Scott Harvey Wines

Blog

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
Jana Harvey
 
September 25, 2019 | Jana Harvey

The Story Behind Four Labels

Each of our wine labels was carefully and thoughtfully designed, but there are four in particular that stand out amongst the bunch. From their unique stories to equally noteworthy labels, our Tickle Me Pink Rosé, One Last Kiss Red Blend, InZinerator Zinfandel, and Angel Eis Ice Wine have especially fun histories. These are four colorful stories you won't want to miss!

Tickle Me Pink Rosé

The story of this fan-favorite is rather short and sweet, but very serendipitous. We saw the picture in a gallery in Jerome, Arizona, and Scott was not only instantly attached to it but he loved how fun and different it was.

When a shareholder came up with the name for our new Rosé, we knew we had the perfect label for it. We contacted the artist and purchased the rights - the rest is history!







InZinerator Zinfandel

Just like our Rosé, one of our shareholders came up with the name of this wine. Our nephew, Michael, is a graphic designer and we gave him the task of designing something with a superhero theme.

We originally had three different labels of superheroes to choose from, but retailers weren’t quite ready for the comic book-look so we tamed it to the unmistakable “Z”. Fun fact: the state of North Carolina actually outlawed the label because they thought we were trying to sell wine to children!

We were ultimately looking to appeal to millennials, but this wine quickly became a favorite of Scott Harvey fans of all ages.


Angel Eis Ice Wine

Our nephew, Michael, once again had a hand in creating the design for this bottle. He was also the inspiration behind the name because when he sent us his various design ideas, he would provide a title for each one. This particular draft he named “Angel Ice” and we thought the name was perfect.

The first couple of vintages were named Angel Ice, but the Tax and Trade Bureau didn’t approve this name because it wasn’t a true Ice Wine. Scott then changed “Ice” to the German word, “eis”, and it was approved.

The beautiful blue/green color of the bottle is one Scott has always used for his dessert wines, so he kept true to that trend with this wine as well.

 

One Last Kiss Red Blend

We originally wanted to call this wine “Kiss” but because the band Kiss already has rights to it (fun fact: the band actually sent us a letter about it!), we were ultimately unable to use this moniker.

Scott then wanted to call it “One More Kiss”, but Jana thought “One Last Kiss” was more romantic. Many people felt it sounded a bit sad as being the “Last Kiss”, so we recently updated it to “Just One Last Kiss” so it didn’t sound so final.


The label design was inspired by a group of women that visited us every year from Arizona. When they came one year, Scott planned to have poster boards set up with red lipsticks and had everyone kiss the board. Even their bus driver got into it! Their lips are what you see on this label.

 


Naming and creating the design of our labels is easily one of the most fun parts of the process, but it’s also equally important to ensure they stand out amongst the countless other options out there in the wine world. We hope we’ve inspired you to share these stories with friends and family the next time you’re sipping on any of your Scott Harvey favorites!

Cheers!

- Jana Harvey

Time Posted: Sep 25, 2019 at 10:47 AM
Scott & Jana Harvey
 
August 30, 2019 | Scott & Jana Harvey

Steps of Wine Making: Harvest to the Glass

Harvest is upon us! It’s the time of year when your favorite Scott Harvey varietals are being plucked from their vines and crafted into the wines you know and love. This will be Scott’s 46th harvest (we still can’t believe it!) and he hasn’t missed one since 1974. 

The exact steps in the harvesting process will vary in time, technique, and technology based on the grape, but, for the most part, each harvest includes the same basic vine-to-wine steps. Curious how this process works? We’re doing a deep-dive into how your Scott Harvey favorites are made. 


Step 1: Veraison and picking the grapes

The grapes have now been through veraison, and it’s time to pick! This year’s vintage will produce some big differences from region to region within our state. Having started with a wet winter, we’ve had plenty of moisture in the ground to develop and grow a healthy crop. 

Grapes that flowered early, like in the Central and Napa valleys, are ideal in size and have had a successful growing season. Areas that budded late, such as the high elevation regions in Amador County or Lake County, were caught flowering in unfavorable conditions (such as rain or hail)and many of the flowers did not germinate. This gives us what we call “shot berry”, which means these vineyards will produce less than normal. However, the good news is that the resulting wine tends to be more flavorful and extractive.
 

