What the 2015 Grape Crush Report Means for Livermore Valley Wineries

Each year the California Department of Food and Agriculture publishes the Grape Crush Report. This report tabulates the California grape harvest in terms of total tonnage, price, and sugar concentration by cultivar and reporting district. The report should be required reading for anyone interested in growing and making wine. Last week, California released the preliminary […]

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Notes on our Spring 2016 Release

Last year our winemaking team grew with the fortunate hire of Dave Hendrickson. A Wine Spectator scholar at UC Davis, Dave trained with the finest minds in modern winemaking. He followed his formal training with internships at important wineries in Sonoma, where he learned the art of wine crafting. The 2015 vintage is Dave’s initiation to Occasio […]

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Thoughts on our Wines of Winter

I enjoy choosing the November release of new wines because it moves us from the light wines of summer to heartier wines well suited for the coming winter months. Headlining the release is the 2012 vintage of our Heritage Cabernet Franc. We continue to explore the depths of the Del Arroyo Vineyard and its abilities […]

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Winemaking 101 – Fermentation Cap Management

Carbon dioxide produced during fermentation causes the grape solids (skins, seeds, stems) to rise, forming a cap that floats upon the wine. Unmanaged, this cap can create problems in the wine. For example, with a floating cap, there is little contact between the juice and the skins, which inhibits the extraction of color and flavors. […]

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A Look Back at Vintage 2012

An opinion commonly held by wine writers is that vintage doesn’t matter in California. This may be true for mass-produced wines, but vintage has always mattered to the small producer. Take 2008, the year when fire smoke impacted wine production in the Russian River, or the cool rainy weather in 2010 and 2011, years written […]

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Harvest 2015 – The Cycle Continues

Occasio’s harvest season began in the early morning hours of August 18, the earliest in our six years of crafting wine. On that morning, our team handpicked a scant half-ton of Pinot Noir for what will become our Founder’s Rosé. Still cold in the dawn’s first light, we raised champagne-filled glasses to the sky to toast […]

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Saving Elephants – One Dinner at a Time

Each year we allocate a sizeable share of our resources to charity. As a family owned winery, we believe it is important to give back to the community we live in, with approximately 80% of our contributions remaining in the Livermore Valley. These contributions provide support to both large and small community efforts such as […]

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El Nino Promises Exciting Weather – 2015 Harvest

Predicting the weather is a tricky, business. Though long-range weather forecasting is risky, it plays an integral role in planting, harvesting, and crop pricing. Love them or hate them, weather models are essential in agriculture. I pay attention to several forecasting services in an effort to anticipate disease pressure, crop yields, and harvest dates. Over […]

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The Many Faces of Zinfandel

Zinfandel has had many incarnations: first as a substitute for French claret in the 1870s, and then later as port wine, White Zinfandel, and today’s fruit bombs. As a wine, Zinfandel has been simultaneously vilified as a poor substitute for cabernet and worshipped as a California original. In short, the many faces of Zinfandel reflect […]

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A Proper Barrel Tasting Weekend

This Saturday and Sunday the Livermore Valley Winegrowers’ Association is holding its annual barrel tasting weekend fundraiser. Hundreds of visitors will descend on the valley to sample wines from over 35 participating wineries. The event is crowded, and the crush of people prevents us from providing any real education about how barrels are used in […]

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Key New Positions Announced

This January we gave our members the opportunity to taste every vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon since our debut wine in 2009. These wines all had garnered great praise, receiving 90-point scores in leading wine magazines as well as the highest awards in competition. One of our guests declared this a track record any winemaker should […]

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Christening Our New Bottling Line

Occasio is a small winery by any measure. Our annual case production rarely exceeds 1000 cases, and many of our small lot wines are bottled with fewer than 50 cases. I am comfortable with this level of production. It enables us to select only the finest fruit, perform long, slow fermentations, and spend considerable time with […]

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