long, spring was longer and the potential of frost was ever present each passing day.

 

“My parents and grandparents never told me about a cold spring, all they could talk about were the heats in September and to conserve as much water as possible…”  

 

Garry the grape made it through the Spring, and once again experienced a first.

 

“Rain? We had to go back to our great-great-great-great grandparents to figure out the translation, it was the drip from the sky… wow I like rain.”

 

Garry’s adventures through the spring into the summer were ALL focused on leaves and haircuts.

 

“I heard on the vine that two haircuts are another good sign that I had the potential to be a BFV wine. I worked hard to push as many leaves as possible and I tell you, it was worth it. That first haircut was amazing, tons of newfound energy, and after the second, I kicked it into another gear and started changing colors!”

 

 

Harvest was fast approaching, our Hero Garry had survived many trials and tribulations, but he was not safe yet.

 

“Some grapes get lazy at this time, they start to change color and they think that they are home free and destined for the picking bin. I knew better; ripen too fast and I would be a raisin, not up to BFV standards.  Too slow and I would be cut on the ground before harvest began! I had worked all year, the 2016 growing season was awesome for me, I felt like I was in the perfect place to ripen, mentally and physically.”

 

The growing season was perfect in 2016, warm days in the beginning followed by a two-week spell of nice, mild temperatures. Garry timed his ripening perfectly, and harvest was only a matter of time.

 

“I saw my boys Michael, Ricardo and Rolando out there more and more and I had heard those were the guys that make the final call. They kept trying all the grapes around me and talking about ‘…sweetness, chalky tannins, berry development and brix…’ I really wasn’t too sure what they were talking about, all I know is the other day I was sleeping when I was awakened by big lights and someone tugging at me with scissors, and I thought, this is the day!”

 

Garry’s dream had become a reality. On the night of September 20, 2016 Baldacci Family Vineyards picked their first set of grapes, and our hero Garry made the cut. He had worked hard and the team at Baldacci appreciated his effort throughout the year.

 

“I knew I could do it the whole time! My parents and grandparents gave me some great advice before the season. I think that I stayed patient, didn’t get ahead of myself and just took it one growing degree a day at a time. Baldacci saw my hard work and brought me into the winery for some fermentation and extraction and I know they will not regret it.”

 

Stay tuned as our hero Garry travels from picking bin, through de-stemmer crusher and into the fermentation vat to make the full transition into wine!  

 

 

Elizabeth Burchard
 
September 9, 2016 | Elizabeth Burchard

Apples to Apples

 

Have you ever had so much fruit in your fridge that you didn’t know what to do with it? Were you worried that it would go bad before you could eat it? I have this problem more often than you’d think. One fruit in particular is apples. I LOVE apples, but from the combination of my mom and grandmother I always seem to have baskets full of them.

Last weekend I washed, peeled, sliced and froze all the apples I had. This is a great way to preserve any fruit you may not be able to eat or use before it rots. Yesterday I made Apple Scrapple for the team at work. This is one of my favorite fall desserts! The warm cinnamon apples with the cold vanilla ice cream will leave your sweet tooth satisfied.

 

 

First start off by smashing up graham cracker crumbs until they are nice and fine. Add half a stick up melted butter and a dash of cinnamon and brown sugar. Mix well until the graham crackers are all moist. Push down into a glass pan to create a crust. Place in the oven at 350 degrees to crisp up.

While the crust is baking add a couple handfuls of sliced frozen apples into a bull. Add the remaining stick of melted butter, lots of cinnamon and brown sugar for sweetness. Stir in oats and graham cracker crumbs. Add the filling to the pan and top with more cinnamon and graham crackers and bake for 35 minutes. 

 

 

After letting it cool for 10 minutes, cut into squares and top with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.

You will definitely go back for seconds!

 

 

Time Posted: Sep 9, 2016 at 1:13 PM
Joaquin Herrera
 
September 1, 2016 | Joaquin Herrera

The Best Things In Life

 

My love for cars came to me while playing with toy cars as a young boy, racing them through imaginary race tracks up and down the stairs. As I got older my interest for cars grew. My father started teaching my older brother and me how to change the oil on the family suburban as well as how to change the brakes and how to keep all the oil reservoir’s topped off. It was a wonderful learning experience that has stuck with me to this day. The fun really began when my older brother bought his first car! We did all the maintenances on it together and fixed it up real nicely. 

Rims, lowering kit, intake and exhaust were all the things that were purchased and installed by us to make the car look nicer and drive a lot faster.

