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Duckhorn Portfolio Wine Blog

Posts written by Neil Bernardi, Vice President of Winemaking  and many special guest bloggers. This collection of insights on winemaking, farming, entertaining and more is a great way to learn about the excitement of winery life and tips for enjoying the wines we produce.

The Marketing Team
 
November 18, 2021 | The Marketing Team

How To: Set a Table Like a Pro

Whether your Thanksgiving calls for a casual family dinner or a more formal feast, we’re sharing a few instructions and, of course, wine pairings, to ensure your joy-filled holiday gathering goes off without a hitch.

Getting Started

You’ll need a few essentials. Your table setting will include plates, cutlery: knife, forks and spoons, glassware, and napkins. Some extra items to consider are linens, place cards, and centerpieces.

How to set a table

How to Set the Basic Table

We’re going to start with a basic table setting and will use a popular acronym to easily remember where everything goes: FORKS.

Follow along from left to right:
F: Fork (main and salad fork, too)
O: Plate (“O” looks like your plate, right? If needed, stacking a salad plate directly on a dinner plate is appropriate)
R: We’ve made it to the right side of the plate
K: Knife goes here (edges in!)
S: Spoon, lastly (include a soup spoon, if needed)

How to set a formal table

Extras: More to Know

Here’s another perspective: place your plate in the center of the placemat. Your fork(s) will go on the left side; then your knife to the right of the plate and your spoon(s) to the right of your knife.

You can place your napkin directly on top of the plate and drinkware above the plate on the right side of your place setting. We recommend wine glasses are tiered above the main water glass.

Additional plating for salad and bread plate will go to the left of the main plate with the bread plate above and salad plate aligned, as it would be comfortably used.

For dessert, place an additional spoon and fork above the plate. The spoon handle should be facing right, while the fork handle should present to the left. Name card will go above or in front of the complete setting.

Have some fun with it! Dress up your table setting with festive but thoughtful placemats, thematic napkin rings, and centerpieces like floral arrangements and candles.

Which Wine Will Go Best with the Meal?

Rather than trying to match wines to specific dishes include wines that complement a range of food. The name of the game is versatility. Lighter, fruity reds pair well with turkey, while compelling, acidic whites can hold up next to rich side dishes. Across the board, the wine-country-cultivated, new American classics from The Duckhorn Portfolio make sense this Thanksgiving season.

Wine Recommendations:

2018 Goldeneye Anderson Value Pinot Noir Confluence Vineyard
With its ripe strawberry and red plum aromas and its fetching hints of mint and wildflowers, this is a fresh and radiant expression of Pinot Noir that pairs well with turkey.
Buy on DuckhornWineShop.com

2019 Migration Russian River Valley Chardonnay Running Creek Vineyard
Displaying the graceful energy that has become a trademark of Running Creek Vineyard, this lovely Chardonnay unfurls in supple layers of Fuji apple, Meyer lemon and delicate white flower notes.
Buy on DuckhornWineShop.com

2019 Canvasback Columbia Valley Riesling
The flavors of this white wine are bright and complex, with juicy citrus flavors and notes of candied ginger, fennel and mango all underscored by a beam of racy acidity that draws the wine to a crisp, dry finish.
Buy on DuckhornWineShop.com

Decoy Brut Cuvee Sparkling Wine
This enticing sparkling wine has a delicate sweetness that is perfectly balanced by bright acidity, which adds poise and energy to the lush, pure fruit flavors.
Buy on DuckhornWineShop.com

2018 Calera Mt. Harlan Viognier
The first sip of this wine is supple and viscous, and as it unfurls a current of bright acid emerges, framing the flavors and driving the wine to a tantalizing peaches and cream finish.
Buy on DuckhornWineShop.com

We hope you enjoy entertaining as much as your guests will enjoy their experience this Thanksgiving. Cheers!

Time Posted: Nov 18, 2021 at 5:10 PM Permalink to How To: Set a Table Like a Pro Permalink
Kay Malaske - Trade Relations and Education Manager
 

What is Méthode Champenoise?

