The year is winding down. Harvest 2018 is ended, and our Chardonnay and all of the red wines have been barreled. Sauvignon Blanc, Malvasia Bianca, and our Rosé of Grenache will be bottled over the few weeks so that they can be ready to release early next year.

Many of our members have been asking us when we plan on releasing another Malbec, since we have been out of this wine for over a year. They will be pleased to know that we plan on releasing our 2015 Malbec in February along with our 2018 Rosé and 2016 Telos. Also, for those of you who love fortified wines, expect us to release a Tawny Port this year. This wine was harvested in 2009, marking the tenth anniversary of our move to Vasco Road. It has been aging quietly for ten years in our cellar. The wine is a blend of Petite Sirah and Zinfandel from the Del Arroyo Vineyard.

Early next year will begin tasting the 2017 wines to assess them prior to a summer bottling. It is always exciting to try the new wines, and to begin planning out the portfolio. We will be tasting some of these for barrel tasting weekend in March. As always, our members will get a preview of these wines before the general public.

At Sidewinder, we are finishing the first distillation of brandy from this year’s harvest. We have been making use of our Alembic still over at Sidewinder for these distillations. It will the first Alembic Brandy produced in Livermore Valley in over a century.

In other Sidewinder news, we have produced a limited bottling of our Eau de Vie, a clear brandy distilled from our Malvasia Bianca wine. We will begin bottling these clear spirits in earnest early next year. And don’t forget our gin! Now that harvest has ended, we can devote time to producing our ‘London Dry’ style gin as we continue to experiment with formulations for other styles.

Finally, we have a barrel of Bourbon Whiskey that will be two years old in September. It has aged long enough to be called Bourbon – but should we bottle it? Well, not the whole barrel, perhaps. But do expect a limited release of our first whiskey – it promises to be a collector’s item.

Lest I forget, we are busy filling out the event calendar for next year. Expect to see a wide variety of classes as well as dinners and entertainment next year. Look for a port-wine tasting in January as we bottle our ten-year Tawny, as well as spirits tastings and cocktail classes. And, with Posada on Wheels now in residence, we can expect expanded hours at Sidewinder in the New Year and a few wine and spirits dinners.

As always, we appreciate hearing from you. If you have event ideas that haven’t been mentioned, please let us know.

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