When it’s time to pick, the grapes are either cut from the vine by hand or picked by machine, depending on the winery. We prefer the grapes to be hand-harvested at night – when they are picked at a temperature that is too warm, the crushing process develops unwanted bitter components and phenolics in the wine. If we receive grapes picked under hot conditions during the day, they are placed in our air-conditioned winery overnight and crushed the next day when they’re cold. Hand harvesting is more labor-intensive, but can offer superior results. At this point in the process, the grapes are still intact with their stems. These will all be removed in the next step.


Step 2: Crush the grapes

No matter how or when the grapes were picked, they all get crushed in some fashion at this step. The de-stemmer, which is a piece of winemaking machinery that does exactly what it says - removes the stems from the clusters and lightly crushes the grapes.

For white wines, once crushed, the white grapes are transferred straight into a press. All of the grapes are pressed to extract the juice and leave behind the grape skins. The pure juice is then transferred into tanks where sediment settles to the bottom of the tank. After a settling period, the juice is then “racked”, which means it’s filtered out of the settling tank into another to ensure all the sediment is gone before fermentation starts.

Similarly, with red wines, the grapes are de-stemmed and lightly crushed. The difference is that these grapes, along with their skins, go straight into a vat to start fermentation on their skins. This is what imparts the red color into red wine; otherwise, red grapes would simply be some form of Rosé wine.

The sooner the clusters are de-stemmed, the less tannic the wine will be. Some winemakers want little-to-no influence of stems, while others feel that some or all stems in the fermentation fill out the wine’s texture and flavor.


Step 3: Ferment the juice into wine
 












Simply put, fermentation is where the sugar converts into alcohol. To break it down this stage mainly includes:

  • Red and white wines:
    • Yeast is added to the vats so that fermentation can take place
  • Red wines only:
    • Carbon dioxide is released during fermentation which causes the grape skins to rise to the surface. 
    • Winemakers must punch down or pump over the “cap” several times a day to keep the skins in contact with the juice.
    • The grapes are pressed after fermentation is complete. After racking to clarify the wine, the reds will spend several months aging in barrels.


Step 4: Age the wine


As a Winemaker, Scott has many choices at this step but it ultimately depends on the kind of wine he wants to create. Flavors in wine can become more intense due to several of these winemaking choices:

- Aging for several years vs. several months
- Aging in stainless steel vs. oak
- Aging in new oak vs. ‘neutral’ or used barrels
- Aging in American oak barrels vs. French oak barrels
- Aging in various levels of ‘toasted’ barrels (i.e. charred by fire)

When wines are young we taste their primary flavors, like grassiness in Sauvignon Blanc or citrus in Riesling. We may also notice some secondary notes associated with winemaking techniques, like the vanilla flavor from an oak barrel or buttery nuances from malolactic fermentation.

When wines age, we start getting into tertiary notes or flavors that come from development. This could mean young, bold hints of fresh fruit that become gradually more subdued and reminiscent of dried fruit. Other flavors, previously hidden by bold primary notes, come to the forefront such as honey, herbal notes, hay, mushroom, stone, and earth. While the proportion of alcohol, acids, and sugars stay the same, the flavors continue to change over time – which is so fun to watch!


Step 5: Bottle the wine
 

When Scott feels the wine has reached its full expression in aging, it’s time to bottle the wine for consumption. We tend to age our wines for 18 to 23 months in once or twice used French oak barrels with medium toast. Once the aging process is complete, we make them available to you!

It’s important to remember, though, that wine is a living thing and changes with time in the bottle. Depending on the wine, it can take years to decades for the molecular structure to change. That being said, 99% of the world’s wine does not need cellaring andare actually at their peak the day they are released. 

Whether you decide to enjoy your Scott Harvey wines the day you purchase or a few months or years down the line, there’s no doubt they will be wonderfully expressive, well-balanced, and enjoyable no matter the occasion. Curious about the varietals we craft, or want to pick up some of your favorites? Take a look at our wine portfolio!

