With the vineyard and tasting room in the hands of our trusty staff, Mark and I headed to southern France to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and re-acquaint ourselves with Rhône wines! It has been over 12 years since we last visited the region and this time, we decided to take our time and visit as many wineries as we could! We made plans to spend four days in the southern Rhône city of Avignon close to the famous appellations of Chateauneuf Du Pape, Gigondas, and Vacqueryas. Then travel north and spend another four days in Tain Hermitage adjacent to the [...]
After fall harvest, the 2018 wines have completed malolactic fermentation and been transferred into oak barrels for aging. The Rosé and white wines are aging in stainless steel tanks and have been stirred weekly (a process called “batonage”) to pick up body and mouth feel. The 2018 red wines are aging in 60-130-gallon French Oak barrels that are a combination of Medium to Neutral toast. Mark samples all the wines (both 2017 and 2018) in barrels, making tasting notes and topping off barrels.
History of the grape Marsanne is native to the northern Rhône valley in France. In the northern Rhône, the varietal has traditionally been blended with Roussanne to bring acidity to the blend. When grown in the right place, picked at the right time, and not overcropped, Marsanne can produce balanced wines. Marsanne produces excellent wines in Switzerland and in nearby Savoie, where it is known as Grosse Roussette. Marsanne is used in blends throughout the Languedoc, and interestingly not one of the varieties permitted in Chateauneuf du Pape. Marsanne can produce excellent, age worthy wines, and is gaining greater notoriety [...]
The Domaine Artefact 2016 Marsanne Welcome to Domaine Artefact’s first wine of the month post! In this blog, I am going to profile/feature one of our wines each month. Everyone knows how much I love to cook and every Sunday, friends and family gather at our winery to share stories, food and wine- so, this wine/food pairing blog is a logical extension (yes- I hear you). For those unfamiliar with Domaine Artefact, my husband and I started this winery from the ground up in 2007. We found the Highland Valley climate (just north of San Diego- near San Pasqual Valley) to [...]
We are getting ready for Harvest 2017! We are madly dropping fruit (heavy winter rains have produced a large fruit load) putting up our bird netting, ordering oak barrels and new SS tanks, expanding the crush pad and upgrading our electricity so we can run the destemmer and press at the same time! The olive trees were sprayed with clay to prevent olive fly investation so we have a large "flocked" orchard now. We are getting a bit anxious as this year we are anticipating a record estate harvest in excess of 25 tons and we are buying an additional 7-8 [...]