2012 Sauvignon Blanc

Releasing May 2013 – all new 2012 Sauvignon Blanc

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April 2013 Newsletter

Don’t miss out on reading all that is going on at Munselle Vineyards. From vineyard information to tasty recipes, the MV Newsletter has it all.

Please make sure to download a copy of our latest newsletter today!


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A Life Well-Lived…

Our beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Fred R. Wasson, passed away quietly in his home this morning at 1:45am.

Fred lived his entire life in the Alexander Valley, from his first breath to his last. He and his wife of 72 years, Ruby, instilled a passion for family and farming in their four daughters, six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Fred was often described as a “character” with his jovial personality. He was smart, inquisitive, and had the rosiest cheeks you ever saw. He was the kind of man who left a lasting impression and he was loved and respected by many.  Fred also leaves behind a legacy of hard work, a strong sense of ethics and principles, and the land he loved–long after he retired, he still took a daily drive through his vineyards to ensure all was well.

Our stories of Fred’s life could go on forever and our memories of this wonderful man always will.

Frederick Richard Wasson

November 19, 1918 – January 2, 2012

Fred and Ruby take a ride (1960)

The view from Fred and Ruby's porch when the land was still planted to prunes (circa 1960).

Fred stood between his son-in-law, Bill, and his grandson, Bret, on the bottling line, happy to see how his life's work had led to a new venture-- winemaking under the Munselle Vineyards label.

Fred with Reta, the youngest of his four daughters. He was so proud of them all.

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Ringing in 2012

Happy New Year from our family to you and yours!

Bill, Reta, Maddie (age 4), Callie (age 3), Bret, Kristen and Bryn (3 weeks)

Wishing you a wonderful year and great wine in 2012.

The Munselles

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2011 Harvest Reflections- Part 3 “A Cabernet Harvest Captured on Camera”

If you’ve ever visited Jordan Winery, a breathtaking estate in the Alexander Valley known for it’s beautiful Cabernet and Chardonnay wines, you know it’s truly a special place.  If you haven’t been there, call for a tour! (I promise it will be worth your while.)

In the meantime, please  enjoy this fantastic video created by their Communications Director, Lisa Mattson. Harvest 2011: Munselle Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, Alexander Valley

The footage provides a glimpse of the fast pace and precision of hand-picking in the field all the way through delivering the grapes to the crush pad.

Cabernet Sauvignon from our Coyote Crest block for Jordan Winery.

The whole family made the cut, even our little mini-Australian Shepherd puppy, Lexie…

Lexie Munselle visits the crush pad at Jordan (13 weeks)

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2011 Harvest Reflections- Part 2 “Tasting and Testing”

You really get a sense of the seasons and time passing with the changes in the vineyards.  These pictures were taken on a walk in early September as the vines were at their fullest,  the berries deep in color and ripening to their optimal sweetness.

Hmmm, which one shall I taste first?

Just a couple more degrees Brix and these will be just right!

And, when you see all the equipment being pulled out, tested, and shined up in preparation for the big event– you know it’s almost picking time!  The tractors and forklift are fun, but it seems the harvester is definitely the “prized” piece of machinery in the girls’ minds.  Maddie and Callie didn’t hesitate to climb on up and make themselves comfortable.   Future farmers?  Time will tell….

Look at me Mom!

You should see the view from up here...

A little assistance from Dad.

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2011 Harvest Reflections- Part 1 “Nighttime Adventure!”

This post marks the first in a series I’ll write to share some highlights from another harvest gone by.

Every season is different in its own way.  But, this year we had the joy of  seeing it all through our daughters’ eyes, now that they’re old enough to understand what the flurry of activity is all about!

Riding with Daddy or Papa in the big trucks to deliver grapes, and meeting Bret at the crush pads to bring him lunch on several occasions,  scored high on their list of favorite moments.  But, the topper may have been our middle-of-the-night jaunt to bring a hot meal out to the crew in the vineyards.  I woke the girls at 3am and bundled them up in cozy jackets.  Then we piled into the bright, orange Kubota and set out with the back full of hot burritos and drinks.

Maddie and Callie get ready to ride!

Bret and the crew were hard at work picking chardonnay for La Crema winery, but happy to take a break when we arrived.

Bret was excited to see his girls--and the feeling was mutual!