Duckhorn Portfolio Sparkling wine

All that glitters is not gold and all wines that sparkle did not attain their bubbles in the same way! Three of our Duckhorn Portfolio wineries (Goldeneye, Migration and Decoy) all make excellent sparkling wines. With that achievement in mind let’s take a moment to learn about the venerable method used to create these lovely bottlings.

All three of these wines sparkle because they were made following a labor-intensive process called the Méthode Champenoise. Méthode Champenoise translates roughly to “the Champagne Method.” Wines have been made following this method since the late 17th century. Very appropriate terminology when you consider this pathway was devised in Champagne, France. Once the process was established the methodology traveled from France to Spain and on to Italy. Eventually this process was adapted by wineries in the New World including here in California. In the most precise terms Champagne wines hail only from the Champagne Region of France. When bubbly wines come from outside Champagne, France we call them sparkling wines. There are three main grapes that have been the stars in these kind of wines for centuries: Pinot Nor, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. All the sparkling wines made by The Duckhorn Portfolio feature unique combinations of these three traditional grapes.

Whether it is called Champagne or sparkling wine, what is important is how the wine is made. It is universally agreed upon that the best Champagnes and sparkling wines in the world are made following the Méthode Champenoise. The key element to this process is a secondary fermentation in the bottle.

This secondary fermentation is accomplished by adding the liqueur de tirage to the still base wine. The liqueur de tirage is a liquid solution of yeast, wine and sugar that is added to the still base wine resulting in a secondary fermentation in the bottle. The extra heft you feel on sparkling wine bottles is due to the thickness of the glass. This extra heft is necessary to contain the trapped carbonation safely inside and to prevent the bottle from exploding.

Once this base wine is seeded with the liqueur de tirage it is then bottled and closed with a crown cap like a cap on a bottle of beer – not a cork. The yeast consumes the sugar causing a second fermentation in the bottle. The resulting carbon dioxide from this fermentation remains trapped in the bottle. Fun fact, the PSI (pound force per sq inch) in a bottle of sparkling wine is typically between 70 and 90 pounds per square inch. That is two to three times the pressure in your car's tires and why you should always open these bottles carefully.

Quality sparkling wines are aged in contact with their yeast cells for several months, even up to six years. At the end of this process the cap is removed along with the expired yeast cells in a step called disgorgement. A finishing wine called the dosage is added that enhances complexity and establishes the sweetness level for the finished wine. Finally, the crown cap is replaced with the traditional cork held securely in place with a wire cage.

There are cheaper less artistic ways to get fizz into a bottle of wine. The important thing to remember is that the secondary fermentation happens in the bottle in high quality sparkling wines. Only wineries that follow the practice describe here are legally able to use the phrase Méthode Champenoise or champagne method on their bottles. If you see the word “charmat” it means the secondary fermentation happened in a large tank, usually an indicator of a lesser quality wine.

Here’s to celebrating life on a daily basis with flutes lifted high! Cheers!

Time Posted: Oct 21, 2021 at 2:52 PM Permalink to What is Méthode Champenoise? Permalink
Katey Larwood
 
October 12, 2021 | Katey Larwood

The 2018 Vintage in Anderson Valley “The Goldilocks Vintage”

Grapes arriving

2018 in Anderson Valley was one of those years where everything just worked out. It was neither too hot or too cold, too wet or too dry, or the crop neither too big nor too small. It was, for all intents and purposes, “just right.”

After a very rainy winter providing a bounty of water reserves, the season gave way to lush and healthy canopies with a well-balanced crop in our vineyards. From the wet spring, budbreak and bloom were delayed, and we sailed through frost season without any sleepless nights. The summer months were very temperate with no heat spikes, so the grapes matured at an even, steady pace. Once it came time to harvest our first Pinot Noir fruit, we were well into September, which harked to the good ol’ days of the official unofficial start of harvest in Anderson Valley on the Monday after the County Fair, always mid-month. This tradition had fizzled away in recent years in part from compounded years of drought inching our start dates further into August. Once we got going, Goldeneye had a steady flow of Pinot fruit until October 31st, our latest vintage in many years.

