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Spring 2007 Newsletter:


Screw Caps!


After a test run with screw caps on our Mendovino wines last year, we have decided to take the plunge. From now on all of our bottles will be sealed with screw cap closures. A recent trip to New Zealand, where almost 90% of all wines are sealed with screw caps, convinced us. Screw caps are old news there; no one thinks twice about them (and the wines taste great!). We became converts to the Kiwi philosophy on closures as follows...


Why, you might ask, would a respected, quality-driven producer challenge tradition and present their wines under a screw cap wine seal? The reason, quite simply, is this: because we care about our wines. We are committed to bringing our wines to you in the best possible condition. We can do this confidently--free from possible cork taint and other hazards--by sealing each bottle with a screw cap. This technology allows the wine in each bottle to mature and develop its true character, uniformly and naturally, as intended by the winemaker.


Many people think screw cap closures are suited only to early drinking wines. On the contrary, wines destined for long-term cellaring enjoy the added advantage of reduce bottle variation from premature oxidation due to faulty corks. The inert polymer at the base of the seal is guaranteed to have no effect on the taste or quality of the wine--ever. This is the reason that many wineries store their "library" wines under screw caps. Though screw caps have been protecting premium wines for over 30 years, anxiety about "image" has resulted in few high-end wines appearing under screw caps in the United States until recently.


The aging of wine in a bottle is a function of the natural chemical characters in the wine and will occur over time--irrespective of bottle closure. Much of the development in a wine takes place anaerobically (without oxygen). Sufficient oxygen is in the wine and in the head-space to allow that part of the development that does require oxygen to take place.


In short, because we're positive that screw caps will produce a better and more consistent wine than corks, how can we short-change our customers with anything less?


2006 Harvest Breaks All Records


After a tiny crop in 2005, Mother Nature came through in 2006 with our largest harvest in 34 years. We harvested record crops of Pinot Noir, Merlot, and White Riesling. Coincidentally we were also blessed with a large botrytis infection, so we were able to make a lot of Late Harvest White Riesling (over 1,000 cases!). The residual sugar is over 18%; it's a bargain at $25 a bottle. This wine has corks, as 375 ml screw cap bottles are impossible to find.


The release date for all the 2006 white wines, including the White Riesling, Late Harvest Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc is May 1, 2007. In 2006 we also made our first Pinot Gris from grapes grown at Filigreen Farms in Boonville. Those of you who attended the Anderson Valley International Alsace Varietal Festival in Philo this February know how well Alsace varietals such as Pinot Gris do in Anderson Valley. It's available at $16 a bottle.


Our nearly dry (0.5% residual sugar) 2006 Mendovino Rosé is almost 100% Pinot Noir. It's also $16 a bottle but quantities are very limited. Each of our club members will be receiving a poster of the Mendovino label created by owner Allan Green and drawn by well-known Ft. Bragg artist John Chamberlin.


Wine Tasting Championships Celebrates 25 Years


We originated the California Wine Tasting Championship in 1983, originally calling it the California Wine Tasting Olympics. We changed the name after one year and one nasty letter from U.S. Olympic Committee lawyers.


Even after 25 years, this is the only event of its kind in the country. In addition to the wine tasting competition, the event features chocolate tasting and cheese tasting contests, olive oil tasting, yummy snacks and lunches, vineyard tours and live music of singer/songwriter Keeter Stuart, all amidst the gorgeous panoramas of Greenwood Ridge with Anderson Valley below.


Even if you can't tell the difference between Cabernet and Chardonnay you'll have fun at the Wine Tasting Championships. The competition involves identifying the most common California varietals, with divisions for novices, amateurs, and pros. Saturday July 28 is singles competition; doubles teams compete on Sunday.


To celebrate our 25th year we have added a Masters division for past winners and a Double Grand Championship for the first time.


For details please visit: We hope to see you at the California Wine Tasting Championships in July!


Tasting Club Dinner July 28


For our tasting club members this year we're planning a scrumptious al fresco dinner to coincide with the celebration of the 25th annual California Wine Tasting Championships on Saturday July 28, 2007, 6:30 pm at our winery. The feast will feature the best and freshest local ingredients masterfully prepared by Jaynie Blake, matched with selected library wines from our cellar.


The dinner price even includes entry into the Wine Tasting Championships (singles on Saturday, July 28 or doubles on Sunday, July 29). If you compete in the singles on Saturday, you'll already be there for dinner!


To reserve your spot for dinner ($100 inclusive) please email or call 707-895-2002. (Club members and their guest only please.)


Dragons Invade AT&T Park


The Greenwood Ridge Dragons hardball team will face the R.E.B.L. AllStars at 2:30 pm on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. Tickets are free (quite unlike those to the Major League All Star game there on July 10!).


In October 2006 the Dragons North squad entered the 45+ R.E.B.L. championship series with an unblemished 22-0 record in search of their third straight title. In the first game they beat the Sutter Home Classics 8-2 on the strength of a 6-hit complete game by Dennis McCroskey.


In game two the Dragons could muster only 7 hits against Classics ace Dennis Brandlin, but played flawless defense and took advantage of 3 unearned runs to lead 5-1 in the bottom of the ninth. The Classics loaded the bases, bringing the tying run to the plate before Dragon starter Jesus Renteria retired the side to preserve the Dragons victory and third consecutive championship.


For the series the Dragon offense was led by three-time league batting champ Mark Fess, who was 4 for 6, scored 3 runs and stole 3 bases.