Scott Harvey Wines

Cart 0 items: $0.00

Blog

Gregg Fishman
 
April 16, 2021 | Gregg Fishman

Take a trip this summer without the airfare

Scott Harvey is probably best known for lush red varietal wines. Our Zinfandel, Barbera or Syrah are like Scott himself. They are products of Amador County with a hint of worldly sophistication. Scott Harvey reds are equally comfortable on the front porch swing or the best table in a fine dining establishment.

 

But Scott also makes some phenomenal whites and rose’s. These wines speak to Scott’s younger years in Europe learning the craft of winemaking. That is why all of us at Scott Harvey Wines are very excited to have a new release of whites and rose’s to share with you, including Tickle Me Pink, a perennial favorite for the summer season. (Don’t miss the Tickle Me Pink release party coming up on April 25.)

 

In addition to Tickle Me Pink, we also have new vintages of Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Riesling, Vermentino and Rose’ of Barbera. These wines embody the light, crisp, well-balanced European style of wine that Scott enjoyed as a young man. It’s great to have 2020 vintage white and rose’ wines in our lineup.

 

I was planning to offer a description of each of these wines—but I don’t have the palate or the vocabulary to write tasting notes. What I can tell you is that just like Scott’s red wines, these whites and rose’s offer more than just a nice glass of wine. They are passports to the world.

 

 

 

 

Sip the Dry Riesling, and be transported to Alsace and the banks of the Rhine River.

 

 

 

Taste the Vermentino—and you’re on the isle of Sardinia enjoying a Mediterranean sunset.

The Sauvignon Blanc is your ticket to the Loire Valley. 

And the Rose’ of Barbera? Dinner al fresco at a lakeside villa in Como…or, your own back patio.

These wines offer a sense of adventure, a taste of Europe, and wonderful accompaniments for a wide variety of cheese, bread, fish, poultry, and other foods

 

 

 

 

 

 .

 

And…the Tickle Me Pink. The best description I’ve ever heard for “TMP” is “It’s a giggle in a glass.” I’m not sure who said that first…it wasn’t me but I wish it was. This Rose’ blend has just a hint of effervescence, and beautiful blush color. It’s floral, fruity, fun, and refreshing—especially when sipped ice cold on a hot summer day. And on top of all that, it has a pin-up girl on the label.

l.

 

Please join us for the Tickle Me Pink Roll Out Party. Come dressed as our Tickle Me Pink model and enjoy free tasting for two people! Or, wear pink and enter to win fabulous raffle prizes!!!  (Reservations required for our Sutter Creek and Shenandoah Winery locations, no reservations necessary at our Old Sugar Mill tasting room.)

 

So, as the weather warms up and gathering together becomes OK again, (hopefully) take a taste of our new white and rose’ wines. They offer the best of European and Amador County wine-making. At least one of them is sure to tickle you pink.

 

 

 

 

 

Gregg Fishman
 
March 30, 2021 | Gregg Fishman

Spring has sprung at the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg, CA

Springtime in Amador County and the Shenandoah Valley means grape buds are beginning to break on the vines, wildflowers are blooming. The warmer weather makes it an idyllic setting to sit outside with a glass of wine and enjoy the annual renewal of life. The same things are true in Clarksburg at the Old Sugar Mill where Scott Harvey Wines has a third tasting site open on Saturdays and Sundays. 

 

The Old Sugar Mill was built in 1934 to process sugar beets. It closed in 1993 and sat vacant for about a decade. The beautiful, cavernous brick buildings have now been repurposed for wine production and tasting. It sits just off the levee road along the Sacramento River among Yolo County vineyards that replaced the sugar beets many years ago. The Old Sugar Mill is home to more than a dozen wineries and lots of open space. 

 

Yolo County recently moved into the "Orange Tier" and after so many people have been sheltered in place for so long, an open, inviting space to enjoy the spring renewal is especially welcome. There are usually some food trucks available on the weekends and visitors can purchase a variety of food items to go with the wine. There are tables and chairs, bench seating and an ample lawn area that allows for casual dining and sipping with plenty of social distance.

