Humans, Harvest & More - Fall 2006 Ramblings...
Pey-Marin and Mount Tamalpais Vineyards wines continued to garner accolades from the critics this year, and for perhaps the first time, we truly believe winegrowing in Marin County is not "nuts", as we were told years ago when we ventured into Marin. Some of these exciting comments include "impeccable wines with a structure rarely seen in California", "Very Highly Recommended", "wonderfully expressive", etc.
2006 has been a challenging, yet paradoxically rewarding year. Returning home after an overseas trip we found our home largely destroyed by the epic floods which swept across Marin County on December 31 st . The following five months were hellish, moving out, shoveling mud, filling dumpsters, dealing with bureaucratic, useless insurance and FEMA representatives, and struggling through what amounted to lifting and rebuilding our entire home from scratch – all in the pouring rain. Luckily, throughout this undertaking we witnessed and enjoyed an outpouring of human compassion and generosity, especially from people closest to us, our family, friends and community.
Our vineyard had a similar year, suffering through relentless early season rain, but it soon improved significantly as we completed the transition to 100% organic farming. Despite the added expense and considerable effort, organic farming is the best thing we could do for our grape vines, wine quality and fragile Mother Earth. Among many other activities, we have stopped using inorganic sprays or fertilizers (ask your favorite winery if they use these and watch them squirm!) and are nurturing our soils with organic compost and a variety of wildflowers and grasses to enhance the diversity of the growing environment.
Perhaps coincidentally, we've witnessed an increase in activity in our vineyard. Coyotes, bobcats, gophers, raccoons, badgers, ground squirrels, snakes, lizards, mice and hawks, owls and numerous other birds all paid visits this year. And butterflies, praying mantis and other beneficial insects now call our vineyard "home". It's a beautifully rich, diverse and now safer environment.
The 2006 growing season started late as a result of the intense winter rains, so budbreak, flowering and "set" were delayed by several weeks. A brutal July heat spike scorched vineyards in Sonoma and Napa, but we barely saw 95 degrees. Many Sonoma Pinot Noir vineyards were also damaged by a significant botrytis fungus problem, but our tiny "Micro-Marin" Pinot Noir grapes were as delicious and healthy as ever. September and October were cool and sunny and we picked small lots of Pinot, Riesling and Merlot in mid-October under glorious "Indian summer" conditions.
Lastly, we have succumbed to your persistent demands and have added a wine club element to enhance your enjoyment of our limited production wines. We're calling it "Rack & Roll Wine Club" and you can sign up using our Wine Club online enrollment form.
As we approach the holidays, we wish you and your family peace and prosperity and hope our savory, balanced wines will grace the tables you share with those most important to you. These are the days.
Recent Vinography.com review
"With a total production of only 1100 cases of wine (across four varietals) Pey-Marin Vineyards is a perfect example of the many small boutique wineries that lie waiting to reward those wine drinkers that have the energy and interest to seek out producers off the beaten track. Its quality wines are also a perfect example of the benefits of persistence and vision that characterize many family-run operations. "
Read the entire article at www.vinography.com