Hi there –

Summer has started and it looks like the vines are cheering it on as they reach for the sky and the sun’s rays. Much of my time right now is spent at the different vineyards where we source our grapes to be sure that our vines are trained to expose the fruiting zones. Though we don’t own “our” vineyards, only contract with them, I’m involved in the wine growing as well as the winemaking. The fruiting zone is where the grapes ripen and it’s my job to manage how the vines are pruned and positioned so that the fruit flourishes. Good fruit means good wine.

In the winery, we’re bottling some of the 2017 wines. We just released our first rosé. Cuvée Rosé 2017 is made up of 90% Syrah and 10% Grenache from Paradise Road and Vogelzang vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley AVA. The back label reads “J’aime Rosé,” a play on Jamie’s Rosé, in honor of our brand manager Jamie, a devotee of all things rosé. She worked with me on the blending and gave the finished wine her highest blessing.

Next – we’re gearing up to bottle our Cuvée Blanc 246, a blend of Marsanne, Rousanne and Viognier. The wine should be released in late August.

My kids are finally showing more interest in the winery. Credit goes to Charlotte in helping me hand-label the Rosé. And all of the kids have added their art works to a number of barrels. Nice touch!

With Jamie now living in the Santa Ynez Valley just miles from the winery, the plan is to take the Cordon brand to the next level, eventually opening the tasting room on a regular basis and starting up a series of winepairing dinners with various chefs at the winery, as well as with local restaurants.

We recently hosted an evening of tastings – both wine and small plates – at Chef David Cecchini’s newly opened Cecchetti, a wine bar and mercato in Solvang. The first in what we hope will be many.

And we’ve started a monthly series of potluck industry lunches at the winery, including other winemakers, restaurateurs, chefs, restaurateurs, bartenders, wine and food media, and others in the trade. My assistant winemaker Trevor along with Jamie are growing that project with the objective of creating a tight industry community in the Santa Ynez Valley. As winemakers, we all may be competing with each other on a certain level, but we’re also cooperative with each other and all share the goal of shining a bright light on Santa Barbara County Wine Country.

Our tasting room is open by appointment. Just let us know when you’re coming to the Valley and we’ll be more than happy to open some bottles and taste you through the current releases. If you happen to be here on one of our potluck lunch days, there’s a good chance that we can even make room for you at the table.

With summer now here, harvest really isn’t very far away. Hope to see you soon



Etienne Terlinden

Author Etienne Terlinden

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