The Bridge News
April 2018 - Vol. 14
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 our ongoing Certified Green and Sustainable Farming efforts, read part two of our series on the importance of using oak barrels and get ready for our first ever BOTTLE YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE! Also, meet some more of our great family and friends. Learn about the newest bottling of our 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and its upcoming Wine Club Release party on April 21st, featuring food pairings and live entertainment!

PLEASE NOTE:  We will be closed on Easter Sunday.
Vineyard News
More "Certified Green" Vineyard News
by Operations Manager, Joe Salman

In any long term sustainable farming operation you must care for the soil and earth that your crops grow in.  We have used many techniques for years to sustain and improve many of our soils attributes, which has shown many benefits in the vineyard and wines.

One of the two main techniques that we use are a mulching program of shredding vineyard pruning's to go back in the soil as organic matter. 

The second technique is the planting of different types of cover crops between vine rows to not only add organic matter but also to aid in various soil functions.  Without getting too much into the cover crops and what each type plant (grass, forage, legume, vetch) does specifically, here are some of the highlights:
  • By adding a diverse plant and root species to the soil, you increase the soils bio-diversity and number of bacteria and fungi species.  These micro-scopic soil species are what actually break down nutrients to get them in the form plants and vines can use.
  • Some plants like mustard and radish can actually send deep tap roots down that will break up soil "hard pans" created by equipment.
  • Other plants like the Fava Bean (in the cover crop mixture photo) actually has the ability to take Nitrogen out of the air and store it down in the soil.  This can take the place of Nitrogen applied as a conventional fertilizer.
These things above combined with minimizing the harmful effects of hard winter rain and spring wind makes us all very proud to be stewards of the land.  We hope you can come out to enjoy the visual beauty of it sometime soon.

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Cellar News
Part Two - The Importance of Oak Barrels on Aging,
Taste and  Character -
By Winemaker Ed Seikel

Last month we went over the reasons we use oak as a tool in the wine-making process.  This month we'll cover how the type of oak, grain tightness, and toast levels affect what the barrel will contribute to the aroma, flavor, and structure of a wine during barrel aging.

Here at Grand Island Vineyards we use two main types of oak: French and American.  French oak is the more subtle and complex of the two, with hints of baking spice, roasted coffee and creme brulee, along with silkier and creamier tannins.  American oak by comparison is much more bold.  It's a more dense wood with a strong sweet vanilla, smokiness, pronounced "oaky" character, and bigger "chewier" tannins.

The grain of the wood is the average width between the average growth rings of the tree.  A tight grain yields a slower release of oak compounds over the aging process contributing to complex aromatics and richer mouthfeel for wine varietals with more refined and subdued tannins.  A wider or looser grain releases its tannins and aromatics much more quickly, making it a good candidate for wine varietals with intrinsically big and bold flavors and tannins.  While both types of oak can have a wide range of grain tightness, allowing us to really fine tune what a barrel will contribute, in general French oak will have a tighter grain than American oak.

Toast level can play one of the biggest roles in what a barrel will contribute to a wine as it ages.  Through the toasting process oak compounds are broken down and destroyed.  This process increases aromatics and flavor compounds, while decreasing tannins.  A light toast barrel contributes only a small amount of aromatics while drastically increasing the amount of tannin in the wine.  A heavy toast barrel will add bold smoky and charred aromatics while hardly adding to the wine's structure at all.  As the toast level increases a barrel will go from light sweet oak, to creme brulee and vanilla, to brown sugar and spice, to roasted coffee and dark chocolate, all the way to the smoky character of a campfire.

Taken all together the amazing amount of options available in barrel type, grain, and toast gives us, as winemakers, an incredible tool for us to bring you the best wines possible.

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Tasting Room
Make Your Own Bottle of Wine Event!
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 online!  Starting April 6th, stop by the tasting room 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!

We also had yet another successful release party! The staff at Grand Island Vineyards was decked out in their pink shirts while pink balloons filled the tasting room floor. The Kyle Tuttle Band rocked the outdoors while the Rosé of Cabernet rocked everyone's taste buds! Rosé is now a part of Grand Island's tasting options and is available for purchase. Come get a bottle or twelve while supplies last!

Reminder, Grand Island Vineyards will be closed on Easter!

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GIV Wine Family
Say Hello to Keith and Sharon Hayes!

