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
our many activities, family team members, Wine Club deliveries/pick up parties, upcoming events, live music events and our newest wines!
In this Issue: As summer continues to be a scorcher, this month we discuss the current night-time harvest with a running diary by Operations Manager Joe Salman. Also featured is a recap of this summer's fantastically attended events, an introspective look at wine making equipment, the upcoming release of Bridgehead Bubbles our new Sparkling Wine, introduction of new wine family and friends and an update on upcoming events sure to capture your interest and of course, plenty of wonderful wine.
A Diary of Harvest,
by Operations Manager, Joe
Aug 7th, 3am
FIRST NIGHT OF HARVEST! Pinot Noir for sparkling wine, Handpicked 22 tons
Aug 9th, 3am - Chardonnay for sparkling, Handpicked 44 tons (need more headlamps)
Aug 11th, 3am - Gewurztraminer, (6 workers didn't show up, 6 others left for a Quicea
ñera.) Handpicked 40 tons
Aug 14th, 10pm
- FIRST NIGHT WITH MACHINE. Gewurztraminer. 100 tons (besides some working light issues a good night)
Aug 15th, 10pm - Gewurztraminer, Machine Pick 100 tons. (tractor died in the field)
Aug 16th, 10pm
- Pinot Gris, Machine Pick 100 tons.
(feels good to start knocking some fields out)
Aug 21st, 10 pm - Harvested 16 acres Sauvignon Blanc
(7 truck loads) I'm sleepy.
Aug 24th, 10 pm - I've caught up on some sleep. Chenin Blanc, 150 tons.
Machine vs. Hand Picked Grapes
As many of you know wine grapes can either be picked the old fashion way or by a machine. The question is why are both methods still used?
The main differences are obvious the speed and efficiency of a machine vs a crew of labor are not even close, so once again why are we still hand picking anything? There is a difference in the fruit that is harvested. While hand picked grape bunches are clipped and cut off the vine similar to the table grapes you see in the store, machine harvested grapes are shook and rubbed of the vines more often than not removing berries and leaving the stem. See pictures of these Pinot Gris vines below: (pre-picked, picked, and close up).
The Grapes Come Rolling In As Harvest Begins!
By Winemaker Ed Seikel
Harvest has officially begun and the grapes have started to arrive! One of the exciting parts of this harvest, in particular, is we get to break in all new crush equipment. Over the next few months of harvest we'll be using the newsletter to introduce the different pieces of equipment that will be indispensable to us as we work to turn the incoming grapes into our next vintage of wine.
Once the grapes are weighed out, the next step is to either get them into the press or put them through the destemmer. Regardless of which path the grapes are taking, their first destination is our new horizontal hopper. We need a way to meter the grapes in a controlled manner after being dumped out of their bins, and that's exactly what the hopper does. It is basically a large screw at the bottom of a stainless steel receptacle. As the grapes are dumped over top, the screw then transports them out of the receiving hopper and into the chute at a controlled rate. While it is a fairly simple piece of equipment, and certainly not the most exciting, it serves a very important job as the first step in the processing of every load of grapes that comes into our cellar.
If you're interested in seeing this equipment in action keep an eye on Facebook to see when we'll be crushing during the week or join us out at the winery next Saturday (9/9) when we'll be processing our Pinot Noir that grows right next to the crush pad behind the winery!
Record Numbers at Grand Island Vineyards!
By Wine Ambassador Melanie Jonson
It's a very busy time of the year for our harvesters and winemakers but it's been busy in the tasting room for our wine ambassadors, too. This month's weekends have brought in passerby's on Highway 160 who take the road less traveled (or at least this side of the river less traveled) who spot our beautiful grounds and our favorite Wine Club family members alike. You're all our favorites, by the way. Whether someone is coming to buy their go-to bottle or it's their first time experiencing our tasting room, we've been pouring for a myriad of friendly faces we're always happy to see visit us.
This month's After Dark broke records when it came to turn out! Eighty or more came to our winery to enjoy Tressa Gaye and Friends' live music and our wine. They put on a great show outside. Plenty of patrons were shimmying along with the beat on an impromptu, concrete dance floor. While our Roasting and Toasting event didn't have any live music, it was still just as fun. It reminded a lot of us of our camping days, huddling around a fire with friends and family and enjoying each other's company. Our hot dogs were barbecued thanks to Joe, our watermelon cut because of Tess, but the real staple of the evening was the gourmet s'mores. Delicious!
Stella and Dot also hosted their Pop Up Party on our grounds this month. I recommend taking a look at their fashion jewelry on their website! As for me? I think it's time to buy something pretty for myself.
GIV Wine Family
Say Hello to Family Members Mario Moreno and Sheila Runion!
Mario and Sheila have a special place in the Grand Island family. Not only were they the first couple in the tasting
room when we opened,
but they were also the first to comment on social media AND the first wine club members! Residing in Elk Grove, Mario grew up in Hood, was a Delta High graduate in 1981
and graduated from CRC with a Solar and Alternative Energy degree.