Interns punching down

There’s something about harvesting grapes when it’s near freezing every morning with your sticky, cold fingers sorting through clusters as you chat and laugh with your team, dancing to Cumbia as you try to keep warm. These are the fleeting moments that turn the mysteries of winemaking into a real, livable feeling. It’s the fermented grapes squeezing between your toes with sweat streaming down your face as you shovel out fruit destined to be pressed. It’s the pre-dawn walkaround, tasting each bin as you mentally picture where to put everything and surprise – you’ve got 2 extra tons of your favorite block! It’s walking into the winery where the smells hit you like a train - red currant, plum and cranberry, sweet confectionary spices and dried herbs. Meanwhile your sleepy interns are enthusiastically punching each tank down as you blast music through the speakers to wake everyone up. You see the beauty in the madness of hoses pumping wine, presses rotating and hissing, forklifts beeping, barrels being unstacked, filled, then restacked – it is organized chaos that keeps your heart pumping and your feet moving. And finally, it’s the quiet, twilight-filled winery when everyone has gone home, and I am left with just a glass and a pair of headphones as I taste through every tank and trace the various stages of each fermentation. These are the moments I wait for all year, and in 2018 those moments were filled with intense happiness and pride in my team.

Goldeneye Team

I cannot talk about the 2018 season without mentioning the incredible people that are the unsung heroes of every Goldeneye wine. Our vineyard management company, spearheaded by Paul Ardzrooni and Tony Sanchez, these guys in addition to the countless other pickers, tractor drivers, and foremen that deliver us in the wee hours of the morning the literal fruits of their labor. Our own vineyard team of Rob Sorenson and Orlando Espinoza, who’s dedication is most seen in their sleepless, reddened eyes as they patiently wait for you to schedule the next day’s fruit. And of course, the Goldeneye cellar crew, fearlessly led by Pancho Ibarra, Goldeneye’s first and only cellar master of 25-years. His focus, dedication, adeptness, and humor are what keep the machine oiled and moving. Alongside Pancho is Jose Luis Mendoza, who’s laugh is infectious and eager-beaver attitude gets everyone moving, and Remy Martin, who’s energy has kept everyone lifted and hyped every day. Our three interns who’s love for winemaking inspired all of us every day, Sam Buckingham, Tomas Vietti, and Miriam Olivera. We have since added a few new team members who worked tirelessly to help finish the 2018 wines - Kristen McMahan, our wonderful Assistant Winemaker, who has an eye and taste for making truly great wines, and Julian Vasquez, our newest cellar crew member.

These people were and are 2018 Goldeneye and from one of the best season’s in recent memory - the Goldilocks Vintage - we can finally share these special wines with you all and truly hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed making them.

Time Posted: Oct 12, 2021 at 2:22 PM Permalink to The 2018 Vintage in Anderson Valley “The Goldilocks Vintage” Permalink
Julissa Munoz - Marketing Coordinator
 

The Dog Days of Summer

Cardiff with his dog Lando in the vineyard

The dog days of summer are here, and we are excited to be accompanied by our four-legged friends for one of our favorite seasons. We sat down with our Paraduxx Winemaker, Cardiff Scott-Robinson, who embraces days in the vineyard with his pup, Lando, every day of the year.

Lando, Cardiff’s 12-year-old Border Collie-Shepherd Mix, can be found roaming the vineyards at our Paraduxx Visitor Center, greeting and enjoying the company of our guests almost any day of the week.

We asked Cardiff what he felt makes Lando so unique, aside from the fact that he is named after a Star Wars character, Cardiff replied that it is Lando’s spunky personality! He can run through the vineyards, or kick back with his family, arm over the couch and just hang out like a human would. The way he switches from work mode to family mode is unmatched.

Cardiff explained to us that the vineyards were not the only paths traveled for Lando. The adventure-packed duo has a history of visiting the backcountry, where they frequently rock climb and hike.

One of Cardiff’s favorite memories with Lando is rock climbing through the Buttermilks in Bishop, California. “Seeing him run side to side and from group to group was great. He was in his happy place. He would even try to rock climb all by himself!”

