firing barrel

5 ways to determine what's in a barrel: -->


  1. Look
  2. Tap with sharp object
    1. (recommended before wine tasting)
  3. Tap with blunt object
    1. (recommended after wine tasting)
  4. Set barrel on fire
  5. Perform barrel sampling

Wrong Way to Barrel Sample

  Correct Way to Barrel Sample

large product photo

The Story of our Gewurztraminer; (Old wine in new bottles)

In 2006 we were lucky to receive some wonderful grapes, the juice color expressed like pink grapefruit and the aroma was spicy, rich and heady. It looked to make a promising wine. Imagine our disappointment when by mid-year after it was bottled, it was clear the wine was not living up to its promise. In the bottle, it had become spare, brittle and bitter and, like a spoiled child, was throwing temper tantrums (otherwise known as complex proteins). This, plus the fact fact that nobody could say the name made it a drag on the market. The winemaker decided it was worth the effort to dump everything that was already bottled back to the bulk tank to try and recover the wonderful complex characters first observed in the fruit. The wine was resettled out, this using an old German technique whereby lees were readded and then removed by proportion over time to retain the flavors. It was then treated to pecticenzymes and an infusion of unfermented sugars. The acids were readjusted. The result was amazing, a clear, bright and flinty, slightly sparkling Gerwurz in the classic style that has a strong melon mid-palate, and the slightest hint of spicy bitterness that is balanced by the slight residual sweetness. Still, nobody can say the name, but the wine is now a real little treasure so the wine and the name are both well worth the effort of getting your tongue around.

1.5 % residual sugar. 13% alcohol.

Re-released: November 2008


New offerings

We've got two other very exciting wines just released in the fall of 2008.

The first is a Cabernet Franc called 'Franky Say Relax'. It is a fruit forward richly balanced red. The first thing you notice is the clarescent (if that is a word? anyway a) deep ruby red color.

The fruit was hand selected from a long growing season in 2007 which favored the development of deep rich reds.

It was treated to an extended maceration without SO2 being added until six months after Malolactic fermentation had begun. We brought the SO2 to 105 ppm to stabilize this remarkable color and robust fruit. The whimsical name belies what is a complex and classically structured wine. Release date; September 2008. Bronze medal winner, NYS Fair!! Bronze medal New York Wine and Food Classic.

The second wine we want to brag about unashamedly is called 'Des'Pear'. (Not to be confused with the 'River des Pere' in St. Louis, which I'm told does not taste quite as good).

It is a honey colored golden dessert wine made from Washington State pears and Finger Lakes white grapes. The white grape underpinning enhances and stabilizes the delicate and volatile pear aromas which results in a soft elegant finished dessert wine which retains true fruit flavor and a pronounced pear nose.


8% residual sugar. 17% alcohol.

Released: August 2008.


For those of you who have expressed the suspicion that the picture is of the winemaker, it is not, it is Louis XIV turning into a pear. Wait a minute! Isn't he the one St. Louis is named after? Or, is that Louis A'Pear 'icio'? (baseball joke).








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