Serena Lourie
January 13, 2015 | Serena Lourie

New for the New Year

new planter boxesThis past weekend our new planter boxes arrived! Our friend Seth Richardson has taken our drawings and turned them into sleek metal planters for the sidewalk in front of the tasting room, which Alan just filled with fragrant rosemary bushes free for the cutting.

Here’s the back story: There used to be an enormous rosemary bush at the old Healdsburg post office, about 75 feet from our tasting room; everyone in town could cut as much rosemary as they wanted. When Alan moved to Healdsburg in 2005, he clipped a branch that he rooted. When he moved to San Francisco, he took that bush and replanted it, moving it with him to a couple of locations in the city, and when we left SF, we brought it with us back to Healdsburg.

The post office burned down in 2009 and the town lost the rosemary bush, but we've been propagating the plant—giving some cuttings to friends and splitting off a few to plant in the new planter boxes. Soon enough, we’ll have plenty of rosemary and folks can help themselves. We’ll also probably be working on some new recipes that feature rosemary and pair well with Pinot noir.

Our soil sample wall is coming to fruition: we’ve ordered graduated cylinders and have shelving designed. When it arrives, we’ll do a field trip to our vineyards to collect soil; then, we’ll develop the slideshows that will accompany each vineyard.

We also have new wine bottle display shelves fabricated and powder-coated. Now we’re playing Tetris to create the perfect placement for each bottle. The shelves will display our 750ml bottles as well as several of our magnums.

What, magnums? Yes, we started making magnums with the 2010 Perli Vineyard and 2010 Floodgate Vineyard Pinot Noir. We haven’t released them yet because we’ve been designing new labels, but they’re now screen-printed and we’ll begin releasing magnums in the fall.

pouring a glass of pinotWe’ve been having so much fun exploring our library wines that we are expanding our winemaker tastings this year. Our plan is to have 12 tastings per year, each with a maximum of 10 seats. These small, intimate tastings allow us to connect with people interested in the Cartograph journey and gives guests they chance to ask all the questions they want.

  • Inside Pinot (details) offers a unique experience of seeing how Pinot noir evolves from grape to glass. You’ll emerge with a true understanding and appreciation of how simple grape juice becomes exquisite wine.
  • The Perli Vineyard vertical (details) gives you a grasp of how the tannins in the Perli Vineyard Pinot Noir silken over time while showcasing the incredible terroir of that vineyard.
  • The Floodgate Vineyard vertical (details) captures the essential elements of the Russian River Valley: the bright fruit, the cola undertones and the classic earth elements that Floodgate releases as it ages.
  • Our Mendocino Ridge vs. Russian River Valley comparison shows you the difference that altitude, soil and fog make in the growing season and flavors of Pinot from both those AVAs.

If you have a group of 10 and would like to schedule one of these tastings, email




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