The California backcountry is the duo’s favorite place. With endless amounts of hiking trails, smells and adventures, the two have created countless memories there. Lando even carries around his own backpack with his favorite treats!

Because Lando is slowing down, their adventures are not so daring anymore. Getting out and into the vineyards early and letting Lando run free, and family cruises where he trots alongside of his favorite 6-year-old human sister are what they can be found doing these days.

If you happen to visit our Paraduxx property and see Lando roaming around, stop by and say hello!

Time Posted: Jul 29, 2021 at 8:26 AM Permalink to The Dog Days of Summer Permalink
Anna Gsell - Marketing Intern
 

What is Rosé?

Duckhorn Portfolio Rose's

Introduction:

Many of us know of it as summer water! But Rosé isn’t just for summer; it is perfect all year long! The drink pink movement is here to stay and here at Duckhorn Portfolio we craft an array of Rosé Wines using different varieties which results in a range of delicious wines. Let’s dive into the concept of what is Rosé Wine and why we should all be drinking it!

Winemaking Methods:

  • Maceration method:
    This is when the red wine fruit in sitting in contact with the skins, seeds and stems to extract color and flavor in the juice. This is highly popular in locations like Provence, France. Provence is a highly regarded wine region that produces a benchmark style and in fact 88% of Provence wine production is dedicated to Rosé.
  • Saignee or “bled” method :
    This method is when only some of the juice is “bled off” and placed into a new vat during the first couple hours of making red wine. The purpose of this is to concentrate the red wines’ intensity. This is common in the Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley because of the specialization of producing fine red wines there.
  • Blending method:
    This method requires simply blending red and white wines together to create pink Rosé. This is incredibly uncommon in still Rosé wines production.

Flavor Profiles:

Rosé is fun in that it ranges in style and flavor profiles depending on the grapes used and the winemaking method. Our Rosé Wines are crafted in either the maceration method or the Saignee Method aiming for a bright, crisp and refreshing expression of Rosé.

Check out each of our Rosé wines tasting notes to get an idea of their flavor profiles:

  1. Goldeneye Anderson Valley Vin Gris of Pinot Noir:
    This Vin Gris is crafted with 100% Pinot Noir. It is fun and ebullient with its candied strawberry, pink grapefruit zest, guava, and bubble gum flavors. A light salmon hue also joins this array of fruit.
  2. Calera Central Coast Vin Gris of Pinot Noir:
    Cranberry and wild strawberry mingle with grapefruit and kumquat as the juice sits on 100% Pinot Noir to extract these gorgeous flavors. A juicy finish of smooth mango and marmalade round out the palate.
  3. Migration Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir:
    This wine captures the Sonoma Coast in a glass! Hints of jasmine, candied orange peel, white peach, and strawberry create the perfect sipper for a hot summer afternoon. This wine is also 100% Pinot Noir.
  4. Decoy California Rosé:
    This wine presents bright fruity flavors like pink grapefruit and strawberries. Tropical fruits like honeydew melon and guava liven up this Rosé. And subtle notes of minerals and spice bring this to a crisp finish. Our Decoy Rosé is a blend of Syrah, Vermentino, Carignan and Grenache.
  5. Paraduxx Napa Valley Rosé:
    Our Paraduxx Napa Valley Rosé is inspired by Provance, France and is a blend of Syrah and Grenache. This wine opens with enticing citrus notes of orange and lemon zest along with strawberry and apples flavors. Dynamic and dry, there is a lovely acidity making this a refreshingly crisp and elegant wine.
  6. Canvasback Walla Walla Valley Rosé:
    This Rosé is 100% Syrah from the high-elevation site of Resurgent Vineyard, along south fork of the Walla Walla River. On the nose, hints of peach, honeydew melon, cantaloupe and elderflower burst from the glass. And on the palate, a silky acidity reveals red fruit flavors as well as grapefruit, apricot and wet stones. This wine will awaken your palate and it perfect for a peaceful weekend in the backyard!

Join us in uncorking a splash of summer water all year long! And let us know which your favorite Rosé Wine is.