 

The Scott Harvey tasting site is in "The Boiler Room" a huge open building that is also used for weddings and other events. The tasting room staff sets up tasting tables outside as well and patrons can enjoy the spring weather as they sip Scott Harvey's spectacular wines. The site is also open for wine club members to pick up their allocations. 

 

The Old Sugar Mill is just 15 minutes from downtown Sacramento and offers easy access to Scott Harvey Wines. The tasting room staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and always happy to see Scott Harvey fans or people new to wine altogether. The setting also makes it an attractive stop for bicyclists, boaters, and day-trippers from almost anywhere in Northern California. 

 

 

The swallows have just returned to The Mill, as they do every spring to nest, giving bird watchers another reason to visit. It's fascinating to watch them flying to and from the river as they build their mud-nests in the exterior nooks and crannies of the brick buildings

.

 

Of course, Scott Harvey fans are always welcome at our Amador County winery and tasting room in the Shenandoah Valley and our second site in Sutter Creek. However, we also invite you to check out the Scott Harvey tasting room and the Old Sugar Mill. The same great wine and attention to detail in another idyllic setting.

Scott Harvey tasting rooms:

 

Old Sugar Mill, 

35265 Willow Avenue, Clarksburg CA 

11-4 Saturday and Sunday only

 

Shenandoah Valley, 

10861 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth CA, 

11-4 every day reservations required 

 

Sutter Creek,

79 Main Street, Sutter Creek CA

11-4 Tuesday-Sunday reservations required

Scott & Jana Harvey
 
February 5, 2021 | Scott & Jana Harvey

Wine and Chocolate for Valentine's Day - the perfect pairing

Chocoate and wine don't really share much of the same "terroir".

Most cacao trees are grown in West Africa, Asia, and South America.  Most South American cacao is grown in Brazil and Ecuador, not wine producing countries like Argentina and Chile.  That's because cacao trees grow best in heat and humidity.  Vines, on the other hand, do not.

Think wine goes with just any chocolate? Think again! The richness, sweetness, and center palate of any type of chocolate pairs best with wines with equal richness. They also pair best with wines that have some perceived sweetness, either from residual sugar or alcohol, and a structured tannic center and finish to help draw out the extractive nature of both the chocolate and the wine. 

With that, we’ve broken down the three most popular types of chocolate and paired them with the perfect Scott Harvey wine for you to enjoy year-round. Whether you use this for a virtual wine and chocolate tasting, a girl’s night, dinner party, or date night, these pairings won’t disappoint!

White Chocolate & Tickle Me Pink Rose

It’s no secret white chocolate is sweeter than dark, and a great rule of thumb is the sweeter the chocolate, the sweeter the wine. 

White chocolate isn't technically "true" chocolate because it doesn't contain cacao (the brown part with all the flavanols)

Since white chocolate is delicate enough to match with white wines, our sexy, sassy Tickle Me Pink delivers flavors of peaches and cream with floral notes of rose and a touch of spritz.  Sparkling wines make the pairing have extra creaminess.


 


Milk Chocolate & Forte Port-style Wine

Milk chocolate requires something a touch heavier, and our Forté Port-style wine is the ticket. Flavors of candied red fruits, raspberry, and cranberry melt into flavors of red licorice and chocolate, while the soft tannins flow into a long, sweet plum finish. This hint of sweetness coupled with earthy undertones rounds out the chocolate beautifully.

While our Port is a touch sweet, it won’t overwhelm the palate with too much sugar, meaning it can also pair perfectly with fudge and chocolate chip cookies. This wine is complex enough to make the tasting experience intriguing, but won’t clash with or overpower it.

 

Dark Chocolate & Just One Last Kiss Red Blend

Last but not least, bold and savory dark chocolate is the perfect excuse to explore a dryer wine. The polyphenols in dark chocolate mirror those in wine which can give both a somewhat bitter taste. It's also the part of the chocolate that gives you all the health benefits.The bitterness in dark chocolate is what you want to balance out with a properly selected wine pairing. 

