Blog - From the Winery
“Off-the-Grid” Chefs Pop Up for Supper
The R. Stuart & Co. Wine Bar will be hosting a fresh new series of winter suppers beginning in January of 2013. Our featured “off-the-grid” guests are professionals in the industry whom you may have never heard of- they are passionate, driven and immensely talented chefs who, in their spare time, host supper clubs and pop-up dinners, forage for mushrooms, teach DIY poultry slaughter classes, and concoct special elixirs.
Come indulge in an intimate dinner with us and meet your next favorite chef:
January 16th- Kathryn Yeomans
January 30th- Andrew Garrett
February 13th- Vallery Markel
February 27th- Derek Hanson
March 13th- Stacey Givens
$30 per person, does not include wine or gratuity.
Reservations and credit card number required.
Please email email@example.com
Please note: Due to the popularity of the Suppers and our extremely limited seating, we respectfully ask that you choose just two Suppers so that others can enjoy them as well. Please limit your reservation to 6 guests. We are happy to put your name on the waiting lists for additional Suppers. Substitutions will be politely declined, and any food allergies must be addressed ahead of time. Reservations are required, and we require a credit card number to secure all reservations. Due to our limited seating, we must adhere to a strict cancellation policy. Cancellations must be made at least 48 hours ahead of time. If you do not cancel within 48 hours of dinner, or if you do not make it to your reserved dinner, your credit card will be charged the full amount of each missed meal.
Check our these fabulous gift ideas for your loved ones, handpicked by the staff at R. Stuart & Co! Any one of these item would be a fabulous compliment to your favorite bottle of wine… Give us a call at the Wine Bar (503.472.4477), or email us for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org
A day of celebration. Today, we pressed off the last of our fruit! Yay! Who knew the day would come so quickly where we would be left with no afternoon punch-downs, no caps to dig through for juice samples, NO WINERY WORK OUT? If you’ve ever worked harvest in a winery, I think you’ll catch my drift here but for those who haven’t, let me enlighten you. The crew this year has been actively participating in conceptualizing a work-out video that we’d produce at the end of harvest. It would include climbing up and down ladders (for quad and calf strength), bottling (for dexterity and bicep curls), pushing around empty two-ton fermenters (for glutes and quads), pulling full two-ton fermenters with the pallet jack (for back strength and hamstrings) and of course, punch downs (for back, shoulders, abs and triceps). We’d get this video up on Youtube, it would go viral, we’d make millions and then we would retire. Alas, the video did not come to fruition as the mainstay of our winery work out did not exist anymore. I guess we’ll have to be more prepared for this day next year!
Also, today marks my two-year anniversary with the R. Stuart & Co. family. Cheers to that!
That’s all she wrote. Today is the last day at the winery for Deven and I. Erin will stay on with Erick until Christmas to take care of the last bits and pieces of Harvest 2012 and then Erick will carry the winery on until next Fall when another crew comes in. It’s a bittersweet kind of day. We’re doing a lot of cleaning, putting the press to bed (which was nameless for some reason, so we called her Elsa, a nod to her German heritage), stacking fermenters, making the floors shiny. We have long faces but still can’t stop laughing. Erin and Rebekah break for some cartwheels through the middle fermentation room, Deven and Erick conjure up the Clowns and bicker back and forth in “Lon-giland” and of course, we’re talking about dinner.
The Last Supper at the Stuart’s. Maria prepared a beautiful dish of Lamb Shanks and Orzo, with sides of roasted broccoli and beets. It is delicious and soulful and perfect. With it, Rob presents a vertical of Autograph from 2006 to 2010. Little Charlotte Stuart buzzes around during dinner to size us for handmade friendship bracelets (which we still wear) and all is well. The 2012 StuCru cheers their new family, we eat and drink heartily and reminisce about the good ole’ days (4 weeks ago) when this amazing adventure began.
Thank you Erick, Erin, Deven, Ben F. Jonny, Alan, Jody, David, John, Bob, Ben S., Joe S., Charlotte S, Rachel, Karen, Casee, Susy, Alex, Brenna, Colby, Genevieve, Alan H, Brutus and Zilla. Thank you Maria. Thank you Rob. Until next year!
We’re coming to the end of Harvest 2012 – and what a beauty it was! Rebekah worked in the cellar with Rob and the crew all month and she chronicled her adventures here, here, and here – check it out and see what life is like for a winery Harvest Intern. Great photos too.
Wine Club members are invited to an exclusive pre-party barrel tasting with Rob and our Assistant Winemaker Erick Foss, 11 – 1 pm on the 17th. We’ll be emailing you more details separately. Join the wine club now and attend this special event.
Meanwhile – Come one, Come All from 1-5pm, Nov. 17th, for the Open House: wine, music, snacks, party games and Great Deals! As usual, there is a $10 tasting fee, which we will donate to the American Red Cross to help with relief efforts for those suffering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
I (Maria) asked Rob for a couple of sentences summing up this year’s harvest. This is what he sent in return. I thought you might enjoy reading it, unedited and unvarnished…
We approached this harvest with having the driest summer in 71 years. By early September we could see that if we did not get rain, the likelihood of high brix (sugar), high acid, low pH, and underdeveloped flavors had great potential. I was secretly praying for rain since Labor Day. By October 1 it seemed even more potentially dire.
BUT… I have said this before and I will always say this (I am soooo profound!) that in Oregon, specifically the Willamette Valley, we know two things: 1) It eventually will rain; 2) and it will eventually stop raining. It’s a mantra for me each harvest. So the truth is that if the vineyards are managed well (canopy, nutrition, balance, spray program be it Sustainable or Biodynamic) , generally I don’t sweat it. The trick is to not freak out when the brix are high and the flavors are not there. I learned this while working at Erath in 1994. We get the drying east winds coming off the high desert that begin to desiccate the fruit. But the east winds stop, the nights cool down, and even if we don’t get rain, the vines can begin to slowly compensate for a water deficit by searching for every last drop in the soil. But still, some rain would be nice.
We did receive it finally by getting about an inch of rain on October 12th. Over the next few days we accumulated another inch. So then we were hydrated. We began to see grapes balance out with sugars and acids lowering down to normal, pH shifted upward to decent 3.1 to 3.3 numbers and most importantly flavors had another week or two to develop.
Another potential worry was that now with rain on the grapes, we could have botrytis form. Two factors allayed this fear. One…due to the driest summer in 71 years, and good vineyard management, there was very minimal disease pressure. Two…we had 7-10 days to get the fruit off if we did begin to see disease pressure increasing. The great news is that now we had the hang time for perfect flavor development, we had hydration, and we had cold nights. A perfect scenario for a perfect harvest.
It’s all about playing the weather and having good vineyard managers and partners. Most of our Willamette Valley fruit was picked between October 12th and October 19th. The only bad thing about this harvest is that the tonnages were down significantly throughout Oregon, and especially for Pinot Gris. This had to do with having two consecutive cold wet springs in a row which set us up for a small flower count and poor fertilization of the flowers. We are down 35% with Pinot Gris.
Fortunately I think we will be able to keep distribution supplied through December of 2013. And what we’ve got is fantastic.
Rob November 2nd, 2012