Oct 082014
Read Part 5 of our Starting J. Cage Cellars – A Family Winery Series


IMG_2276It was the last few days of our harvest and crush for J. Cage Cellars. The Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier that Donna and I had watched over so closely during the last weeks of ripening were fully fermented and safely tucked into their barrels, resting until they are ready to share. Our Pinot Noir from Nunes Vineyard in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County was nearly finished and ready for press. I, for the first time during this experience, was feeling down and a bit sad. But it took a winemaker friend to describe the emotion accurately.

The last two weeks had been filled with work in the winery. Both Donna and I found we were missing our time in the vineyard. Early morning, in the solitude of vines, grapes and sunshine, sometimes hidden by a thin layer of coastal fog was a time we learned to cherish. We would walk amongst the rows taking grape samples, checking for quality, sugar levels and overall ripeness. Different areas of the vineyard and different clones of the same grape variety mature at different rates, making choices challenging. We strived to get our first picks as close to perfect as possible, in order to create the hand-crafted wines we had been imagining for our own, J. Cage Cellars. Continue reading »

Sep 212014
Read Part 4 of our Starting J. Cage Cellars –  A Family Winery Series

Much to my naive surprise, learning to be a winemaker (for our new J. Cage Cellars label) and seeking winemaking advice has turned out to be much like my first days of fatherhood and  seeking child rearing advice. Even the most artful winemakers hold deeply seeded conflicting opinions. As my friend Kurt Beitler of Bohème Wines told me, “Roger…What do you get when two winemakers are in a room together?…Four opinions.”

Learning to be a Winemaker I recall from my early days as a father asking different parents I respected about child rearing philosophies and techniques. As I found with winemaking, there was an inconsistency of heartfelt answers. Let the child bond by sleeping in bed with you. The child should learn independence by sleeping in another room. Let the child set their own schedule. If your child sets their own schedule, you’ll have an undisciplined child and you’ll get no rest…It’s all enough to leave your head spinning like the child, Regan, in the 1973 film The Exorcist.

Even though I had spent quite a bit of time reading about the art of winemaking, when the time came for decision making, I relied on a core group of respected winemaker friends who were happy to offer solid advice. I had assumed incorrectly, that since they produced wines in a similar style, their techniques would be nearly the same and I would have a simple plan to follow. I could not have been more wrong. Not only are many of their opinions deeply held, I was told that if I followed another’s advice…it could end badly. Like Regan…my head was and is still, though to a much lesser extent, spinning. Continue reading »

Dec 022013
2010 Bohème English Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, CA, $49 (S) – Rating 93

A blend of four clones, Dijon 115 & 667, Vosne, Romanee and Calera – each farmed, harvested and fermented separately, then aged two years in neutral French Oak barrels. The nose is plush with aromas of dark fruit, ripe raspberry and black tea. An elegant Pinot Noir ,with both mouth watering acidity and a round mouth-feel. The palate is enticed with flavors of cherry, raspberry, red fruit and lots of spice. Notes of black tea in the finish adds complexity. But This Wine

Dec 022013

Wine Blogger Roger Beery of Bacchus and Beery – Interview

I was excited to be interviewed by the premiere European Food and Fashion website, Webflakes. So if you wanted to know a bit more about the guy behind Bacchus and Beery…Here you go.

Roger Beery

Wine Blogger Roger Beery from Bacchus and Beery

This week we introduce you to Roger Beery who, along with his wife Donna, started the wine blog Bacchus and Beery, which is dedicated to tasting, enjoying, discovering, and of course, just drinking wine. 

They started their love affair with wine back in college and it is now a shared passion in their family, with both their son and daughter working in the industry. 

With years of experience, Roger is now a self-appointed Wine Evangelist spreading the Gospel of the Grape – from sharing an interest with lifelong friends to passing down his family’s passion to their children. Continue reading »

Aug 262013
2010 Bohème Taylor Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, CA, $39 (S) – Rating 94

Rarely does a Chardonnay grab my attention but this intriguing contradiction of  the lighter style combined with rich flavors certainly did. Aromas of lemon crème and roasted pineapple set the stage for an elegant marriage of flavors including baked apples, pie spice, Meyer lemon vanilla and cinnamon with hints of green apple in the long finish. A light creamy mouth-feel with balanced acidity. Buy This Wine