Harvest is an “all hands on deck”, family affair and the girls were excited to do their part.  Plus, they got a firsthand look at what Daddy does when he works all night.

It's chow time!

Special time with Daddy...

Once break time was over and everyone was sufficiently sated,  it was back to work for the crew and back to sleep for us girls.   Family time is harder to come by during this time of year, so it was a memorable way to be together…I’m sure we’ll it make an annual tradition!

With full bellies, it was time to crank up the harvester again.

The excitement dies down and sleepiness sets in for little Callie. It's time to go home...

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Double Gold is double great!!

What a weekend it was!  We were thrilled to learn our 2008 Osborn Ranch Zinfandel was awarded a double gold in the 2011 Sonoma County Harvest Fair tasting.   Last year, Bret was honored as Sonoma County’s Outstanding Young Farmer and we weren’t sure anything could top that, but this feels equally exciting!

Our prized gold medal from this year's harvest fair.

So, what does a double gold mean?  A double gold is when every judge in the tasting awards the wine a gold medal vs. a simple majority.   For example, if there were 10 judges and six rated a wine as a gold, while four rated it as a silver, it would be classified as a gold.   With a double gold, it means there were no discrepancies among the judges– it was a unanimous gold medal winner!

Confirmation of a job well done on both the winemaking and growing fronts!

This wine was always a winner in our minds, but it sure feels good when others agree!  We were also excited to find that grapes we grew and sold to other wineries achieved high marks.   DeLormier’s Primitivo is made up entirely from grapes grown on the Osborn Ranch and up to 40% of the fruit used to make Kenwood’s Sonoma County Cabernet came from our vineyards–both were also gold medal winners!

The Sonoma County Harvest Fair takes place this weekend, September 30-October 2, with tasting events and festivities for all ages to enjoy on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  You can find more information at www.harvestfair.org.  Where else can you sample all Sonoma County has to offer in one place?  Be sure to stop by the Munselle Vineyards table to sip and say hello!

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Lights! Harvester! Action!

The 2011 harvest has begun! It’s been a fairly slow start, but that gives us an opportunity to ease in to the season (and a little more time to scramble and finish up our summer projects!).

Sauvignon blanc is typically the first varietal we pick,  once the berries have reached 23 degrees Brix or so, depending on the preferences of the individual winemakers and wineries we sell them to.

This particular block of Sauvignon Blanc is from the Osborn Ranch and headed to Ferrari-Carano. We'll start picking this at 4am tomorrow morning for immediate delivery to the winery at 7am.

We use a machine to harvest them at night when the temperatures are cooler, so the skins of the berries are as firm as possible.  This prevents the grapes from becoming overly soft, so we deliver berries to the winery and not juice.

Our machine, appropriately named a "harvester", is hard at work!

The berries are picked into a gondola that rides alongside the harvester as you can see in the picture above.  Once filled, each gondola is loaded onto the trailer by forklift until the trailer is full (or there are no berries left to pick) and transported to the winery.

Each trailer holds five gondolas and each of these can hold approximately two tons of grapes. The truck can haul two trailers at once and up to 25 tons at a time.

As referenced in our earlier blog post, “Predictions for a light year” the sauvignon blanc crop is turning out to be well below the average.  We’re hopeful the chardonnay will be better than expected to ease the pain a little.  Wish us luck!

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A Party of Pink

Yesterday evening we thoroughly enjoyed a tasting of Rose’ just down the road at the Hawkes Tasting Room.  Our dear friends, Jake and Laura Hawkes, don’t do anything halfway–from making wonderful wines to fabulous food, and this gathering was no exception.

The bottle lineup

The table was covered with glasses all displaying various shades of pink.  After enjoying a spread of culinary treats, we got down to business and tasted through eight different wines.  The winner: Preston Winery of Dry Creek Valley.  Copain Wine Cellars and J Vineyards & Winery, both of the Russian River Valley, also placed high among our group.

It was such a lovely evening, I had to share some pictures.   You just might be inspired to host a pink party of your own.  Cheers!

Pink, pink and more pink!

Yum! Delicious cheeses and meats, deviled eggs, etc…

BLT sandwiches--one of my favorite summer foods!

Zinnias from Jake and Laura's garden add a splash of color.

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