Time Posted: Aug 30, 2019 at 2:51 PM
Scott Harvey
 
July 30, 2019 | Scott Harvey

Top 5 Summer Books for Wine Lovers

From phenomenal memoirs and comedic fiction novels to compelling murder mysteries, if you find fascination in all aspects of wine and food like we do, we have the best summer reads to keep you entertained through the sweltering weather. Sit back and relax with a glass of your preferred Scott Harvey Wine and immerse yourself in one of our five favorite summer reads for wine lovers. 

1.  The Winemaker by Richard G. Peterson

Winner of the “2016 Best in The World” wine book by Gourmand, Richard Peterson’s memoir is an inside look into the development of the California wine industry from family-owned wineries to the corporate world of winemaking. A key player in the wine industry, Richard was pivotal in the success of many top wineries in Napa. In 1996, our very own Scott Harvey met the renowned Winemaker at Folie à Deux when Scott was recruited as Partner, Winemaker & President for the newly purchased winery. Combining forces, Scott and Richard developed award-winning wines for Folie à Deux.

Richard also invented several wine techniques still in use today, including the “no topping, bung-and-roll” red wine barrel aging practice. He’s also the original designer of the steel barrel pallet, which allows wine barrels to be handled mechanically. This novel will give you greater insight and appreciation into the history of the California wine industry and how it’s developed into one of the best wine industries of the world. 



2. Bottled Poetry by James T. Lapsley

California's Napa Valley is one of the world's premier wine regions today, but this has not always been true. James Lapsley's entertaining history explains how a collective vision of excellence among winemakers and a keen sense of promotion transformed the region and its wines following the repeal of Prohibition. Focusing primarily on the formative years of Napa's fine winemaking, 1934 to 1967, Lapsley then concludes with a chapter on the wine boom of the 1970s, placing it in a social context and explaining the role of Napa vineyards in the beverage's growing popularity.

Names familiar to wine drinkers can be noted throughout these pages—Beaulieu, Beringer, Charles Krug, Louis Martini, Inglenook—and the colorful stories behind the names give this book a personal dimension. These strong-willed, competitive winemakers found ways to work cooperatively, both in sharing knowledge and technology. The result was an unprecedented improvement in wine quality that brought with it a new reputation for the Napa Valley. This book along with Richard G. Peterson’s book, mentioned above, gives you a good feeling for the post-prohibition wine industry.
 

3. The Secrets of My Life (Vintner, Prisoner, Soldier, Spy) by Peter M.F. Sichel


Another phenomenal memoir is Peter M.F. Sichel’s The Secrets of My Life. Peter dives into how he survived and escaped Nazi Germany to fight against the Axis and became the first head of what would become the CIA.

After his time at the CIA, he took over the family wine business and put the ancient Margaux property, Chateau d'Angludet, on the Bordeaux wine map. He later took the Blue Nun wine brand to the top of the sales tree in the 1980s. With such a diverse and remarkable life story, his unique autobiography keeps us hooked!






 

4. Corkscrew by Peter Stafford-Bow

If you’re looking for a fun - albeit provocative - book involving wine, this one is for you. You’ll learn about obscure wine varietals while following the hilariously improbable, but occasionally true tale of Felix, a professional wine buyer. 

Orphan Felix Hart is expelled from school, cast onto the British high street, and forced to make his way in the cut-throat world of wine retailing. He soon forges a promising career as his adventures take him to the vineyards of Italy, South Africa, Bulgaria, and Kent. However, his path to the top is littered with obstacles. Office politics, unhinged managers, and the British Board of Wine & Liquor prove to be his largest challenges. But, when Felix negotiates the world's biggest Asti Spumante deal, he bites off more than he can chew and is plunged into a terrifying world of the mafia, smuggling, and ruthless multinationals. This slightly risqué, satirical novel set in the world of wine and big business has been deemed “part thriller, part self-help manual, and part drinking companion.” This isn’t your average wine book, but well worth a read if you enjoy this genre.
 

5. Bruno, Chief of Police: A Mystery of the French Countryside by Martin Walker

Bruno, Chief of Police is the first installment in Martin Walker’s internationally acclaimed murder mystery series. The series follows a young bachelor and Police Chief in a small town in the Dordogne region of Bordeaux, France. The series perfectly balances wonderful sensory descriptions of the town, gourmet foods, and wines with the intricacies of daily life as a policeman. 

