July is really our last month to finish projects and focus on non-harvest tasks — because once August hits and harvest kicks in, everything else becomes secondary or tertiary. While we have time, let us tell you about a few new things coming down the pike.
We’re delighted to announce that we’ve partnered with ReCORK to recycle our tasting-room corks. Every month, we send our used natural corks to ReCORK; they grind the corks and use them to make cool products like shoe soles and yoga blocks — replacing harmful petroleum-based materials such as foam and plastic. If you live in or around Healdsburg and would like to bring in your natural corks for recycling, we’re happy to include them in our shipments. (No synthetic corks, please.)
You know that we’re nerds who love to tell stories…so there was a lot of text on the Cartograph website. Too much, actually. We’ve spent the past year trying to translate text into photos, and soon we’ll be unveiling Phase One of our new website. Those of you who use your mobile devices to order wine will be happy to hear that it will be a mobile-friendly platform. Reading articles on the site will be much easier, and we hope it’ll also be easier to find whatever you’re looking for. We're anticipating the new site will be up and running by the end of the month.
Since summer is the perfect time to enjoy a glass of wine by the pool or at a picnic, we decided to make some glasses that make it easy to be on the go. Cartograph GoVino glasses won’t break in your picnic basket, and if they hit the ground near the pool, there’s no shattered glass. Bonus: If you forget your glass for Tuesday Music on the Plaza in Healdsburg, we’ve got you covered; just pop into the tasting room. (We’ve also found these glasses to be quite useful at the vineyard when the wind kicks up in the afternoon.)
Cartograph GoVino glasses are available in the tasting room and online for $5 per glass plus tax (and shipping, for online orders). These glasses should be washed by hand and not put in the dishwasher.
One of the great things about crawling around in our stacks of library wine is that I almost always find a wine that makes me stop and think, "I wonder how that’s tasting at this point?" I saw a partial case of 2012 Russian River Valley Pinot in the tasting room wine locker the other day and had that thought. So when a new Cartograph Circle member asked about library wines later that day, I seized the opportunity to check out the 2012 RRV.
I'm thrilled with how this wine has come along. The nose and palate still have plenty of freshness with a supple, silky quality that comes with time in the bottle for Pinots from great sites. This is a blend of Pinot from the Leonardo Julio and Starscape (formerly Floodgate) vineyards.
Tasting Note: 7/12/16 This is one of those wines I love because it is hard to analyze. The nose is earthy with rich loam, dark plum and a little funk. On the palate it is quite complex. There are a number of dark fruits hiding just under that forest floor sensation and it is soooo soft and silky with a nice pop of acid stretching out the finish and inviting you back for another sip. In short this is what I think Pinot should be, hard to pin down but so compelling that you can't stop trying.
I’d love to share this wine with you — because it tastes fantastic, and also because it’s a really cool way for you to see how Cartograph wines age. So we’re offering a special price for anyone who wants to check out this gem from the library: a 20 percent discount for Cartograph Circle members (code: 20%Newsletter), 10 percent for non-members (code:10%Newsletter). This offer will be available through August 15, 2016.
Shipping is tricky during the summer (see below), but we can try to cold-ship or hold the wines for shipping when the weather cooperates. Locals, I heartily invite you to come grab a bottle, because I think you might want to stock up on this one.
If this goes over well, maybe we can make these trips to the library a regular thing. Not to dredge up the scene from Fargo where Jerry says he has to go talk to his boss about TruCoat pricing, but it took some convincing for Serena to allow me to make this offer, since discounting isn’t really in our playbook. I am so totally enthralled with this wine, though, that I want to show it off a bit.
Cartograph is part of the UPS temperature-controlled shipping program, which allows us to ship in summer to many states up and down the east coast as well as to Texas and Illinois. The wine ships in temperature-controlled rail cars and then in trucks to temperature-controlled hubs from which the packages are delivered. Most of these packages are delivered in the morning, especially to business addresses, so if you can give us a business address for shipping the odds are good that your wine will be delivered on the first try.
For those of you who live in states that aren’t part of the UPS Summer Shipping program, we’ll store your wine in the tasting room cellar and ship it as soon as the weather allows.
July 16: Wine'd Up: This is a great event for anyone who is a member of a wine club of a participating tasting room in downtown Healdsburg. (And if you are not a member, now is a great time to join). For one day, you’ll receive club member benefits at all 30+ participating tasting rooms. It’s a great way to stock up on a wide variety of wines at club-member pricing. To RSVP send Serena an email or call the tasting room (707.433.8270) and let us know you are joining us for this event. Each Cartograph Circle membership can sign up for two tickets free of change.
August 10: Riesling Myths and Mysteries: Join Friends of the Sonoma County Wine Library for an evening of Riesling at the Cartograph tasting room, featuring John Winthrop Haeger, author of Riesling Rediscovered, talking about “Riesling Myths and Mysteries.” The evening will include a tasting of locally produced dry Rieslings.
September 25 and October 1: Please save these dates for the Cartograph Circle Fall Release Party. Details will be forthcoming.
Ongoing: American Wine Story documentary featuring Alan and Serena is available on iTunes
Ok, back to the vineyards so we can see where we are with veraison (that’s a fancy French word that means “the onset of ripening”).
Alan and Serena