Single Vineyard Block Cabernet from our Spring Mountain Estate


One of the most exciting projects we are able to offer here at Schweiger Vineyards is our Single Vineyard Select Cabernet program.  While all of our wines are technically “single vineyard” as they are all sourced from our contiguous estate, we have gone even more micro and produced single vineyard block wines.  A vineyard block is a designated group of vines within a vineyard, sometimes bordered by creeks, trees, property lines, dramatic difference in soil type, terrain, etc.

Winemaker Andy Schweiger created the Single Vineyard Select program to showcase the diversity of our Spring Mountain estate.

The first of which is the Gate Block, aptly named for its position immediately following our entrance gate on your left, bordered by creeks on two sides, treeline one one, and our driveway on the fourth.  IT is comprised of about 55 rows and 1,756 plants.  , and is technically broken into 4 sections within the block.  The terrain is steep, rocky, and incredibly stressed due to the water runoff.  We only make 2-4 barrels of this wine, depending on the yield of the vintage.  We offer one additional Single Vineyard Carbernet, and that is our Montaire.

Montaire is sourced from a single vineyard block of Cabernet Sauvignon next to the family home.  This block is in a microclimate of its own, as it is essentially a dimple in our hilly terroir.  This allows the vineyard pocket to collect soil sediment and nutrients, along with the ability to hold onto some fog when it reaches our 2,000 ft elevation.

So bottom line, does this type of experiment make a better wine?  If you like nuance, then yes… as Beppi Crosorial  so appropriately states,

“Wine vines are highly sensitive to their local environment. They adapt in a variety of ways to different soil composition, hours of sunlight, and fluctuations in temperature, wind and humidity. Every vineyard is different and every vine variety is different.”

In our case, if you’ve been here, you can see just how different these blocks are from each other – from the slope of the land, to the shade and windscreen from the trees, the direction the sun hits them, and where the fog hangs out.  This creates obvious differences in the fruit characteristics between the two, and a strong consistency from vintage to vintage. Beppi goes on to say,

“…when one vineyard tends to produce great fruit year after year, some producers will set it aside and bottle it separately. They feel it would be a shame to water it down, so to speak, with other juice.”

While we mostly agree – on the keeping some separate idea, we also believe the converse, and don’t want to hold it back from our flagship Cabernet Sauvignon, which represents a blend of all of our Cab vineyards, and Andy’s piece de resistance, our Bordeaux style blend, Dedication, which is every year, the best wine we can make from the property, which of course, would include some of our favorite Cabernet juice from both Gate and Montaire blocks.

So can you really taste the difference, or is it just all marketing hype?

Cathy Huyghe at Forbes put a local winery’s claim to the test, and she says, Yes, without a doubt.”  However, you don’t need to take anyone’s word for it.  While these two wines are made in incredibly limited amounts (48 cases apiece), if you act fast, you can get your hands on some, and conduct your very own blind tasting at home…with or without friends to lend their own opinions!

Currently, the 2014 Vintage has only been released to our Extended Family Wine Club, however we are now opening up these wines to the rest of our customers, as a 2-bottle gift set (one of each), or as 3 bottle sets available for pickup immediately at the winery, or for shipping beginning October 14.

If you really want to get fancy, you can purchase one of the handful of verticals we are offering.  You can compare vintages of each block side by side and note the similarities in overall impact the particular season had, and how the different terroir and microclimates responded…and how they age over time.  This experience is not for the faint of heart, or wallet, but we assure you, there aren’t very many other wineries who can offer this unique opportunity.

Of course, once you taste them, we love to hear your feedback, so email your photos and thoughts to thefamily@schweigervineyards.com or better yet, post them straight to social media and see if you are in the majority of opinion!

 

Cheers,

The Schweiger Family


Why do we “Bless the Grapes”?


Our ceremonial Blessing of the Grapes is a tradition we have carried on for the past 20 plus years here at Schweiger Vineyards.  The first minister to do the Blessing was Pastor Ted Mueller, and the last 14 plus years it has been done by one of Fred and Sally‘s closest friends, Pastor Jim Beyer, of St. Mark Lutheran Church.  Most times he is joined by Pastor Dennis Durham, also of St. Mark’s, and several others who have participated along the way.

It is not unique to us to hold a blessing ceremony, however it is not simply for show.  We hold reverent the fact that God has blessed us with this land and each other, and strive to care for and steward these gifts.

Below is a chance for you to observe or participate in our annual tradition, as you hear the words of the ministers, we hope they are a blessing you to you as well.

From left to right – Pastor Jim Beyer; Pastor Mark Airey, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Healdsburg; Pastor Dennis Durham; Pastor Jim Bothwell, retired; Pastor Mike Schmid, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Napa.

Thank you for being a part of our family, we consider you a blessing as well!


Meet the Wine Families of Piemonte!


My dear friend Suzanne Hoffman, author of award-winning Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte, has developed wonderful relationships with the local wine families in her 30+ trips to this region over the last two decades, and leads unparalleled experiences for small groups…and the time has come for me to take advantage of her expertise!

I first met Suzanne in 2010 while participating in the Beaver Creek Culinary Weekend. She loved our family story and our wines even more. The following year, Suzanne asked if I could present our wines at an in-home tasting for some of her oenophile friends. Then, in 2012, she had me conduct a winemaker dinner for the local Chaîne des Rôtisseurs chapter at Mirabelle with Belgian Master Chef Daniel Joly. Suzanne even arranged for a Schweiger Vineyards winemaker dinner at the wildly popular Vail Valley restaurant, Zino, in 2013. She is family to us in every sense of the word and I always look forward to my opportunities to visit with her and her husband, Dani.

Piemonte is the enchanting region of northwest Italy that was once undiscovered, but now one of the most popular destinations for lovers of gastronomy, art, and culture.

I had an opportunity to scratch the surface of Piemonte this last July while visiting one of my coopers. They set up marvelous vineyard and winery tours, lunches, and despite their best planning, my family (almost) got our rental stuck in the mud. Suzanne’s knowledge of this region goes so much deeper and I can almost guarantee, that unlike my family experience, you won’t have to get out and push (unless you want to).

 

The Alps cradle Piemonte, Italy’s second largest region after Sicily, and dominate its diverse landscape of valleys, vineyard-carpeted rolling hills, and fertile flatland nourished by the Po River.

The region is home to myriad agricultural bounties – wine, rice, cheese, meat, hazelnuts, and the world-famous tartufi bianchi, or white truffles.  It is rich not only in gastronomic and vinous pleasures, but in history, culture, and architecture.  Despite its capital, Turin, hosting the 2006 Olympics, its notoriety as a premier wine region, and growing popularity among wine tourists, Piemonte remains an under-discovered part of Italy.

Tour Highlights

  • Highly personalized culinary, wine, and cultural experience with expert guides in a small group (maximum of 12 guests)
  • Quality time during winery visits and all dinners with local wine producers
  • Dine at quaint trattorie and Michelin star restaurants
  • Personalized visits to some of Piemonte’s leading wineries
  • Visit with local guide to Alba’s Saturday morning mercato
  • No hidden costs

Suzanne’s Labor of Love Piemonte tours sell out fast, so don’t wait to join in on this bucket list worthy adventure!

Anduma a Piemonte!  Let’s go to Piemonte!

Schweiger Vineyards Winemaker Andrew Schweiger at the winery

Andy Schweiger, Winemaker