Bruno is a former soldier who has embraces the pleasures and slower way of country life. When the murder of an elderly North African who fought in the French army changes the rhythm of this lifestyle, Bruno must balance his beloved routines—living in his restored shepherd’s cottage, shopping at the local market, drinking wine, strolling the countryside—with a politically delicate investigation. “This novel is as tasty as a slice of Bruno’s local foie gras, topped with a glass of his homemade vin de noix,” says David Ignatius, author of Body of Lies. We couldn’t agree more!


No matter the genre you prefer, make sure you’re stocked up on your favorite Scott Harvey wine to sip while you read! We have a wine for every style of story. Cheers!

Time Posted: Jul 30, 2019 at 9:18 AM
Scott & Jana Harvey
 
June 25, 2019 | Scott & Jana Harvey

3 Ways to Enjoy Scott Harvey Wines Outdoors this Summer

One of the great things about wine is its versatility. There are countless varietals to choose from, all easily enjoyable in a range of settings. And since we thoroughly enjoy the outdoors here at Scott Harvey Wines, particularly during the summer months, we’re sharing our favorite ways to sip on your favorite wines all season long. So whether you’re more of a “beach bum”, prefer a day on the river or a weekend in the mountains, our wide variety of wines are the perfect complement to any day trip or vacation you plan this summer. Want to see why? Read on!

1. The Beach
Our Amador County winery might not be particularly close to the shore, but it’s one of our favorite places to visit! Amador County can be sweltering during the summer months, and there’s nothing like a beautiful day at the beach to get a breath of fresh ocean air.

While lighter whites and Rosés like our 2018 Jana Sauvignon Blanc or Tickle Me Pink are perfect for hot beach days, sometimes it gets a little breezy and chilly (at least at our Northern California beaches!).

Because of that, we love to bring along our 2016 J&S Reserve Syrah. Aromas of raspberry, pepper, and cherry and bright, spicy flavors make this a feel-good wine to walk along the beach with loved ones.

 

2. The River
Scott-Harvey-Wines-beach-syrah
Moving more inland but still savoring the water, a favorite pastime of ours is going to the river to relax, enjoy a meal, and cool of by canoeing or floating down. The comradery of spending time with friends and family is one of the most heartwarming parts of summer, and you can’t beat our Barberas to continue the fun in the sun!

Our 2018 Rosé of Barbera is dry in style and packed with a well-rounded mouthfeel, while our 2016 J&S Reserve Barbera is a fruit-forward wine that boasts rich, full flavors that express both the varietal and the Amador County terroir. Both wines have the potential to pair beautifully with any picnic you pack. Or, simply sip on them while you soak up the sun!


3. The Mountains

Our final favorite location to enjoy Scott’s wines is in a mountain setting, and we love our 2016 Vineyard 1869 Zinfandel anytime we head to the hills. With flavors of blackberry, fig, and violets and hints of coffee with bright currants on the nose, the old vine complexity of this wine is unmistakable and absolutely delicious.

Whether you’re sipping it in the still of the afternoon amongst the trees, on a boat on the lake, or in a group around the dinner table or a campfire, we love how this wine has the power to bring people together in even the most remote settings.
 

Scott-Harvey-Wines-Gold-Lake-GroupWe love this idea so much, in fact, that for the second year in a row we’re thrilled to host our Wine Club Weekend Glamping Trip! If you’re a wine club member, join us as we escape the city lights and leave the noise at home. Let the beautiful scenery of the Sierra Buttes be the backdrop of a beautiful weekend with friends.

From Friday, August 23rd at 2pm through Sunday, August 25th, “glamp” in style with incredible wine and food pairings at the Lakes Basin Recreation Area at the Gold Lake Beach Resort. Pack your suitcase and hiking shoes and leave the rest to us! Enjoy group hikes during the day and wine and food pairings at night prepared by our Estate Chef, Brian Overhauser.

For more information, click here, contact events@scottharveywines.com, or call us at (209) 267-0122 and ask for Melissa. 

Whether you prefer the beach, are more of a casual river dweller or enjoy the serenity of the mountains, our wines are ready to go whenever and wherever you are. Happy summer, Scott Harvey fans!

