Life Is A Cabernet
Welcome to the Silver Oak community! Here you can read the latest from our wineries and vineyards, learn about upcoming events and join in the conversation about all things Silver Oak.
Etching a Memorable Gift
POSTED 11/5/2013 12:34:47 AM
With the Holidays just around the corner, thoughts turn to Holiday cheer and finding the perfect holiday gifts for everyone on your list. Several years ago we came up with an idea of how to make a great gift of Silver Oak Cabernet even more memorable and we began offering customers a personalized bottle etching service. Working closely with the customer to make their bottle of Silver Oak as special as possible, we can etch anything from personal messages to intricate and elaborate full-color designs. These unique gifts have become an integral part of our Corporate Gifting program, but are also available to anyone who just wants a beautiful and extraordinary gift that will be treasured not only for the wine inside, but also the elegantly artful bottles that can be displayed for years to come!
If interested in our personalized bottle etching service, please visit our Bottle Etching page or contact Madeleine at 888.202.2006.
Read more ›
How Do We Know What A Great Year Is?
POSTED 10/28/2013 11:22:00 PM
At Silver Oak and Twomey we pride ourselves on making consistent wines every vintage. There are many things we do every year to try and ensure excellence. Many people ask Daniel what it is like to put the blends together and if that makes him nervous. The truth is that we grow grapes all year long. For each vine, indeed literally for each bunch of grapes, there are hundreds of decisions made each season: pruning, suckering, pulling laterals, green drop, post verasion pass, water treatment and finally the all-important picking decision.
In a given vintage we bring all of our experience to bear to make these decisions in accordance with what mother nature doles out. Then there are those vintages like 2013. Wow! Mother nature did not “dole out” anything but almost ideal growing conditions all season. We had a little heat spike in the summer and a bit of rain during harvest, but it is a special year. As I have moved around the wineries and tasted the must and young wines I notice a particular freshness to the wines that is exciting and enticing. Beautiful dark fruit and floral characteristics with a particular depth and complexity. Very exciting!
In 2009 we began to use berry sensory analysis where we follow a particular pattern in the vineyards for tasting and evaluation of each block of a given vineyard. All picking is decided by taste and all ultimately up to Dan when we pick. We are also doing cutting edge work with deficit irrigation, giving the vine not only just the water it needs, but also at just the right time. This as well as a myriad of other activities, all in the name of trying to improve each vintage, shown up in our wines and, in a year like 2013, shines!
Another aspect of harvest that I would like to point out is just how hard our vineyard and winemaking teams worked this year. We are so thankful for everything they do.
We love seeing the cycle come to a close toward the end of harvest and this is one we feel great about. But, there is no rest. On to 2014!
Silver Oak and Twomey October Harvest Update #3
POSTED 10/21/2013 11:11:09 PM
I'm happy to say that the weather has ceased to be an obsession now that all the fruit has been picked.
We have three more small tanks of Pinot Noir to press this week and then will be done at Twomey Healdsburg. We have made all of the 2012 blends with the exception of the Bien Nacido Vineyard fruit from Santa Maria Valley, which will be finsihed next week. This gives us the barrels we need to barrel down the 2013. The crew is still busy, but the pace is calmer as they wrap up the vintage.
At our Napa Valley Winery in Oakville, we just pressed the last and biggest tank of Cabernet from this vintage. This was left for our Growers Relation Manager, Nick Filice, to dig out, because, after all, grower relations is to thank (or to blame) depending on your mood.
Now the work at hand is to monitor the tanks as they undergo malolactic fermentations (whereby we cut the harsh acidity in the wine by converting the natural malic acid into lactic acid, therby making it much smoother and enjoyable) and evaluate the wines so that we can combine similar tanks together and end up with full, malolactic complete, SO2’d tanks in a couple of weeks.
Silver Oak's Alexander Valley winery in Geyserville had a huge week of pressing, averaging several tons a day! We still have quite a few tanks on skins, but it looks possible to finish by this Friday, if not before. We are beginning the process of consolidation so we have mostly topped tanks. The Miraval and Red Tail wines are tasting excellent!
Now all that is left is to prepare our appetites and drinking songs (a tradition I brought back from my European winemaking days!) for our first pressing lunch next week!
Director of Winemaking
Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars
Silver Oak and Twomey October Harvest Update #2
POSTED 10/14/2013 9:55:03 PM
Last weekend was warm and the threat of rain evaporated as the week progressed. Gradually, everything cooled to very pleasant Fall weather with mid-70’s highs and quite cool nights in the high 30’s.
We continued to press fruit at Twomey Healdsburg, but the pace has finally slowed and the crew can get a little rest. We are in the midst of pulling the 2012 Pinots out of barrel so that we can barrel down the 2013’s. The Pinot is handled differently than our other reds because it is much more changeable during aging. For that reason, we barrel down separate lots and blend them after each one has had some time to age. We also allow the malolactic fermentation to occur in barrel which we feel adds a little more mid-palate.
We brought in our last grapes in Alexander Valley on Thursday the 10th and toasted with some well-deserved sparkling wine. We brought in fruit from the Geysers Road area as well as 4 ranches from the heart of the valley. Our Alexander Valley Cellar Master, Elias and his crew did a great deal of pressing last week and we extend a kudos to them for their hard work.
In Oakville, we continued to press as tanks came into that magical balance when the tannins soften. I am amazed every year when I see how much difference 24 hours can make to the smoothness of a wine, which is one of the reasons you see us tasting every day.
At this rate only a couple more weeks and we’ll be wrapped up. Cheers!
Silver Oak and Twomey October Harvest Update
POSTED 10/7/2013 6:03:55 PM
Last week began with very light rain on Sunday and Monday and cool temperatures until a slight warming trend from Wednesday to Friday. There were high winds on Thursday and Friday which dried things out nicely. Although the conditions were not conducive to raising sugars (or in this case, desiccation, since sugar loading is over) ripening continued in the form of softening of skins and degradation of the pyrazines that cause a green pepper character. It was quite remarkable to taste significant changes in less than 48 hours. Our Berry Sensory techniques proved their value yet again. There was a chance of more rain by the middle of this week, so last week felt like a good time to bring in the remainder of the fruit
Crushing was pretty quiet at the Twomey winery in Healdsburg last week, but the crew was still very busy pressing many of the Pinot tanks. We also brought the 2012 wines out of barrel to provide used barrels for the 2013 wines. As we made up the blends of 2012 Pinots, we were really impressed with the finesse and fruit expression of the wines. This week we will bring in the last of our Pinot to complete harvest
Oakville has wound down in terms of crushing. We received our last two lots of Cabernet and completed harvest on Friday. It was an active week of pressing as well. So far, the harvest is presenting as an excellent vintage!
Finally, last week was a big week of crushing in Geyserville as we brought in fruit from our Red Tail Ranch as well as from vineyards around the Alexander Valley. It was also a big week of pressing. We should finish in Alexander Valley this week.
Daniel Baron 10/4/13Read more ›