Our first recommendation is the Just One Last Kiss Red Blend, which has 11% of our Forte Port-style wine blended in to add to the complexity of this pairing. The base of this fruit-forward red blend is Zinfandel, while the Forte laces through the wine to make up the full-bodied finish. Made with a mouthwatering balance, the wine is full of spicy cloves and blackberry fruit.

Because dark chocolate is such a show-stopper, our pairings don’t end there! Our Jana Cabernet Sauvignon hails from three vineyards all very close together off of the Silverado Trail in Napa Valley. This wine was aged for 21 months in French Oak creating a flavorful experience with well-rounded tannins, structure, and aromas. This dark chocolate works with this wine because it mellows the tannins, but also has enough fruit and structure to withstand the boldness of the chocolate. This is the ultimate classic pairing!

Finally, if you’re feeling “zin-ful”, our InZinerator Zinfandel - which has 9% of our Forte included - is also a wonderful option because it’s full of bold black cherry flavors. This wine is a lone warrior in the world of Zins, and Oak aging contributes to its rounded complexity with just a hint of sweetness.

No matter your chocolate preference, we have a wine for every type and every occasion!

Time Posted: Feb 5, 2021 at 1:30 PM
Scott & Jana Harvey
 
April 25, 2020 | Scott & Jana Harvey

Effects of COVID-19 on the Business

Listen as Scott discusses the effects of COVID-19 on wine production and how it financially impacts both our winery and wineries alike. Simply click the photo to watch the video!

‚ÄčLearn about the impacts on wine production:


Learn about the financial impacts on the winery:

Time Posted: Apr 25, 2020 at 12:09 PM
Brian Overhauser
 
March 30, 2020 | Brian Overhauser

Cooking During the COVID-19 Shelter-In-Place: As Told By Chef Brian Overhauser

As a young boy, I remember many times looking into our family pantry and saying to my mother, “there’s nothing to eat in here!” The reason I would say that is because I was only looking for what I wanted, not what was there.

At one point or another, I’m sure we’ve all investigated our pantry full of food items and simply did not see a meal. Most often we drive to the store and buy what we crave at that moment, then go home and make ourselves happy with what we want. Not a bad way to live, but things have changed this week - I’m shut-in for the first time in my life!

The Challenge

This week, I decided to challenge myself by creating spontaneous meals from only my pantry with a little help from my freezer, spice cabinet, and wine rack.

For me, wine and food pairings are about balance. With the many tastes and aromas found in wine, I attempt to marry the flavors and textures of an ingredient to a specific wine. I call this “reverse pairing”. In my perfect pairing, neither the wine or the food dominate each other. The two together deliver a level of contrast and balance that neither could achieve alone.

Complement vs. Contrast

There are two directions one can take when pairing wine with food. You can either complement the wine with similar flavors profiles, or go for contrast (as in, opposing flavors). Complementary flavor matching is generally more successful; however, while opposing flavor pairings may be more complex, the satisfaction of getting it right is extra rewording.

The most important thing to remember is to be an adventurist and enjoy the journey!

As mentioned earlier, at first glance it doesn’t appear there’s much of a meal in the pantry, so let’s investigate what might be hidden.

Option 1: Spicy Red Beans & Rice

Based on what I find first, I’m envisioning a simple but slightly spicy red bean and rice dish which will be very easy and pair perfectly with our InZINerator Zinfandel.

The main ingredient here is a bag of dried red beans, or any dried beans you might have. Canned beans would be faster, but you won’t get the complexity and depth resulting from the slow cooking with all the spices and aromatic ingredients. Even so, we’re not in much of a rush these days so you may as well enjoy it!

Simply pour the beans into a stockpot and add 2 quarts of fortified water. Then, bring to a boil and reduce to a medium-low heat for one hour. Drain the water, return beans to the pot, and add the 1 quart of fortified water. Add the remaining ingredients and set to medium-low for another hour.