Time Posted: Jun 25, 2019 at 11:23 AM
Scott & Jana Harvey
 
May 23, 2019 | Scott & Jana Harvey

Top 5 Things to Do in Amador County from a Local

Are you in need of a vacation? Or, a “staycation” for those that are local? For some people, Amador County would be considered “off the beaten path”. While many don’t know the extensive and fascinating history behind the county, for us, it’s home. In the time we’ve had the privilege of living in Amador we’ve stumbled across many things we love to enjoy as a couple, or with friends and family when they visit. With that, we’ve put together our top five favorite Amador County hidden gems we hope you can someday enjoy.

1. The Amador City Loop

We begin our day in the city of Amador where we love starting our day at Andrae's Bakery for coffee and a sweet or savory breakfast snack. Once we have our coffee fix, we venture up the main road along the creek for a pleasant walk along the brook. After our stroll, we return downtown via Stringbean Alley which is a comfortable, flat concrete walking path. On your way back into the main part of town, you pass the Sutter Creek Gold Mine which is a fascinating piece of history.

 





2. Volcano

You read that right - Volcano! But, it’s not an active one, or even a volcano for that matter. Volcano is actually a town in Amador County. Settled in 1849, the town is named for its setting in a bowl-shaped valley which early miners thought was caused by a volcano. The early morning fog rising from the valley floor only reinforced that belief. If you take a stroll around town, you’ll feel as though you’ve transported into a different era. If you visit the old grocery store, you’ll find items that you haven’t seen in years, if ever. There’s also a charming community theater that was established in 1854 and is continued through the efforts of the Volcano Theater Company. Watching a play at the 50-seat Cobblestone theater is an absolute treat. Finally, you can curb your appetite with a savory lunch or dinner at the Union Inn + Pub.

3. Black Chasm Cavern

This is a place we always love to take new visitors. While Black Chasm Cavern was likely known by the local Miwok people who inhabited this area long before the Gold Rush, the first documented exploration of these caverns occurred in 1854 when a group of explorers braved the unknown to discover the phenomenal beauty that exists below the surface. Simple tours were held at the Black Chasm in those early days, barely penetrating the cavern system that we know today. The tours we venture on nowadays are always interesting and entertaining, and usually given by a member of the family that owns it. We find it fun to use your imagination with the shapes of the stalagmites and stalactites, while in the main part of the cavern opens up for a splendid experience overall.

4. Hikes at Carson Pass

Carson Pass is a mountain pass on the crest of the central Sierra Nevada in the El Dorado National Forest. The historic pass was a point on the Carson Trail during the Gold Rush and was used for American Civil War shipping to California until the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad. In addition to the extensive history, the hikes at Carson Pass boast some of the most gorgeous wildflowers we’ve seen in California. These trails are best around mid-summer after the snow melts, and this year should be even more beautiful with all of the rain we had over the winter! Carson Pass is a great place to partake in a variety of activities, from day hikes and backpacking to practicing your photography skills.

5. Lake Tabeaud

We don’t see a lot of water in Amador County except for the many creeks, which is why it’s such a pleasure to walk around Lake Tabeaud. This lake is a great place for walkers, joggers, canoers, kayakers, and those who like to fish. This setting is also an ideal quiet place for picnicking and bird-watching. You can enjoy a walk or fishing on the banks in this peaceful setting with shade from the surrounding oaks. While there are no motor boats, swimming, or overnight camping allowed, these trails are open year-round. We love to take a walk around this lake in an easy-to-moderate 2.5-mile loop.

While it’s easy to search “top places to visit” online for any given place, we hope this local’s perspective of Amador County will take you a bit further out of your comfort zone and into our world here at Scott Harvey Wines.

If you choose to visit or partake in any of these activities, we hope you also find some time to stop by one of our two tasting room locations in either Plymouth or Sutter Creek to round off your Amador County experience!

- Scott & Jana

Time Posted: May 23, 2019 at 7:22 AM
Scott Harvey
 
April 22, 2019 | Scott Harvey

One Earth, Three Scott Harvey Vineyards

In honor of Earth Day, we’re deep-diving into the vineyards of three Scott Harvey Wines fan-favorites!
 

We couldn’t resist the opportunity to embrace Earth Day and do a deep-dive into our spectacular vineyards. They are, after all, what gives our grapes the characteristics that shine in our wines - each wonderfully unique in their own right.