 

 

A couple years later and I was able to purchase my own car. I bought a 2003 Acura RSX Type-S. It only had 14,000 miles on it and I knew I bought it for a steal! I immediately started modifying the car the way I wanted it to look like with new rims and tires. I later installed a lowering kit to fill in the gap between my tire and the wheel well. My car looked and sounded just like I had wanted it too.

Then came the day when my heart broke…

 

 

My car was a sports car, manual 6 speed transmission. Like the typical 18 year old guy, I had a heavy foot and liked the adrenaline rush. I was driving along one day when I heard a big clunk noise and all of a sudden the car wouldn’t go anywhere. I was devastated, my transmission had blown and the clutch was burned. I pulled the motor out and had the transmission rebuilt. After reinstalling the motor it was like a new car again and I was able to get back in the driver seat and cruise down the road.

Time Posted: Sep 1, 2016 at 8:39 AM
Ricardo Herrera
 
August 25, 2016 | Ricardo Herrera

How to get around

 

There once was a time when vehicles did not exist. All they had were carts and horses to transport things around. When I was young we had these carts called “guillain”. This was the only form of transportation, just a horse, a wagon made of wood, one axle, the driver and any supplies he needed to carry on the back. These horses and wagons were responsible for transporting supplies, food and people. I have some wonderful memories riding around in the guillain, but it also makes me appreciate the advancement of technology. Working at a winery, it is much easier to get around from vineyard to vineyard with a car or truck as opposed to a horse and buggy. Those were some great memories, but I am happy to be back in Napa with my truck!

 

 

Time Posted: Aug 25, 2016 at 3:21 PM
Michael Baldacci
 
August 19, 2016 | Michael Baldacci

Vehicles and wine, oh the similarities

I am not a car person.

Period.

I had my moment when I turned 16, I wanted the cool car to bring to school everyday...then I got my license. And from that point forward I did not care what car I would be driving, I just wanted to DRIVE.  

I cannot get under the hood and tell you the difference of a gasket and a piston head, and up until last year I could not even change my own oil. But I will say that I have gotten great VALUE out of my car. As of this morning I had over 207,000 miles on my car. I received it with close to 80,000 but I still have put my miles on that beautiful car.  

 

 

I was trying to think about a relation between vehicles and wine, and I came up with this one. Like cars, wine is made to be used, or rather wine is made to be enjoyed. In my mind there is little point to a car that sits and collects dust, just like wine. Traditionally wine is ‘made to be aged’, I would argue with current winemaking styles and techniques the wines are just as great if not better when they are enjoyed at time of release. With proper decanting young wines are fabulous and full of life, aging adds a variability that not even the winemaker can dictate.

So in reality, the winemaker’s true interpretation of the wine is when it is released, it is their seal on the wine that it is ready for consumption.

This is not to say that I do not have bottles in my cellar that I am laying down and am intrigued about how they will age, but for the most part, like a good car, the value is in using the product.

 

 

My final words are this, there are wines that are fun to age, but NEVER be afraid to open a good bottle of wine… go to your cellar, find that bottle of wine you are ‘aging’ and open it up, I promise you will not regret it! 

 

Elizabeth Burchard
 
August 4, 2016 | Elizabeth Burchard

It's What You Know

Growing up in a household of girls there wasn’t much discussion about cars. My memories are of my mom driving a Volvo station wagon and then later a Suburban, since it was the only vehicle that seemed to hold us kids, our dog and all our stuff.  My father who loves cars had to be practical, waiting patiently until we are all out of the house and on our own before being able to splurge a bit.  While he has not yet gotten the car of his dreams, he continues his search and is hopeful that the day will come soon.

As I have gotten older I still don’t know much about cars.  However, I realized there are some correlations between cars to wine and I would like to share what I have learned with you to make your experience more enjoyable. Namely: 

1. Care about Appearance

The first thing people see is the exterior of the car, so keep it clean! My father always says, “Elizabeth, humor me and wash your car.” I do this because when the car looks good, I look good driving it.

When it comes to wine, appearance is just as important. Not only do you want the bottle and label to look good, but also the color itself is very important. We first experience wine though its color and appearance.  You can lean a lot about a wine just by looking at the glass. The color of wine comes from its contact with the skins after the grapes have been pressed.  The longer the juice sits with the skins the more texture, color and flavor the wine can extract from them. Along with color, the skin also gives the wine tannin, a characteristic that adds a deeper complexity to the wine.

