The Bridge News
January 2020 - Vol. 34
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: The beginning of the new year is an exciting time for all of us at Grand Island Vineyards. So many possibilities that lead to great wines.  Learn how we manage the vineyard through what's called crop load management and the pitfalls of improper planning! Learn how the grapes go from the vine and get into the bottle, see some of the great events coming up in the tasting room and meet some more of our wonderful friends and family!  Our wine spotlight features the upcoming 2018 Fiano which is always a crowd favorite and our wine clubs are looking forward to a special fondue Valentines Pick Up Event! We wish you an healthy and happy New Year from all of us at Grand Island Vineyards!
Vineyard News
The Start to the 2020 Grape Year Has Officially Begun!
by Operations Manager, Joe Salman

It's true.  We are planning and making moves now that will determine the grapes harvested this fall that will wind up in the 2020 vintage of wines. Very important stuff. 

The main aspect of creating the quality grapes and wines we are all used to is what's called  crop load management for vines.  Meaning how much does each plant produce and what is the distribution of that production?  

Too much fruit and the wine is tasteless having little acid, tannin or worse yet, won't even ripen at all!  Too little fruit and the resultant wine is very green and vegetable tasting.   If the fruit gets too densely packed together there can be color issues resulting in low quality wine, or even rot problems!  The key to all of this proper crop load management is the most important vineyard job of all - pruning.  

Everybody knows the term pruning, but specifically what we are doing is cutting off a large number of the fruiting bud wood.  No pruning and the number of grape clusters would increase dramatically, which sounds nice, but as mentioned before results horrible wine quality.  Poor pruning and not thinking about the spacing of the fruiting bud wood left behind results in pretty rotten grapes come September.  It's a true combination of science and art, as each vine gets pruned by hand to make this happen.

So while we will no doubt be sipping something amazing in the year 2021, we can  reflect back to this point and decide if those decisions were the correct ones! That'll be fun.  Over Christmas, I finished off my last bottle of 2017 GIV Pinot Noir (yum!) and spent some time reflecting back on the pruning and other cultural practices (along with weather that year) that made such an amazing jump in quality of our wine.

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Cellar News
How Do We Get All Those Grapes in Your Bottle?
By Winemaker Ed Seikel

Bottling is in a few weeks and I thought it would be interesting to talk about how the bottling line itself works.  As many of you who have gone on tours of our cellar may have noticed, we don't have our own bottling line.  Instead, we bring in a mobile bottling line that is enclosed in a trailer.  They come in the day before and get set up, and then we make sure our wines and bottling supplies are ready to go.

Pallets of empty glass in their cases are placed behind the trailer to one side, so that someone standing on the back can easily grab the cases, flip them over to empty out the bottles, and send them down the conveyor.  From there the automated line takes over. 

The bottles are cleaned and sparged with nitrogen to remove oxygen inside.  Next, the bottles are filled with wine, and then corked under vacuum to again limit the amount of oxygen in the bottles.  Capsules are then applied and spun down tightly onto the bottles, followed by the labels.  The bottles then leave the automated section of the line on a conveyor that leads to the back side of the truck where someone is waiting to put the filled and finished bottles back into the now empty box.  The full cases are the stacked up on pallets for storage in the back of our cellar where they wait for their eventual release in the tasting room.

By being able to have the bottling line come to us, we're able to maintain our control and oversight of the winemaking process, and our wines never leave our facility from the time the grapes are picked until you purchase a bottle for yourself from our tasting room and take it home!

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Tasting Room
New Year = New Wines!
By Tasting Room Manager Tess Jonson

Join us on January 18th from 1:00 - 4:00 pm for the official release of our newest vintage of Fiano. We will be providing live music by Mike Kalend and also having a food pairing to go along with the Fiano. If you missed any of our reserve weekends because of your busy holiday schedules, no worry, Reserve Weekend is back! Not only are we releasing the Fiano but you will get another chance to taste some of our Salman Family Reserve wines. We hope to see you there!

We know the holidays can get a little pricey and sometimes break the bank, to help us all out we have decided to push the February shipping charge back two weeks to February 15th, which will also be the same day as the Valentine's pick-up party!

Bridgehead RED and Rouge et Blanc are back! We will have a chocolate fondue bar to pair with the wines and some live entertainment by Fish n' Chicks so put on your dancing shoes and join us for the Valentine's pick-up party February 15th, from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. 

Check out all our events or RSVP online!

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Wine Family
Meet Judy and Skip Vandeventer!

Say hello to Judy and Skip Vandeventer! Judy and Skip have been wine club members since 2015 when we first opened our doors, so we've had the pleasure of knowing them for a very long time. They came to love Grand Island Vineyards when driving by the area and watching the building start from the ground up. Upon our grand opening, they decided to drop by and check it out and quickly fell in love with the grounds, the wine, the staff and of course Tess and Mel.