Mario also worked at SMUD and
as a Dock Boy.
in Lake Tahoe and graduated from South Lake Tahoe High School and worked the tables as a blackjack dealer at both
for over 8 years
before working for the Elk Grove School District and the Toby Johnson Site Controller
Our "First Family" (if you will) drove by for a year plus, just waiting to come in! They grew to love Grand Island through the hospitality of the staff, knowing everyone by a first name basis, the quality of the wines, excellent price point and consistent quality all around. What's funny is Mario's mom worked with Cynthia Salman at Bates Elementary and was Joe Salman's teacher's aide in Kindergarten! Small world. Mario's favorite Grand Island wine is the Cab Franc, preferably at Hood Supply with a Rib-Eye Steak.
Sheila enjoys the Grand Island Winemakers Blend Red and loves to drink it in the back yard
. In those rare instances they are not drinking Grand Island wine, Sheila likes
Foot Stomp Zin and Mario prefers the BV Georges de Latour. Not too shabby, but what would you expect from a couple who have collected over 700 bottles of wine they display inside AND outside their house.
Featuring the New Bridgehead Bubbles Sparkling Wine!
By Grand Island Winemaker David Shattuck
This month we are featuring a new addition to the Bridgehead label that will be debuted at the After Saturday Event on Sep 10th. We are excited to introduce Bridgehead Bubbles, our new Sparkling Brut Rose. This sparkling wine is produced in the traditional methode champenoise, which means that the sparkling wine undergoes its second fermentation in the bottle and is allowed to age on yeast lees. We like this type of production because it brings notes of biscuit, yeast, and brioche to the aroma and provides a smaller more delicate bubble. For those of you that stick to drinking sparkling wine only for celebrations, it is actually an incredibly food friendly and versatile wine. The high levels of acidity allow it to be paired with nearly any dish from pizza to rib-eye steak to sushi. We hope to see you all at the release party on September 10th trying this fun new wine.
Grand Island Gro
So Much Fun This Summer and it Keeps Coming!
What a Summer it's been, we've had a blast, hopefully you came by to join us for our many events, including the First Friday event every month featuring live music, our Driven to Drive event featuring luxury, rare and exotic vehicles or even our Roasting and Toasting event complete with educational walking tours.
We always invite you to use our grounds, our tasting room, our barrel room, around our fire pits and so much more! If you are interested in having a private event, wine tasting or just to gather more information, please use our online request form, stop by, or call us anytime at:
Preparations Begin for Winter Wine Club Selections!
Besides awesome wine delivered to your front door, Wine Club Members also get 15% off all bottle purchases, 20% off case purchases, access to family only wines, exclusive Members-Only Parties quarterly and one free group tasting (up to 20 people) per year. For between $35 - $45 a quarter, Members receive 3 bottles (shipped or picked up) and the ability to customize their order from our many, many wines.
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
Account Verification Area
View all events, R.S.V.P. or get tickets to Grand Island Events and Tours here!
GIV After Dark Event -
Friday, September 1, 2017
5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. - Live Music: TBA - PRICE: Free!
Once a month, after tasting hours are over, the real fun begins! The lights go down, the drinks get bigger and the fun goes up. Make GRAND ISLAND VINEYARDS your stop to a memorable Friday evening. Includes an intimate setting to enjoy Grand Island Vineyards Wine, Live Entertainment to be announced, Indoor and Outdoor seating and service.
to view the event.
After Saturday (Sunday Sparkling Release Party) -
Sunday, September 10, 2017
1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. - Live Music: John Nolan - PRICE: Free!
Now for Sunday, enjoy wonderful fall afternoon listening to live music and sipping wine and the new BRIDGEHEAD BUBBLES on the grounds of Grand Island Vineyards. Admission is free, the Winery is open from 10 am to 5 pm and the live music from John Nolan will be from 1 pm to 4 pm.
For the release of our new
(sparkling wine) we will be tasting and offering it for sale by the glass on that day only. Click here to view the event.
GIV After Dark Event - Friday, October 6, 2017
5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. - Live Music: TBA - PRICE: Free!
Once a month, after tasting hours are over, the real fun begins! The lights go down, the drinks get bigger and the fun goes up. Make GRAND ISLAND VINEYARDS your stop to a memorable Friday evening. Includes an intimate setting to enjoy Grand Island Vineyards Wine, Live Entertainment to be announced, Indoor and Outdoor seating and service. Click here to view the event.
Vineyard Harvest Dinner
- Saturday, October 7th, 2017
5:30 - 9:30 p.m. - Live Music by After Glow - PRICE: $55.00 - $75.00
If you missed last year, be sure to ask around! This event is amazing with wine and food pairing under the stars in the clean country air and night sky. Gourmet Multi-Course Meal Prepared by All Seasons, All Reasons Catering & Event Design with Grand Island Vineyards Wine Pairings! Menu currently being developed, but rest assured we will let you know as soon as we finalize the event.