My dad likes cars in dark colors because he thinks they have more personality.  The same can be said for wine.  The darker the shade, the more likely it is to have a richer, bolder, full-body mouth feel.  It can also mean the wine has been aged in oak longer which also conveys stronger flavors and textures within the wine.

When it comes to the age the white wines tend to go darker, while the reds tend to get lighter.  A wine’s age can also be seen in the rim variation.  In older wines you should notice the gradations of color in the glass.  The wine at the center of the glass is much deeper in color than the wine at the rim.  Just a small tip, older red wines display a greater variation in color. 

2. Maintain Your Balance

Nothing scares someone more than a car that shakes. Often times it can be because the tires aren’t maintained, low pressure, balding, or out of balance – issues when taken care of will ensure the car rides smoothly.

I also look for balance in wine. Balance in wine usually refers to the harmony between two or more of the wines elements.  The most popular are the balance between sugar and acidity. When the acid levels are higher the wine is sharp, harsh, and acidic. When the sugar levels are higher the wine becomes flabby, sugary, and flat on the palate. There is always the concern of balance between acid and tannins as well as overall balance of flavor and intensity.  When you are looking for a good bottle of wine you should always look for the perfect balance that works for your taste. You traditionally want a wine that has the right amount of weight, complexity, intensity, and flavor. So remember it is important to maintain your balance. 

3. The more you take care of it the longer it lasts

It is very important to get your car serviced regularly, and to change its oil. Again quoting my dad, “the better you take care of your car, the longer it will last”.

This holds true for wine, if you are planning to hold onto a bottle of wine for a while it is important to take care of it.  Heat is a silent killer of fine wine. Make sure to store your wine in a properly temperature-controlled space.  Also remember, especially during the summer, that wine and a “hot” car does not mix.  

4. Look for a Good Value

Everyone loves a good value, so do your research and look for something you know you’ll love.  However, realize that much like cars, there is a value difference in wine regarding luxury and quality. All wines are not created equal, same as cars. The quality of the raw ingredients and the personal attention that goes into developing a good wine can be compared to the quality, style and high performance of a luxury car.  Whether you’re shopping for cars, or wine, remember that if it’s value you seek, be sure to consider more than just price.  Also, look for other features such as appearance, balance, and the tender loving care that goes into making the product.   

 

Joaquin Herrera
 
July 28, 2016 | Joaquin Herrera

For the Love of BBQ

My love for Barbequing on the grill came to me as a young kid. My dad would come home from work on Friday afternoons, my mother would have all the meat prepped with seasoning ready to be placed on the grill. We always had other side dishes such as frijoiles fritos (Refried beans), arroz de jitomate (tomato flavored rice), and a nice mix of seasoned veggies.

 

 

The real love of barbeque came to me as I became older when we grilled steak, seasoned and marinated a couple hours with some Pinot Noir. Flavors and aromas of the wine, a tender fully flavored, medium grilled steak is unbeatable served with your favorite sides especially accompanied with a great glass of wine.

Time Posted: Jul 28, 2016 at 4:05 PM
Ricardo Herrera
 
July 21, 2016 | Ricardo Herrera

Mid-Week Specialty.. Flavors of Chef Ricardo Herrera

Para que toda reunión de día o de fin de semana si estoy teniendo un sándwich de pollo, una ensalada o una de mi auténtica comida casera yo diría que un plato principal sería una buena carne asada con sus cebollas a la parrilla y una gran salsa hecha. 

 

En un molcajete, es una roca sólida con un tamaño plato tazón tallada en el medio de la roca que permite moler todo el tomate, chile y otras cosas que lo hacen mejor y no hay que dejar de lado los granos frescos y el arroz.

El sabor único de la salsa molcajete es lo que hace la diferencia para esa comida que todos buscamos, y por favor, no dejemos un lado una buena copa de un vino tinto preferiblemente un Cabernet Sauvignon.

Michael Baldacci
 
July 13, 2016 | Michael Baldacci

They thought I would never grow up… Flavors of a Picky eater

Growing up I didn’t see anything wrong with my eating habits. Meat was a mainstay, plenty of garlic bread loaded with extra butter, and if I was feeling daring I qualified mashed potatoes as my veggie intake for the week. I was 13 and I found my love for simplicity to be normal, a burger had meat and cheese only, not to be watered down with any sort of lettuce or tomato, in my eyes that only took away from the greasy mess of a double double from In- N- Out burger. My dad jokingly said that we ate prison food… I didn’t find his jokes to be very funny.