Meet our wonderful friends and Grand Island wine club family members Keith and Sharon Hayes. Keith and Sharon are such interesting people, it's hard to know where to even begin! Elk Grove residents and Grand Island Wine Club members for over a year now, Keith is a Civil Designer for the California Pipe Fabricators and and has a degree from Chicago State in Draft Tech Engineering. Sharon on the other hand, is an Educator and Realtor for the EG Unified School District, and has a degree from San Francisco State University in Psychology and Business. Interesting past work for Keith was that he designed the Sacto Regional Wetlands, and for Sharon, she was a Raiderette! That's pretty awesome all around, and a nice example of the wonderful caliber of people we get to see and meet every day at Grand Island Vineyards.

Both love the friendly customer service and how they truly feel like family each time they come to visit. They enjoying spending time with Tess, Jan, Sherry, Gayle and Mel, and have even said Keith had quit drinking wine until he found Grand Island wines, and now ONLY drinks our wines! What a feather in our caps :) 

Keith enjoys the Grand Island Red blend after work, while Sharon prefers the BRIDGEHEAD Bubbles, in the tub, with more bubbles. That's a lot of bubbles! Sharon also enjoys Trader Joe's Almond sparkling wine, and well, we can see why.   Both Keith and Sharon enjoy music, as Keith is also a drummer, and Sharon has the ear in the family, she loves to listen. If you come to visit during a special event at the Winery and Vineyards, you may get a chance to meet both Keith and Sharon. we promise you that you'll enjoy it and we are very proud to call them both family and friends. 

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Wine Spotlight
2017 Grand Island Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc
By Winemaker David Shattuck
Ed and I are very excited to talk about how much we love the new 2017 GIV Sauvignon Blanc.  However, first we want everyone to be aware that GIV is going to be offering it's very first bottle your own wine experience.  This red blend is delicious young red wine featuring Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Sirah.  We really enjoyed crafting this new blend and recommend everyone come down to the winery over the next month to taste it from the barrel prior to the May bottle your own event.

The new 2017 Grand Island Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc opens with notes of Passion-fruit and grapefruit pith.  The bouquet evolves into hints of jasmine blossom, brioche, and ripe peach.  The wine has firm acidity and a delicate minerality that is reminiscent of chalk.  The finish is markedly long with repeated flavors of nectarine, boxwood, toast, and Passion-fruit that power into a mouthwatering sensation.  This wine fermented in stainless steel tank and was moved into neutral barrels to age.  We believe that this style of fermentation and aging creates a wine that highlights both varietal character and richer barrel aged notes.  Please come by and enjoy the release party for the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc.
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Wine Club
Grand Island Wine Club - Discounts, Parties and Live Events!

So many new wines! How do you stay on top of all the different wines we are releasing? Join the Wine Club! For roughly $35 - $45 a quarter, 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  Wine Club , 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  Account Verification  page.  

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Upcoming Events 
View all events, R.S.V.P. or get tickets to Grand Island Events and Tours here!

GIV After Dark Party - Friday, April 6th, 2018
5:30 - 8:30 p.m. - Live Music - PRICE: Free!

Join us in GIV's tasting room, during our after hours, for live music and delicious wine! Buy your favorite wine by the bottle or by the glass and enjoy the talented musicians we've chosen for the night!  Starting at 5:30 p.m., the evening includes an intimate setting to enjoy Grand Island Vineyards wine, indoor and outdoor seating and live entertainment with the band, "She Calls Him Wilson." Also featuring food vendor Staves Pizza, who uses barrel staves as the wood source for their oven!   Click here  to view this event.

Sauvignon Blanc Release Party - Saturday, April 21st, 2018
1:00 - 4:00 p.m. - Live Music - PRICE: Free!

Another release, another event! We have a brand new vintage of the Sauvignon Blanc available, so stop by for a taste! Featuring live music and a food pairing of pesto pizza with garlic and olive oil, enjoy the fabulous weather combined with magnificent views of our lovely winery grounds and beyond. Admission is free and we will be featuring both indoor and outdoor seating to enjoy this new fabulous release of the Sauvignon Blanc!   Click here  to view this event.

Bottle Your Own Experience! - Saturday, May 19th, 2018
Three Start Times to Choose fron: 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 Event/RSVP  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.

Visit our Online Store for Tickets and/or to RSVP
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