Currently residing in Isleton, they've been in the Delta for 20 years after moving from Michigan and falling in love with the river life. Educated at the School of Hard Knocks in Michigan, both Judy and Skip are retired from working hard in their respective fields. Skip worked in Fire Alarms and Judy worked at the Spindrift General Store in Isleton. Before this, Judy ran a Roller Rink in Pittsburgh for 15 years and doubled as a seamstress for the roller kids, making costumes for them when they came in. Skip began working in the Fire Alarm industry as soon as he could walk, and even became known as the "Simplex Guy" for his vast knowledge and experience.

Judy and Skip like to enjoy wine with their dinner, drinking on their dock and watching the beautiful sunsets. Their current favorite GIV wine is the 2017 Cabernet Franc, but they have enjoyed the Bridgehead RED as well. They also enjoy the Bogle Petite Sirah which they have been drinking for seemingly forever!

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Wine Spotlight
New Wines for the New Year are Looking Good!
By Winemaker David Shattuck

As we look forward to 2020, there are a number of exciting wines we have in that will be releasing this upcoming year.  For all our great customers and members, Ed and I want to say thank you for continuing to visit Grand Island Vineyards and we very much enjoy the time we spend with you during the events throughout the year.

Our first wine we will be releasing in January is our 2018 Fiano and we will be pairing it with some tasty olives.  The Fiano is a great, heavier-bodied white wine that can hold up to a variety of football type snacks.  I particularly like it with chicken wings or nachos so make sure to grab some of it for the upcoming football playoffs.

Some of the other projects we have in the works:  Merlot, an Orange Wine, and another round of After Dark dessert wine.  Our next bottling is in January so please stay tuned for the exciting wines we will begin releasing in February of this year. 

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Wine Club
Happy New Year, Members!
By Wine Club Ambassador Melanie Jonson

GIV WINE FAMILY (3 bottles, quarterly shipments, 15% discount on GIV and Bridgehead)

The 2018 GIV Fiano, 2017 GIV Cabernet Sauvignon and BRIDGEHEAD Bubbles are still waiting for you in our tasting room if you haven't picked up. As we have pretty much sold out of our Cabernet Sauvignon, we're only giving it the remaining bottles to our members in their shipment! Don't miss out on this delicious wine. We'll hold these three wines for you until January 26th, 2020 but if you haven't grabbed them by then, we will be shipping them to the address you provided to us.

You can stop by the winery any Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday from 10AM to 5PM to pick up your wine. It might be getting rainy, but through wind or storm, we will still be open on those days. Warm up a little with some wine and take shelter in our tasting room.

Have questions about your wine club? Want to know something specific for an event? Then feel free to contact us via telephone, email, or come to our tasting room. Our hours are Friday through Monday, 10 AM to 5 PM. We also recommend that you add  [email protected] t o your contacts to ensure emails don't end up in your spam folder.

RESERVE CLUB (2 bottles, biannual shipments, 20% discount Salman Family Reserve)

And a Happy New Year to our Reserve Members, too!! I checked and all of our Reserve Members picked up their wine in the Fall Shipment so I don't really have much to say here other than you're all awesome and get ready for the next one in Spring!

Those of you who are a part of both of our clubs, GIV Family and Reserve, remember that you get a 20% discount off all wines! Yes, even Bridgehead and our Grand Island Vineyard label.

If you are not already in the Reserve Wine Club, or to access your existing account, please sign up or log in using our online access area on our website. To verify your account upon sign up (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!

We missed you on New Year's Eve, but on the first AFTER DARK of 2020 we will be celebrate again with live music and great deals on our BRIDGEHEAD BUBBLES!

Event Duration: 3 hours - 5:30 - 8:30 pm
Price: FREE!


We're giving the 2018 Fiano the recognition it deserves by pairing it with food and music!

Event Duration: 3 hours - 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Price: FREE!


Join us in GIV's tasting room, during our after hours, for live music and delicious wine! Buy your favorite by the bottle or by the glass and enjoy the talented musicians we've chosen for the night!

Entertainment: Denny James
Event Duration:  3 hours - 5:30 to 8:30 pm
Price: FREE! 



CHOCOLATEEEEEE and wine! The Bridgehead RED and the Rouge et Blanc are coming back! Yes, we're excited too.

Entertainment: Fish 'N' Chicks
Event Duration: 3 hours - 1:00 to 4:00 pm
Price: $5 for Wine Club Members, $15 for Guest Ticket 


Visit our Online Store for Tickets and/or to RSVP
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