Welcome to the Bridge
Bridging all aspects of our Winery from the Vineyard, to
the Cellar, Winery Grounds, Tasting Room and beyond. Our ongoing newsletter is an ideal way to stay up to date with all aspects of the Winery
and our newest wine releases!
In this Edition: Learn more about the current state of the Vineyards, the importance of Tannin development and the opportunity to bottle your own wine at our upcoming event. Meet more Grand Island Friends and Family, read some awesome recipes for Sangria, get an update on the next wine club shipment and stay up to date on the many Grand Island Vineyards events coming soon!
by Operations Manager, Joe Salman
This is the time of the year when things move so fast that as I sit down to write and take some photos things are already out of date.
So, since the last newsletter here is what the vines have been doing:
Near the end of last month, buds began to pop and the first growth has begun. This was only on the "early varieties" like Chardonnay. Week by week other varieties have started to grow slowly but surely in the cool beginning of the growing season.
The difference in bud-break and the early growth can be dramatic based on the varieties. If you look closely below you can see small flower clusters that will expand, bloom, and eventually become grapes. As a grower this is the first opportunity to have some estimation of yield.
There is one picture below - it has three varieties - Cabernet Franc (on the left side of the picture), Cabernet Sauvignon (in the middle of the picture) and Pinot Noir (on the right side of the picture). The Pinot are the vines full of leaves and growth. The Cab Franc has a little, and the Cab Sauv has almost nothing. This is a good example of the variance in bud-break timing on certain varieties. That bud-break timing may have a huge effect on harvest. In this case the Pinot Noir will most likely be harvested a month before those cabs and will have achieved the same sugar content. Go figure.
Part One: The Importance of Tannins
Being a winemaker is rarely as fun and exciting as most people assume. Most of our time is spent on logistics, getting really dirty in the cellar, or sanitizing equipment. However, sometimes it does live up to expectations, and blending the wines is definitely one of those times. The keyword when blending wines is balance. Our goal throughout the wine-making process is to allow the varietal characteristics of the grapes to shine, all while keeping the acidity, sweetness, and tannins of the resulting wine in a perfect harmony. And it is during the blending stage where we can make small final adjustments that can have a huge impact on the wine that we put into the bottle.
Acidity plays a huge role in the overall style of a wine. A high acid wine is thought of as "crisp" or "tart", and leaves your mouth watering for more like a juicy ripe apple. These are wines like our Sauvignon Blanc and Rose of Cabernet. However, even on wines normally thought of as less acidic, like our Cabernet Sauvignon, the acidity helps to balance out the natural bitterness of the tannins and gives it a very fresh and lively flavor and mouthfeel. When the acidity gets out of balance is when you start to see negative effects on the wine. Too much acid and the wine will become sharp or sour. Too little acid and the wine's finish can be washed out and flabby. It doesn't matter if it's a crisp white or an aged red, the right amount of acidity is essential in making a wine the best it can be.
Next month we will dive into tannins, their role in a wine's balance, and how we manage them throughout the wine-making process.
Bottle Your Own Event at Grand Island Vineyards!
By Tasting Room Manager Tess Jonson
Have you ever been curious about the process of wine making? Here's your chance! We will be hosting an awesome "
Bottle Your Own Experience
" on May 19th, 2018.
The first bottle is FREE to Wine Club members with RSVP and you can definitely purchase more in advance in our tasting room or
! Stop by the tasting room Friday-Monday, 10am-5pm and sample this DIY RED Blend which is a combination of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon with a just a touch of the Petite Sirah. This unique combination will make you glad you bottled your own!
The barrels we selected to create this blend show bright fruit, a juicy mouthfeel, and soft tannins. The wine opens with a luscious note of cherry, cranberry, and ripe strawberry, while the palate has beautiful flavors of toast, tart berry, and earth that slowly fade into a haunting minerality. We will be sampling this DIY RED Blend every weekend leading up to the event. You should definitely come down and give it a try!
GIV Wine Family
Say Hello to Jan Chaix!
Jan has worked with us at Grand Island Vineyards now since March of 2016! Residing in Courtland, Jan is a fabulous wine ambassador as well as a Licensed Attorney! Jan received her BS in Political Sciences, having started at Cal Poly in 1973, then on to the University of Florence, Italy from 1975 - 1976. She then attended the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City in 1997, and graduated from Cal State, LA in 1978. Finally, she then graduated from the University of San Francisco Law School in 1986, where she passed the bar exam on her first attempt!
Jan's favorite job was as a VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) worker, the Domestic Peace Corp where she was involved in community service, mostly teaching for $300 a month and living light for just $10 a week with no electricity and running water! She was also a Big Sister for 5 years in Orange County and was even named Big Sister of the year in 1992.
We met Jan when she had just moved back from Istanbul and gave her a Winery tour before we had even opened!
Her favorite wine is the Cab Franc from Grand Island Vineyards and she also enjoys Bogle Reverence, so you know she has great taste in fine wines. Having been acquaintances with Cynthia and Enver Salman for seemingly forever, it's no surprise Jan enjoys these wines straight out of the bottle or during one of the many Grand Island Vineyards events. Jan's passion is going to orphanages in Vietnam every year, to help the people and give back something to the community. Come down to the Winery and meet Jan, you will surely be glad you did!
