Welcome to the Bridge - Monthly Newsletter of Grand Island Vineyards


For more than 50 years our family has tended our vineyards and grown our own grapes, for our wines, along the lush banks of the Sacramento River. We are striving to perfect the art and science of grape growing, and we’re proud to share the rewards of our labor by creating wines that showcase distinctive grapes perfectly. Bridging all aspects of our Winery from the Vineyard, to the Cellar, Winery Grounds,Tasting Room and beyond.


Here Comes the 2021 Symphony Release!

Written by Winemaker, David Shattuck


We are very excited to release our recently bottled 2021 Symphony. This wine has been a favorite in the tasting room because of the enticing aromas and flavors, along with the versatility of this wine. I recommend using symphony in place of your favorite vermouth blanc in cocktails for an interesting floral twist to a classic cocktail like the negroni. The recipe for this cocktail is included at the end of this spotlight. Our symphony is also a great pairing for spicy or heavily spiced dishes like Peruvian, Ethiopian, or Thai food. The floral component and round mouthfeel tends to accentuate the herbs and spices of these cuisines.

The 2021 Symphony pours a delicate straw hue. The initial aromas are pineapple, passionfruit, jasmine blossom, and star anise. The mouthfeel is dense with a playful sucrosity. A fresh burst of acid on the wine's finish is reminiscent of mandarin orange and kumquat.

Symphony Negroni

1 oz Gin

1 oz 2021 GIV Symphony

1 oz Red Bitter Liqueur (Compari or other)

Mix ingredients in mixing glass with ice. Allow to dilute a little while chilling. Strain and serve in lowball glass or coupe with orange peel garnish.


Upcoming Symphony Event and Wine Tastings!

Written by Tasting Room Manager, Tess Jonson


It's the first of the month and I bet you're expecting me to say it's choose your own weekend, sad to say we are taking a break. Okay, you got me, I'm not that sad. The weather is getting more and more beautiful which means we are getting much more busy and we have decided to give our wine ambassadors a little bit of a break from those crazy weekends. I will definitely let you know when choose your own weekend is back in action! 

Every weekend someone asks for Symphony and I am very happy to share with you that it's finally back! The 2021 Symphony will be released on April 9th and it will be a fun filled day. We will be welcoming back the very talented Cynthia Renee to play on our patio while you sip on a glass of Symphony and enjoy a plate of lumpia prepared by Heavenly Food Creations. Make sure to get your tickets NOW! 

While you're getting tickets for SYMPHONY & LUMPIA day, check out all our other events and get them on your calendar. GIV is back in action and better than ever! 

Be sure to check out our events calendar! GIV is back in action and we are adding lots of fun events for the future. Check your dates and add one or two to your calendar. See you soon!

See all of our Upcoming Events or Tours and Tastings at GrandIslandVineyards.com


Update on Wine Bottlings

Written by Winemaker, Ed Seikel


As you saw in David's Wine Spotlight, we recently bottled the 2021 Symphony along with our other early-to-bottle 2021 vintage wines! Overall we bottled our Symphony, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Vin Gris of Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Knowing these wines will be bottled early we moved them into topped up tanks after fermentation to limit their exposure to oxygen, and left them undisturbed until we began to prepare them for bottling. When we were ready to start the bottling process we racked the wines to remove them from any solids that may have precipitated out post fermentation and then filtered the wines. At this point the wines were brilliantly clear, and ready to be bottled! 

And with the wines now in bottle, we have a better idea of their release schedule. The 2021 Symphony is currently on the tasting menu and available for purchase as you read this, and the Chenin Blanc will be released in May. Both of these wines will also be included in the May Wine Club shipment for those of you in our Wine Club. The Chardonnay and Vin Gris will then follow with releases this summer! Tickets for the Symphony release party on April 9th are still available as well. Symphony and fresh made lumpia are too good of a pairing to miss out on so get your tickets today! 


History and Specifics about Symphony Wine

Written by Operations Manager, Joe Salman


As we release our cult favorite wine the 2021 GIV Symphony this month, I would like to give everybody some history and knowledge about the variety Symphony and the Salman Vineyard Symphony that goes into our wines.

First and foremost, if you hadn't heard yet Symphony is a grape variety, otherwise we wouldn't have put it into our Grand Island Vineyards brand which is single varietal wines, where winemakers ensure the varietal characteristics are showcased for you and not blended over or covered up by huge amounts of oak.

But back to Symphony and what makes it so special. Symphony was developed by Dr. Harold Olmo of UC Davis in the 1940s, who crossed a Muscat de Alexandria with a Grenache Gris and came up with this new grape variety. As is the case with most of Dr. Olmo’s crossings, this white wine producing grape varietal was originally developed to be utilized in hot growing conditions of California’s Central Valley.  And thus, and very uniquely, Symphony is a true variety of California. The Symphony variety was released commercially in the mid 1980's.

If you want to read more the work at Davis going back to the 1800s and even some info on Zinfandel/Primitivo lineage take a quick look at this: UC Davis Winebook

Around that same time, Glen Ellen Winery was founded in 1980 by the Benziger family and quickly ramped up production of their Glen Ellen Proprietor's Reserve which utilized blending Clarksburg wine grapes with Sonoma county wine grapes. Glen Ellen winemakers fresh from UC Davis were obviously very high on the new variety of Symphony and in 1985 our Symphony was planted as a contract for Glen Ellen Winery.

I can remember when we first started machine harvesting and harvested the Symphony grapes. I had never smelled such an amazing floral aroma in the air while our huge machines blazed through the vineyard.

Now since those days, Glen Ellen Winery was bought and sold by various beverage companies and long story short our Symphony vineyard has been downsized, however we have kept just enough for our winery and for you to enjoy. WITH LUMPIA!

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