While Scott Harvey Wines is based in Amador County, we source some of our grapes from a few other highly sought after vineyards around Northern California. Because we’re in the midst of spring, it’s the perfect opportunity to hone in on some of this season’s favorites. Let’s start off close to home with our Rosé vineyards.

Hailing from our very own Amador County where Scott has been making wine for over 45 years, our Rosé of Barbera is long-time Scott and Jana Harvey fan-favorite.

Shenandoah Valley is an American viticultural area (AVA) in the heart of California's once-thriving gold-mining country. Although Zinfandel reigns supreme here (check out our red wines!), the region also produces high-quality Italian favorites like Sangiovese and Barbera.

This Barbera vineyard used for our Rosé of Barbera sits on a hilltop overlooking the entire Shenandoah Valley. These flavorful Barbera grapes are harvested early to produce this light, crisp, and dry Rosé. It is produced in the “Halbtrocken Kabinett” 

style, which is the lightest style of Riesling done half-dry (or slightly sweet). Scott loved producing this style of wine while he went to winemaking school and worked in Germany many years ago.

In Amador, hot, sunny days turn to cool evenings bringing breezes that blow down from the Sierra Nevada. This drop in temperature allows the grapes time to close down their ripening processes overnight, retaining the acidity required to create balanced wines. The refreshing breezes are also essential for ventilating the vineyards and keeping fungal diseases at bay.

The most noteworthy soils in Amador are of iron-rich decomposed granite. They’re often laced with sandy clay loam, enabling them to retain water and stay hydrated despite the county’s limited rainfall. These are ideal conditions for cultivating high-quality grapes as the vines are forced to grow deep, strong root systems.
 

Moving farther out west toward well-known Napa Valley, we then take a right and head north toward Lake County. Lake County is home to our Sauvignon Blanc vineyards, and one of the most interesting aspects of this county is that ancient volcanoes have provided much of its terroir. Ridges and hills throughout the county have been formed by ancient lava flows, and vineyards are planted on hillsides with a variety of different slopes to take advantage of the prevailing weather patterns.

We source the grapes for our Sauvignon Blanc from the Olden vineyard, which is located on the northern shore of Clear Lake. The vineyards are located against a large pear orchard and these sandy, alluvial soils drain well to produce our wonderfully flavorful Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is made to be fresh and crisp to preserve the wines ability to tell the story of the vineyard it comes from, and the varietal character.

Gravel, sand, and even pockets of heat-retaining obsidian can be found in the areas near Clear Lake, while the lack of water in the ground leads to small berries with great concentration of flavor.

Lake County lies in the rain shadow of the Mayacama mountains, and the region is generally warm and dry. The Olden vineyard experiences afternoon breezes which help to cool the grapes and extend the growing season. These warm days are followed by colder nights, ensuring berries have a slower ripening period during which they can develop varietal character without sacrificing acidity.

 

Our final stop is northwest of Lake County at the northern limit of California's quality wine-growing regions.

Scott’s favorite white wine to make is our Old Vine Riesling, and Mendocino County was the perfect place to venture to for these grapes. Nelson Ranch, where these grapes are sourced from, is the perfect vineyard for our Riesling because of the area’s cooler climate. This climate allows the grapes to ripen slowly to preserve that beautiful, well-rounded varietal character.

The Mendocino region is divided into two distinct climatic zones by the Mendocino Range, one of several mountain ranges which make up the Pacific Coast Ranges. Unusually for California, some vineyards lean toward the inland areas rather than the coast. Inland, it is significantly warmer and drier and vines are sheltered from the cooling effects of the Pacific Ocean.

We consider each of our wines to be a reflection of the complex terroir and growing conditions of the AVAs they come from. It’s always incredible to see how these factors affect the characteristics of wines, and how these can change so drastically from year to year. While Mother Nature can certainly be unpredictable at times, we’re especially thankful for these vineyards and everything they endure to provide us our grapes each year. We hope you have the opportunity to step outside and enjoy this beautiful planet today - Happy Earth Day!