I’ve put together the full recipe and everything you’ll need, here. The total time to craft this was 2 ½ hours, but that’s largely due to the cook time as the skill level is very easy. [A plate of food on a table Description automatically generated]

Option 2: Chicken Two Ways

In order to make a chicken taste close to the free-range chickens you might find in a restaurant, you must brine the bird.

I decided to brine the chicken whole, so I used a 12-quart non-reactive container, preferably with a tight-fitting lid.

My standard brine is 3 cups of salt and 1 cup of sugar, and what you do to add additional flavor is determined by what aromatics and goodies you have on hand.  [A bowl of soup Description automatically generated]

I found some citrus that needed to be used and happened to have some fresh thyme and oregano. I then filled the container with cold water, added the ingredients, and stirred to dissolve all of the salt and sugar.

Add the whole chicken and refrigerate it for 6 to 10 hours, then sit back and let the magic happen.

Now that I know I have a brined chicken in my future, what’s in the pantry?

At this point, I have no preconceived idea what this chicken will be, but here are my choices from the pantry - now the creativity and fun starts!

Oven-Roasted French-Style Chicken

To keep it simple, I chose an oven-roasted chicken. While in France, I saw a wonderful and very simple method of butterflying a whole chicken for oven roasting that cooks it very evenly. 

Simply take some good poultry shears and cut out the backbone by cutting up one side of the backbone and then down the other side. Remove the backbone, then put the chicken breast side up and press very hard on the chicken to flatten it out. Tuck the wings back and bring the leg and thigh section into the side of the breast. [A piece of food Description automatically generated]

It’s been 6 hours in the brine, and I have butterflied it as described. I then put the chicken into a 350-degree convection oven for 45 minutes, then dropped the temperature to 220 degrees for another 45 minutes. The photo included here is what this should look like.

You’re welcome to stop here and simply pair this chicken with basic vegetables and a side, such as rice pilaf or couscous. Or, you can continue on to the next and final recipe to shake it up a little!

Chicken Tacos

My lovely wife Nancy has asked for chicken tacos, so I decided to go in that direction but apply my French technique and have some fun.  [A picture containing indoor, table, room, clock Description automatically generated]

I selected enchilada sauce, a can of roasted green peppers, and canned refried beans. I also had some shredded cheese and sour cream in the fridge. As a garnish, and to bring some green to the dish, I cut a fine shred of raw broccoli off the tops simply because I had it on-hand. That’s how new thinking happens in the culinary arts - “if you have it, use it.”

Both versions of these chicken dishes would pair beautifully with our Tickle Me Pink Rose, which has an off-dry characteristic and a very nice effervescence. It’s a great wine for a spicier flavor profile such as this.

No matter what you piece together in your kitchen during these uncertain times, we hope this helps you find some inspiration and a little fun along the way! While our tasting rooms might be closed, our online wine shop remains open so you can stock up and create your own masterful wine and food pairing. If you’d like to email me directly regarding recipes or directions, please feel free to do so at chefbrian@scottharveywines.com.

Time Posted: Mar 30, 2020 at 8:45 AM
Scott Harvey
 
January 15, 2020 | Scott Harvey

History of Zinfandel and Amador County

You may or may not know how significant the Zinfandel varietal is in Amador County, but with this month being Zinfandel month for Scott Harvey Wines, Scott took some time to elaborate on the various plantings and noteworthy events of this grape in our region. Enjoy Scott’s account of the history of how Zinfandel came to be celebrated in this part of California, and how he became involved in working with the grape.

First Major Zinfandel Plantings

Zinfandel first came to Amador County during the California Gold Rush. Gold was found in the Sierra Foothills in 1848, and soon the California Gold Rush of 1849 was attracting large numbers of people from all around the world to the Sierra Nevada and what would later become Amador County. These gold miners brought a thirst with them, and soon some of them began to plant vineyards on their mining claims. Incredibly, our Vineyard 1869 Zinfandel is a vineyard that still produces wine from this period. 