Wine Spotlight on Sangria
By Winemaker David Shattuck
new vintages of wine are released in the tasting room, we typically discount what is left of the previous vintage of that wine. Now that we have released the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, we are selling cases of 2016 Sauvignon Blanc for only $72. While this discount makes the wine a killer deal already, I wanted to take a moment to talk about one of my favorite things to do with a discounted wine during the spring and summer months: Sangria!
Sangria originated in the West Indies around the 1700's as a single serving punch made with fruit, spices, and alcohol. It's modern version is made with a dry, aromatic white or red wine poured over a variety of fresh fruits. I love serving sangria from mid winter into fall when there is a huge variety of fresh fruits to choose from in California. Depending on the ingredients it pairs well with spanish dishes, game, bbq, and many other food types. We will be featuring a Sangria event at Grand Island Vineyards using our 2016 Sauvignon Blanc so please come out and try how delicious a well made Sangria can be. However, if you are unable to make the event, I am including two of my favorite recipes for white Sangria that you can use our Sauvignon Blanc in.
- 1 lime, thinly sliced into rounds
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced into rounds
- 1/4 cup (50 g) organic cane sugar
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) apple brandy (optional)
- 1/2 organic green apple (90 g), cored, skin on, chopped into small pieces
- 1 bottle 2016 GIV Sauvignon Blanc
Combine into a pitcher with Ice and serve after 15 minutes.
2 ripe Peaches or Nectarines sliced
1 lime, thinly sliced into rounds
1/2 honeydew melon, seeded, peeled, cut lengthwise into thirds, and sliced thinly crosswise
1/4 cup (50 g) organic cane sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) Cognac or Brandy (optional)
1 bottle 2016 GIV Sauvignon Blanc
Combine Ingredients into a pitcher with Ice. Fill glass 3/4's full and top wine glass with sparkling water to serve.
Grand Island Wine Club - Discounts, Parties and Live Events!
This month, at our quarterly Wine Club release, we are offering you the chance to bottle your own wine! Wine club members receive the first bottle FREE and can pick up their shipment here at the Winery as well.
for more information on this event.
For roughly $35 - $45 a quarter, Wine Club Members receive an initial three bottles (shipped or picked up at the winery) and the ability to customize each order from our many, many wines.
All Wine Club Members also receive an ongoing 15% off any bottle purchase as well as 20% off all case purchases! Members also have access to wine family only wines, discounts on live events, exclusive Members-Only quarterly parties and one free group tasting for up to 20 people per year!
To enroll in the
or to access your existing account and make changes on which wines you would like to receive each shipment, please login using our
online access area
To verify your account upon signup (via Billing Information or by Email) you can do so at our online
View all events, R.S.V.P. or get tickets to Grand Island Events and Tours here!
GIV After Dark - Friday, May 4th, 2018
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm - Featuring Live Music - PRICE: Free!
Join us for another exciting Grand Island Vineyards After Dark Event! This monthly event, during out after hours is the perfect place for live music and delicious wines. Buy your favorite wine by the bottle or by the glass and enjoy the talented musicians we've chosen for the event. Indoor and outdoor service is available in an intimate setting to enjoy all that Grand Island Vineyards has to offer.
for more information on this event!
Mother's Day Music - Sunday, May 13th, 2018
10:00 am - 4:00 pm - Featuring Live Music by Jon Nolan - PRICE: Free!
A perfect way to celebrate Mother's Day is to thank her with a delicious bottle of wine and some live music for everyone to enjoy. Grand Island Vineyards has both of those things covered on May 13th! Featuring Live Entertainment by Jon Nolan, Indoor and Outdoor Seating and Fabulous views of the lovely winery grounds. Click here for more information on this event!
DIY Bottle Tasting - Through May 19th, 2018
10:00 am - 5:00 pm - PRICE: Free!
Running from April 6th through May 19th, come to the winery for a very special barrel tasting. Taste an exclusive wine that you can bottle yourself during our May 19th event. Available during normal tasting hours Friday through Monday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. Click here for more information on this event!
Bottle Your Own Experience! - Saturday, May 19th, 2018
Three Start Times to Choose from: 10:00 am, 1:00 pm & 3:00 pm - Live Music - PRICE: Free!
For this Wine Club Pickup Event, if you've ever been curious about the process of wine making, then here's your chance! Visit our tasting room to bottle and label your DIY Red Blend! To RSVP, please pick a time slot on the event page here
We have a lot to offer for this event, including:
- The Chance to Bottle your Own Red Wine! The DIY Red Blend - The first bottle is free for our Wine Club Family who RSVP and additional bottles are $14 a bottle (Club Discounts Apply). For two or more bottles, please purchase ahead of time either at our tasting room or on our online store, located here.
- Label Design Competition - Fun for the Whole Family! We are also holding a Label Design Competition where we will provide all the art supplies while you supply the creative spirit. There will be both an Adult and an Under 18 category to be judged later.
To help you decide how many bottles you want, we will be barrel tasting the DIY Red Blend starting April 6th and every weekend leading up to the event. Please go to the
page and choose between a 10:00 am, 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm start time so we have some idea when you will arrive. Also, as an added bonus we have Cousins Maine Lobster Food Truck that day from 11-3. Yummy!
Cousins Main Lobster - Saturday, May 19th, 2018
Food Truck Experience - 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Whether you are coming for a normal day of tasting at the winery or coming to the BOTTLE YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE event, Cousins Maine Lobster will be selling their wonderful eats that day. Visit their website at www.counsinsmainelobster.com. Click here for more information on this event.