Asian Correspondent » Grgich Hills Estate Asian Correspondent Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:16:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mature Merlot Fri, 30 Jul 2010 17:22:14 +0000

We have a small block of Merlot in our Yountville Vineyard in the Napa Valley As you can see from the sign, our Merlot was planted in 1985.  In general, after about 20 years vines start to produce less grapes but more concentrated, intense wines.

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Just-cleaned wine barrels drying in the cellar Thu, 29 Jul 2010 15:27:48 +0000

At our winery in the Napa Valley, we’re racking (moving the wine off its sediment into a clean vessel) our 2008 and 2009 Petit Sirah and 2009 Petit Verdot out of barrel to stainless steel tanks while we clean out the barrels and then move the wine back to barrel. We’re emptying the oak barrels that border the tasting room so they’ll be ready to hold the 2010 harvest.


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Making biodynamic preparations Wed, 28 Jul 2010 16:55:41 +0000

Joey Brinkley, our Biodynamic specialist, recently dug up the pits in Napa Valley where our #500 preparation, cow manure packed in a cow horn, was buried through the winter. The result is a concentrated humus that will be stirred in water and sprayed on the soil to promote root activity, stimulates soil microbial life and increases beneficial fungal and bacteria growth. We feel using Biodynamics insures the health of our grape vines and produce better flavors in the grapes.

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Mike Grgich sharing stories in the Napa Valley Mon, 26 Jul 2010 18:52:37 +0000

Vintner Hall of Fame member Mike Grgich appeared at BarBersQ in Napa,CA  on Friday to talk about his wines and share stories about his 51 years of making wine in the Napa Valley. Here Mike poses with Gene Tartaglia, owner of BarBersQ, and Chef Joey Ray.

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Attracting beneficial insects makes better wine Thu, 22 Jul 2010 16:29:37 +0000

To attract beneficial insects we planted a mix of flowering plants in between vineyard rows of our American Canyon Vineyard in Napa Valley. This diverse group of insects range from ladybugs to lacewings and predatory wasps, which act as a natural pest control.

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Bottling Chardonnay Fri, 16 Jul 2010 16:35:32 +0000

While the temperature has heated up in our vineyard in Napa Valley, deep in our cellar it’s 58°F and we’re bottling our 2009 Chardonnay. Mike Grgich has been called “The King of Chardonnay” for his touch with this varietal and tasting this vintage just before it goes into bottle proves it’s still true today.

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Removing excessive leaves Thu, 15 Jul 2010 21:28:55 +0000

This year’s cool spring, late rains and relatively cool summer in the Napa Valley all contribute to excessive growth, with the vines expending energy into shoots, instead of flavorful fruit. So, we have to remove by hand the excessive growth, allowing just enough leaves to protect the grapes from sunburn. Here we’re removing excessive leaves and shoots in our Rutherford Vineyard, just behind our winery

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Making our biodynamic preparations Mon, 12 Jul 2010 18:24:23 +0000

On Saturday we finished spraying the #508 Biodynamic preparation on our grape vines, which are in the Napa Valley. We used to buy horsetail (Equisetum arvense) but now we grow the plant along a creek in our American Canyon Vineyard, harvest it, then dry it at our barn in Calistoga. Then we make a fermented tea that we then spray on the leaves to counter fungal diseases.

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Ripening Chardonnay in southern Napa Valley Fri, 09 Jul 2010 16:27:10 +0000

The cool spring has become a cool summer so we’re a couple of weeks behind in grape development and ripening here in the Napa Valley. As these Chardonnay grapes in our Carneros Vineyard show, the vines and grapes look healthy with even ripening so it appears to be a great vintage so far, we’ll just have to harvest a little later than usual.

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Bottling time at Grgich Hills Estate Thu, 08 Jul 2010 16:20:36 +0000

Summer is bottling time for Grgich Hills Estate. Once in the bottle, we will continue to age them at the winery until they are ready. Deep in the heart of our cellar in the Napa Valley you can hear the bottling line rattling this morning. Luis Mora keeps a close eye on just-bottled 2009 Essence Napa Valley, our limited production Sauvignon Blanc, as it has the capsule applied to the neck

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Spraying Biodynamic preparations in the early morning Wed, 07 Jul 2010 18:22:48 +0000

All 366 acres of our vineyards are certified Biodynamic, meaning we do not use any artificial pesticides or herbicides. This week we are spraying 501 and 508 Biodynamic preparations on the leaves in all of our vineyards, working in our Carneros Vineyard in the cool southern Napa Valley this morning. 501 is ground silica that enhances the light metabolism of the plant and stimulates photosynthesis. #508 is tea made from horsetail plant that combats fungal diseases. We’ll wrap up spraying all of our vineyards this Saturday.

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Annual celebration at Grgich Hills Estate winery Tue, 06 Jul 2010 21:58:06 +0000

In 1977, the year that Mike Grgich and Austin Hills establish Grgich Hills winery, they receive requests from customers to start a wine club to ensure they would be the first to get our highly-allocated wines. Mike liked the idea of thanking loyal customers on the same day that he and Austin broke ground for the winery, July 4th, so starting in 1978, the winery has hosted an annual celebration just for wine club members and their guests on the Saturday closest to July 4th.  As always, theme was red, white and blue (in honor of United State’s Independence Day) and this year featured a performance by the Croatian Folk Ensemble dance group Koraci (steps), the dance band Blue Moon, great food by Elaine Bell Catering and plenty of Grgich Hills wines. More pictures are available on our Facebook page,



87-year-old Mike Grgich takes to the dance floor.


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Using natural sprays to combat pests in the vineyard Fri, 02 Jul 2010 17:45:03 +0000

Spraying whey in the vineyard

Our vineyards are certified organic and Biodynamic, so we don’t rely on traditional, chemical-based insecticides and fungicides. In our Calistoga Vineyard, at the top of the Napa Valley,  we have had a history of mites, which we combat with predatory mites. The problem is, we need to also protect the vines from powdery mildew and the standard application is sulfur, which can also kill of the predatory mites. So, we spray whey (the by-product of cheese making) which acts as a fungicide when exposed to sunlight.

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Removing perfectly good leaves from grapevines Thu, 01 Jul 2010 20:29:56 +0000

Removing leaves for quality

Why would anyone strip off healthy leaves from a grape vine?

At Grgich Hills Estate, we remove excessive growth on the eastern side of the vines to allow better exposure to the morning sun and airflow through the vines to prevent disease, while keeping the western side of the vines more bushy, to provide shade in the hotter afternoon. Here we are working on the morning side of our Petit Verdot in our Yountville Vineyard in Napa Valley, California.

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