The vineyard was planted on the Upton gold mining claim and was developed by Mahala Upton, a widow with six children. Not only is this vineyard still making wonderful wine, but many of her descendants are still farming in the Shenandoah Valley of Amador County today.

Second Major Zinfandel Plantings

From 1920 until the end of 1933, Prohibition took its toll on Amador County’s commercial winery production with only one winery surviving. The rest of the grape growers, including my grandfather, moved to selling grapes to the home winemaking market. They sold grapes to what we called “Jobbers”. These were people that bought grapes in wooden grape boxes and sent them east on railroad cars to the markets in Chicago and New York. In fact, some of the great wine family names you know of today started out this way. The Gallo brothers, Ernest and Julio Gallo, were both born in Amador County. Robert 

Mondavi, originally from an Italian mining community from the iron ranges of Minnesota, was sent to California to secure grapes during Prohibition.

Grape acreage in Amador County increased during Prohibition because the terroir in this county produces grapes at higher sugar levels while maintaining great acidity. Since home winemakers don’t use SO2 (sulfur dioxide), the naturally higher alcohol levels from the Amador Zinfandel would make the wine last longer, or as the home winemakers put it, “the wine was less likely to go sour.” 

Third and Current Zinfandel Plantings

During and after Prohibition, Zinfandel growers of Amador county continued to sell their grapes to home winemakers. However, things were soon to change because of a Sacramento college teacher by the name of Charles Myers. 

As an accomplished home winemaker in the early 1960s, Charles was lamenting to one of his classes about the high cost of grapes in Napa Valley.  A student-directed him to her cousins in Shenandoah Valley who grew Prohibition-era Zinfandel vineyards, and the rest is history. The high quality of Charles’ Amador county Deaver Vineyard Zinfandels got people like Sacramento wine merchant, Darrel Corti, and Napa Valley’s Trinchero family to invest in Amador County Zinfandel and promote it. From there, Corti convinced a man named Cary Gott to build a substantial winery in 1973. In 1974, I went to work for Cary Gott at Montevina Winery as an apprentice. Ever since I have been making and promoting Zinfandel from Amador County, going on 46 years now. 

Cheers to Zinfandel month and this incredible grape we’re proud to produce for you each year. If you’re local, stop in and try our classic Amador County wines - we’re open daily from 11am-5pm!

- Scott Harvey, Winemaker

Time Posted: Jan 15, 2020 at 9:32 AM
Scott & Jana Harvey
 
December 31, 2019 | Scott & Jana Harvey

Our Highlights of 2019!

2019 was quite a year! We have so many wonderful things to celebrate and highlights to share, check out a quick summary of our year below!

Time Posted: Dec 31, 2019 at 10:22 AM
Scott & Jana Harvey
 
November 28, 2019 | Scott & Jana Harvey

Three of Our Favorite Holiday Pairings

Brian Overhauser, Estate Chef
I love the saying, “a magnum bottle of wine is the perfect size for two people if one of them isn’t drinking.” While that may be a bit of an exaggeration, it’s true that magnum bottles are excellent choices for enjoying wine as a group. As the holiday season is full of group dinners, parties, and get-togethers, it’s the perfect time to dive into the wonderful world of wine magnums.
Though it seems like a leap to upgrade from the standard 750ml bottle, it really isn’t. At 1.5 liters, a magnum is the equivalent of two standard wine bottles. Given each standard bottle contains five glasses of wine, it isn’t extravagant to suggest a magnum for a table of four dinner guests – that only works out to two and a half glasses of wine per person. There are so many flavor benefits as well.

So, don’t hesitate to put some older vintage, large format bottles on your holiday table this year! Our 2012 Vineyard 1869 Zinfandel 1.5L bottle, produced in the Old World style, has a beautiful balance of fruit, French oak, structural tannins, and medium alcohol. This makes for a perfect option to pair with all of the typical Thanksgiving fixings.