Time Posted: May 11, 2021 at 3:19 PM Permalink to What is Rosé? Permalink
Alex Gerberick - Sr. Marketing Coordinator
 

Out & About in Napa Valley

Corktree Vineyard and Hot Air Balloons at Sunrise

Sheltered between the Mayacamas Mountains and Vaca Range, the Napa Valley is an agricultural preserve with over 53,000 acres of ready to explore open space. While you may come for the wine, it’s hard to not be captivated by the beauty that is wine country, and the fertile land which makes it all possible. These are three great ways to get outside and experience the beauty that is the Napa Valley.

By Foot

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or up for a stroll, there are miles upon miles of trails perfect for any level. 

Close to our Migration Visitor Center is The Stanly Ranch Area Public Trailhead. This paved path meanders 1.5 miles out and back through Carneros, with breathtaking views of the surrounding vineyards. During the spring, bright yellow mustard flowers will pop up between the rows of vines, soon to be followed by bright green vineyard leaves, and of course, plentiful clusters of plump grapes come fall. This is a fantastic spot to visit any time of the growing season, as it gives you an up close look at the cycle in the vineyard.

Skyline Regional Park is a favorite of locals. Located in Coombsville, this park features some more strenuous hikes, giving you breathtaking views. On a clear day, you can see the San Francisco skyline from atop the Buckeye Trail. This park does require a $5 entrance fee. For trailhead specifics, visit SkylinePark.org

By Bike

There are a number of places to rent bicycles in Napa Valley; both in Yountville and Napa proper, as well as Calistoga, making traveling by bike not only a fun but easy way to explore wine country. It is not uncommon to see a group of weekend cyclists take a pit stop at our Paraduxx winery just outside of Yountville. Many rental locations offer both traditional bikes as well as e-bikes, giving you a bit more range for a little less work! 

There is currently a 12.5 mile paved path, The Napa Valley Vine Trail, stretching from Napa’s Kennedy Park north to Calistoga, which gives you great vineyard views, and a look at the famous Napa Valley welcome sign. 

This trail will eventually span 47 miles, connecting the Vallejo Ferry up to Calistoga, and will be lined with hundreds of trees to provide shade! Learn more about this ambitious project, at VineTrail.org.

Hot Air Balloon

Traveling by hot air balloon is such a unique experience, and a real treat for the adventurous! These excursions typically start in the wee hours of the morning, but are well worth it, as you get a bird’s eye view of daybreak across the valley. Flights launch from various points, including Yountville, and last 3-4 hours. Reservations are required, and flights are weather dependent, so this activity is best if you are flexible in your itinerary.

Pairs Well on the Go

Assorted Mixed Nuts

While you’re out finding must do’s in Napa it’s normal to work up an appetite. This simple Seasoned Mixed Nuts recipe  is the perfect option for when you’re on the go. Not to mention, they go great with wine too!

No matter how you choose to visit Napa Valley, we know you will have a wonderful time taking in the sights and sounds of one of the most exquisite wine regions in the world.

Time Posted: Apr 21, 2021 at 10:49 PM Permalink to Out & About in Napa Valley Permalink
Courtney Preston - Viticulturist
 

The 2018 Vintage in Napa Valley

2018 budbreak

The 2018 vintage was absolutely idyllic and our Napa Valley wines echo a near-perfect growing season. It was one of those years where you sigh with relief because mother nature decided to shine in your favor. Overall, it was a slightly cooler vintage; the winter brought minimal rains, the lowest we had seen in a few years. And as we headed into Spring there were grumbles of another drought, but the rain arrived right on time in March and April. We had a few powerful storms that filled the soil profiles and allowed the vines to wake up from dormancy.

Looking back over my years in viticulture, I see that what is considered “normal” in farming is always changing. That is part of the challenge of viticulture, everything stays the same while absolutely nothing stays the same. You can depend on nothing happening the way you expect it to and in that way that is reliable.