Time Posted: Apr 22, 2019 at 11:50 AM
Jana Harvey
 
March 15, 2019 | Jana Harvey

Top 3 St. Patrick’s Day Food & Wine Pairings

St. Patrick’s Day is a day for feasting. Here are a few of our favorite pairings!
 

One of Scott’s goals has always been to make food-friendly wines that are approachable, easy to drink, and shareable amongst friends. If this doesn’t perfectly describe St. Patrick’s Day tradition - we don’t know what does!

In the spirit of this festive holiday, we’ve picked three of our beautiful wines to pair with three traditional St. Patrick’s Day recipes. Enjoy!

1. Corned Beef and Cabbage

What some may not know about corned beef is that it originated during the days when refrigeration didn’t exist, and foods were likely pickled or cured to preserve them. Corned beef, which is traditionally made from the brisket cut, is either pickled or cured using a super-seasoned brine or dry rub, then braised for a few hours to get deliciously tender. Irish American immigrants would splurge on flavorful corned beef which they then accompanied with their famed potatoes and the most affordable vegetable at the time, cabbage. Perhaps the most interesting tidbit about corned beef is that corn, or even peppercorn, isn’t actually an ingredient. “Corned” refers to the large salt crystals that were traditionally used during the preservation process.

With that quick history lesson behind us, let’s talk wine! There are several different directions one could go, but our top pick is a classic Zinfandel. Zin is ideal for pairing with meat and typically has a variety of spice notes that complement the savory spice of the horseradish leaving your tastebuds watering! Our 2014 Mountain Selection Zinfandel is an extremely food-friendly, medium-bodied Zinfandel with a rich mouthfeel. Its rounded complexity provides a long, lingering finish that will leave you wanting more (more wine, and corned beef)!

          

2. Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s Pie has always been a beloved dish for its comforting, filling, stick-to-your-ribs quality. In the U.S. it’s typically known as a rich, beef-based stew with a thick layer of crispy, warm mashed potatoes on top. Back in the 1700s, though, folks in England, Scotland, and Ireland used lamb as the base of the pie. Why? Because Shepherd’s look after sheep! Seems too easy, right? Well, that’s the story! However, regardless of what protein you pick, you’re sure to enjoy this Irish classic.

With a dish such as this, you need a savory wine that’s up to snuff. Syrah is a perfect pick because it typically has peppery, meaty characteristics and those naturally savory flavors you want to complement this hearty meal.

Our 2016 J&S Reserve Syrah - which won double gold at the 2019 S.F. Chronicle Wine Competition - is the perfect pairing. Our Syrah is aged in French oak barrels to develop a well-rounded wine with firmly structured tannins. Aromas of raspberry, pepper, clove, cherry, and sweet, light oak introduce bright, spicy flavors with those firm tannins that carry through the long finish.

          

3. Colcannon

All mashed potato fans are bound to love this dish! Colcannon is a traditional Irish and Scottish dish (there’s even a song about it!). The two main ingredients are creamy mashed potatoes and either kale or cabbage, which are typically flavored with butter, milk, and mild seasonings. Other popular additions include green onion or cooked, crumbled bacon.

Arguably the most difficult dish of the bunch to pair with wine, colcannon requires a wine with high acid. The decadence of the butter and cream should be balanced with the wine’s fresh, crisp acidity to help cut through the creamy weightiness of the dish by refreshing your palate between spoonfuls.

Our 2017 Jana Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect complement to colcannon because of its crisp, vegetal flavor profile. This wine is high in acid and full of herbaceous notes, with hints of lemon blossoms, melon, and flavors of fresh lemon bars and pink grapefruit that explode on the palate. It’s a balanced, enjoyable wine that pairs well with food while not overpowering it.

          

While many people associate traditional Irish foods with beer, wine is an equally acceptable and exciting contender because there are so many fantastic wine pairings to accompany the complexities of each dish. Have a St. Patrick’s Day favorite we didn’t mention? Check out our family of wines here - we have the perfect food-friendly wine for any Irish recipe!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the Scott Harvey Wines family to yours - slàinte!

Time Posted: Mar 15, 2019 at 8:19 AM
Jana Harvey
 
February 11, 2019 | Jana Harvey

4 Reasons We Love Our Wine Club Members

Our Wine Club Members have stolen our hearts… here’s why!
 