 

Mollie Haycock, Assistant Winemaker
I like to start holiday meals and parties with sparkling wine, such as our Jana Blanc de Blanc. It may seem predictable, but it’s such a festive way to begin any event. To me, sparkling pairs well with so many things - especially lighter appetizers. Holiday meals for us tend to be filled with heavy foods and lots of flavors, so starting with something light is a nice balance. 

We usually start with a cheese and charcuterie board with dried fruits, jams, mustards, and local honey. Sparkling pairs great with anything you might include in a platter, and each of the items enhances something different in the wine. The natural acidity in the Jana Blanc de Blanc pairs beautifully with both soft, creamy cheese and bold, hard cheese.

 

 

 

Clinton Harders, Tasting Room Lead, Sutter Creek
One of my favorite parts of the holiday season can be expressed by a simple word: fondue. My family does our big turkey meal around lunchtime on Thanksgiving day. By the time the day ends, everyone can go for something to eat, but no one really wants to cook again. So, the day before Thanksgiving, I prepare a large batch of fondue and have it ready to heat for Thanksgiving evening. 

With a touch of a button and a little time, we’re ready to dip everything from sausage to apples in the cheesy goodness! And, a very important ingredient in traditional fondue is a white wine. The 2018 Jana Sauvignon Blanc is perfect for this. It only requires one-third of a cup, and that leaves the rest for drinking! 

Christmas Eve is all about chocolate fondue. With lots of tasty morsels to dip in chocolate, we pair this with a splash of 2011 Forte Port as a nightcap after a day of wrapping way too many presents! 

However you enjoy your favorite Scott Harvey wines, we hope you have a beautiful holiday season with good health, laughter, and lots of delicious wine and food offerings! Cheers!

Time Posted: Nov 28, 2019 at 12:40 PM
Scott Harvey
 
October 25, 2019 | Scott Harvey

Five Wine Myths: Debunked!

There are many common misconceptions about wine that often become unquestioned beliefs. We’re getting to the bottom of five of these fallacies once and for all and addressing some of the most common myths we’ve heard in our 40+ years in the wine industry.

The myth: White wine should be served ice cold

The truth: You may have heard the idea that red wine should be served at room temperature while white wine should be served ice cold. In reality, you'll achieve the best results if both red and white wines are served in between nearly ice cold and room temperature.

If white wine is served too cold, you won't be able to taste the nuances in its flavor. If red wine is served too close to room temperature, it could taste flat. So, when it doubt, chill your wine but ensure it’s not too cold. The proper serving temperatures are 49-55°F for white wine and 62-68°F for red wine.
 



The myth: Sweet wines are for beginners, not educated palates

The truth: Some of the greatest wines in the world are sweet. Sauternes, Ice Wines, Trockenbeerenauslese (a German wine classification for a rich, full-bodied style of sweet dessert wine) are sweet, but are also immensely flavorful and very age-worthy. 

For example, our Angel Eis Ice Wine is a beautiful example of this style of wine. Grown in Mendocino County, this 36-year-old Riesling vineyard produces small yields of flavorful grapes of this varietal. To create this wine, frozen grapes were pressed and fermented slowly for two months. This well-balanced dessert wine with hints of peaches, pears, and apricots boasts a long, lingering finish that’s a beautiful sunny day sipper, or pairs perfectly with blue cheese and your favorite crostini.


The myth: All wines worth cellaring are red

The truth: Older wines deliver a different spectrum of flavors from what you would taste in a young wine. Tannins keep wine fresh, which is why red wines that age well tend to contain greater amounts of tannins.

However, the sugar found in white wines helps to preserve the wine and prevent deterioration. Therefore, the sweeter the white wine, the better it will age which is why dessert wines (such as our Angel Eis mentioned above), a Riesling, such as our Jana Riesling, vintage Champagne, Sauternes, and even some dry white wines are just as age-worthy as reds. 

In addition to high tannins and sweetness, white wines with a higher acidity level are more likely to last longer because low pH levels prevent any chemical changes that would otherwise break down the wine.