As I prepared myself for my college days, my parents were certain that the pure humiliation of not eating salads, or any form of vegetables would get the best of me and I would have to convert in front of my peers. They were wrong. College brought on more of the same simple meals. I mastered the grilled cheese with a side of bacon, my taste buds were not shaping up the way my parents had hoped.

But finally, the day came! I am not sure if it was my taste buds that changed or just the willingness to try new things that changed, but finally I converted to the good side, the healthy side.

Living in the mecca of great food has been a catalyst to this sudden change of heart. I am fortunate enough to dine at some of the best restaurants in the world. The chefs are meticulous about the flavors that are going into each and every bite. A small turnip on top of your appetizer is not just for looks, but rather it is for a touch of bitterness to tone down the sweetness of a flavorful bite.

It has been an amazing transition for me, going from steak and potatoes every night to exploring menus across all foods and preparations. The flavors of the world truly intrigue me. As I mentioned, I am blessed to live in an area that allows such treats, but it has also transitioned over into the kitchen. My love for flavors has turned me into the best chef in the family. I love to explore different preparations and styles of food. I went from bread in every meal to a diet that tries to keep bread away as much as possible and make sure that there is at least one helping of veggies for every meal.

I have come along way, and at times I think my parents thought I was doomed for life, but at the age of 26 I can say that my dietary needs are no longer picky, and in fact they are quite the opposite. So to all the parents that are wondering if their 18-year-old son or daughter will ever shy away from mac and cheese and PB&J, the answer is no, but there is hope that there will be other parts of the food pyramid that are incorporated into the diet, as I am living proof. 

Time Posted: Jul 13, 2016 at 6:05 PM
Kellie Duckhorn
 
July 6, 2016 | Kellie Duckhorn

Taste This!

Flavors...

Have you ever wondered what your personal taste profile might be if you were raised in a different culture? I know my palate has been shaped by a lifetime of Northern California food choices. We have it all, in the Bay Area. But I also know that my palate was formed by simple ingredients. My family kept to the basics with plenty of fresh picked produce, fresh baked bread (yes, my mom fully embraced the country lifestyle), locally raised meat (Sonoma thrives with options), dairy and the American pantry staple: Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. My palate still cannot embrace hot, spicy peppers despite years of exposure while really pungent cheese is a struggle and odd animal parts don’t beckon!

I didn’t really think about how my upbringing and exposure to my personal ingredient list influenced my wine vocabulary, until I went to China. My primary task was hosting guests in our Shanghai Tasting Room or students at one of the local universities for wine education. I set up the tastings as one might expect: three wines, white, medium body red, heavy red. I had my back pocket list of adjectives, the ones that come naturally to me from time spent in vegetable gardens, farmers’ markets and years of outdoor adventure. So, to my surprise, when I encouraged the guests to find the aroma of grapefruit pith or the flavor of blackberries, I was met with some blank stares.

Jeannie Cho Lee is a Master of Wine, and she put together a great reference table. This quickly helped me better understand the natural starting point, for my guests. When I would think strawberries, I would say dried wolfberries. The barriers came down, quickly!

Jeannie Cho Lee's Language of Taste

Wine vocabulary is food vocabulary. If you are well traveled, and have eaten around the globe, you will have a much better chance of pinpointing that exact aroma or flavor. Maybe it was some exotic spice eaten on the streets of Bombay or a fragrant soufflé from a back alley in Paris. Or, maybe it is your grandfather’s smoky thick bbq sauce or mom’s summer apple pie. Whatever your food heritage, I guarantee it’s your wine vocabulary, too!

Prototype field 1
Prototype field 1
Prototype field 2
Prototype field 1
Prototype field 2
Prototype field 1
Prototype field 2
Prototype field 1
Prototype field 2
Prototype field 1
Prototype field 2
Prototype field 3
Prototype field 1
Prototype field 2
Prototype field 3
Contact | Social

Contact Us

6236 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558
707-944-9261
Info@BaldacciVineyards.com
Open daily from 10AM to 4PM
by prior appointment

 

Twitter  

BaldacciWinery profile
A perfect morning in Calistoga at our Stella Knight Estate! https://t.co/ycKdGLJwla
BaldacciWinery profile
The Story of Garry the Grape: Garry the Grape is the tale of Garry, and his adventure through the 2016 growing... https://t.co/ej1jVVYO70
BaldacciWinery profile
Harvest is in full swing. Here is a picture of our harvest last night, we pick at night so that the grapes arrive... https://t.co/X8z7Wf0FHY

© Copyright 2016 Baldacci