1. All You Need is Wine and Food

 

We’re foodies over here at Scott Harvey Winery, and lucky for us, many of our Wine Club Members share that sentiment! One thing we love about wine is its delectable ability to pair with food. Winemaker Scott Harvey and Estate Chef Brian Overhauser love working together to unlock fantastic food and wine combinations for all to enjoy. Whether they are bites at our monthly 3&3 Wine and Food Pairing events or hearty dishes you can cook at home, like braised wagyu beef short rib or sous vide Alaskan halibut, we love bringing people together at the table. We love that our Club Members appreciate a great pairing when they see one, so we make sure they’re always stocked up with winemaker notes and perfectly paired recipes!

2. New and Old Favorites



Speaking of great wine and food pairings, we understand wine can be very subjective and that no two palates are alike. Some of our members prefer red wines – especially our big, bold Zins, Syrahs, and Barberas. Others may prefer white wine or Jana’s bubbles, or they’re fans of all of the above and everything in between! With that in mind, we always want to ensure there’s something for everyone. We love sharing a variety of wines with you each year through the customized club options, and that you get as excited for new and old favorites as we do!

3. Two Tasting Rooms, Twice the Fun



Two tasting rooms means double the fun when our Wine Club Members come to visit! We love being able to catch up and share stories with familiar faces while pouring a new release. When our members pop in for their complimentary member tasting or Wine Club pick-up at our Downtown historic Sutter Creek tasting room or our winery in Plymouth, it’s like welcoming old friends in the door. Whether their visit is a quick trip or they stay for an afternoon and bring a picnic, we see it as a great opportunity to get to know each member and bond over our favorite Scott Harvey wines!

4. Feels Like Family



Last but far from least, we’re fortunate to host a wide variety of exclusive events and parties throughout the year that bring folks together from all walks of life. Whether it’s a Club Member who comes every year or a guest of a member who is tasting Scott Harvey wines for the first time, every time we come together it feels like a family affair!

We know there are endless Wine Clubs to join out there in the wine world, but we’re extremely grateful to our Club Members for choosing us to support and believe in. To our Wine Club Members who continue to value our mission and enjoy the fruit of our labor year after year - we love you!

If you’re interested in learning more about our Wine Club benefits and joining the Scott Harvey community, click here!

 

Jana Harvey
 
January 15, 2019 | Jana Harvey

Cooking Video: Scallops and Jana's Best Pinot Noir

Butter Poached Day Boat Scallops Paired with 2012 Jana Winery Pinot Noir, Napa Valley by Estate Chef Brian Overhauser

Pinot Noir can be tricky to pair with seafood because it is delicate, but it can also surprise and delight in many facets. Chef Brian developed a deep love of Pinot Noir from his time spent in  Burgundy where he was exposed to many fish preparations served with Pinot. Since Pinot Noir is relatively low in tannins, it gives it a good chance to enhance many seafood dishes. The 2012 Jana is one of those Pinot Noirs that has ample acidity and a freshness in its fruit profile allowing it to stand up and sing with this rich and round preparation of Scallops.

Serves 4

  • 4 extra-large day boat scallops
  • 1 stick unsalted room temperature butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1 cup chopped and seeded tomatoes
  • 2 chopped shallots
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup fresh micro arugula
  • ¼ cup EVOO

Method:
Sauté the shallots in a heavy bottom 2-quart saucepan and cook until translucent then add the peppers, tomatoes and clam juice. Cook on medium for 5 minutes, or until it’s reduced by ⅓, then add the cream. With an immersion blender, purée the sauce until combined and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Place the sauce back into the pan and reduce another 5 minutes or until reduced by ½. Salt and pepper to taste.

Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Place with the butter in a heavy zipper lock or vacuum seal bag and seal the bag using the water immersion technique or a vacuum sealer on the moist setting. Place the bag in the water bath set to 180 degrees and set the timer for 6 minutes.

To serve:
Warm four large, shallow pasta bowls and distribute the sauce evenly between them. Place the poached scallops in the center of the plate and add a pinch of the micro arugula on top of the scallop. Drizzle a little EVOO around the scallops and serve with the 2012 Jana Winery Pinot Noir, Napa Valley.

Time Posted: Jan 15, 2019 at 10:00 AM

Mailing List Sign Up

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