The myth: White wine does not contain sulfites

The truth:
One of the most common things we hear in the tasting room is that an individual only drinks white wine because they’re allergic to sulfites. In reality, white wines actually contain more added sulfur dioxide than reds. Sulfites occur naturally during the fermentation process, so all wines — red, white, and rosé — contain some level of sulfites.

That being said, the amount of sulfites in any bottle of wine is actually quite small. In fact, more sulfites exist in common foods like eggs, raisins, cured meats and cheese, and even ketchup. So, if you don’t have any major sensitivities to these items, you’ll likely be able to consume all of our wines just fine!
 

Myth: Screw-top wines are inferior to corked wines

The truth: In many years leading up to the present day, screw cap wines were a symbol of a cheaper bottle of wine. But, times are changing and these days, winemakers (including Scott) have come around to the benefits of these once-scorned metal closures. Why, you ask? While cork may be traditional, it can come with its share of headaches including a risk of contamination with trichloroanisole (TCA), also known as cork taint, which is a chemical compound that can leave the wine with a damp, musty smell or mask its flavors all together. 

We hope we’ve helped to ease your mind by debunking these wine myths, and leave you feeling more confident with your wine knowledge so you can share with your friends!

Time Posted: Oct 25, 2019 at 3:05 PM
Scott Harvey
 
October 10, 2019 | Scott Harvey

The Effects of the PG&E Power Outage

For the last two days while in the apex of harvest PG&E elected to cut power to the whole Shenandoah Valley and Fiddletown wine appellations of Amador County. They also cut power to Napa Valley and Sonoma as well. We produce wine at three different wineries that are located in Amador County, Napa Valley, and Clarksburg. They say it is due to high wind danger. I’m not sure about the rest of the wine-growing regions in northern California, but in Amador County, there has been no wind event to speak of. I would think that PG&E would have the ability to turn on and off different areas depending on the danger in each.

This will cost our winery in revenue and potential wine quality and will probably cost the Northern California wine industry millions of dollars.

  • We have two tasting rooms in Amador County and are part of a co-operative tasting room in Napa.  Since the POS (point of sale) system or cash registers are run through the internet and on electricity we are forced to close the tasting rooms depriving us of badly needed revenue to stay alive. 70% of our total sales are direct to consumer and the tasting rooms are a big part of it. Even if we did open the tasting rooms and took down the sales information on paper to enter later, there are no people out tasting because they have heard everyone else is closed. 50% of a winery’s sales revenue is generated in the fourth quarter of the year. Our tasting rooms are open daily during October, November, and December to take advantage of the needed sales revenues. I find my anger mounting when I look outside on a perfectly claim sunny day and can not open my tasting room due to PG&E shutting off the power.
     
  • At the apex of harvest, there is a lot of wines in fermenters. The conversion of grape sugar via yeast to carbon dioxide and alcohol is a reaction that creates heat. We have large cooling jackets on out tanks that dissipate the heat and keep the fermentation cool.  When a fermentation gets too hot, bitter-tasting components (phenolics) start to come out of the skins and seeds. This lowers the overall quality of the wines. The cooling system is run on electricity. Luckily, for us, all of the fermentations we have in tanks right now are past the peak period where they are producing high amounts of heat. By leaving the winery doors open the cool night air is enough for us to limp along.
     
  • Delay of harvest.  We want to pick grapes at their optimum ripeness. Not under ripe and not overripe. Two days ago, we were scheduled to pick Vineyard 1869. One most prized 150-year-old Zinfandel vineyard.  Now we have rescheduled for tomorrow depending on PG&E turning the power back on.  Hopefully, it will not be delayed too much longer.

There needs to be some better answers to this problem than just shutting off the power to all of northern California’s wine regions. Otherwise, I can see the lawsuits flying at PG&E at a time they can hardly afford any more lawsuits. The other answer is to put in a permanent high-powered generator for such occasions. Probably at a cost of $20,000 or more. 

Scott Harvey
CEO and Winemaker

Time Posted: Oct 10, 2019 at 4:21 PM

Mailing List Sign Up

Sign up for our mailing list to keep in top of news, new releases, events, and promotions.