The temperatures in 2018 were cooler than the 2016 and 2017 season and we had moderate to high humidity with comparatively cooler days which contributed to fewer spikes of climactic demand for water (AKA the plant’s demand for water). Water is one of the greatest edges to have in the start of a vintage. It is the difference between coasting through to harvest and having to pay close attention to water demand up until harvest begins.

irrigation in the vineyards with a dog

Budbreak averages in Napa Valley were between March 23rd and April 3rd, about a week later than in 2017. The vineyards took longer to reach full canopy (June 16th as opposed to mid-May of 2017) and they had very little regrowth after hedging and leafing. Bloom began during mid-May in Napa and finished by the beginning of June. Weather during bloom was ideal, it was sunny and warm with a little breeze. When the fruit set, we had very little shatter and had full clusters. Since 2018 was cooler the berries remained small to medium, with great flavor concentration on large rachises.

The summer was mild with temperatures remaining in the high 80’s to the low 90’s, allowing the vines to grow a complete canopy and shift the focus to the fruit without having heatwaves shutting down the plant to conserve water. We had an extended veraison period which was an homage to the cooler year. While slower veraison periods can make me want to pull my hair out, it can be really beneficial to the color and tannin compounds in the grapes. Hang time is always a plus in the right conditions!

The soil water status contributed greatly to delays in bud break, bloom and veraison in 2018. Harvest began about 1-2 weeks later than average and proceeded smoothly. It was a fun harvest year and the ripening of the grapes helped us to have a well-spaced out, less frantic harvest season. Some years we pick non-stop for a month without a break and some years, like 2018, we have the joy of meandering through at each of our estate vineyard sites, including the Paraduxx Rector Creek vineyard.

2018 harvest

We had almost an inch of rain October 2nd and hot dry winds mid-October that led to a nice late season with dehydration of fruit which helped usher in the end of the 2018 vintage. The cooler vintage surely had a huge impact on the uniqueness of the wines from this year. 2018 was a rare gem of a vintage in Napa Valley and its ready to be shared with you!

Time Posted: Apr 16, 2021 at 9:38 AM Permalink to The 2018 Vintage in Napa Valley Permalink
Cardiff Scott-Robinson
 
March 3, 2021 | Cardiff Scott-Robinson

What is a Red Blend

Blending a red wine

The concept of a Red Blend can be a little confusing for someone new to wine. Is it synonymous with all Red Wine? What makes a wine a Red Blend? Luckily our resident expert, Paraduxx Winemaker Cardiff Scott-Robinson, is able to provide some clarity. Read on for his responses to a few common questions about Red Blends and the craft of blending Napa Valley wines.

1. What is a Red Blend wine?
A Red Blend is a wine that consists of multiple varieties of grapes blended together in specific proportions to craft a wine with a desired style in mind.

2. Why do you select multiple varietals?
Different varietals provide different flavor profiles, tannin structures, acidity levels and color intensity.

3. Can you blend red and white wines together?
Yes, some white wine can be added to increase the floral aromatics on the final blend. You can also add white grapes to a red ferment, like our Paraduxx Winemaker Series Co-Ferment, to help stabilize the color and bring more of the white aromatics into the wine.

4. What makes Napa Valley Blends special?
The vast micro-climates of the Napa Valley allow for diverse grape varieties with diverse ripening times. This allows us many options to play with and make the ideal wine blend from a variety of fruit selections.

5. What is fun or unique about crafting Paraduxx Red Blends versus single varietal wines?
The opportunity to fill in the gaps that a single varietal may have in any given year. The freedom to craft an ideal balanced wine. No restrictions allow the art of the blend to shine in elegant and compelling wines.

Time Posted: Mar 3, 2021 at 12:47 PM Permalink to What is a Red Blend Permalink
Anna Gsell - Marketing Intern
 

Our Favorite Soup and Wine Pairings

Winter Soups paired with The Duckhorn Portfolio Wines

Soup and Wine is a perfect combo for cold winter days! The hearty ingredients in a soup, even down to the herbs and spices, can make for a delicious winter wine pairing. For us food and wine pairings are really an exploration of your personal palate and preferences. In this post below, we are highlighting our favorites soup and wine pairings featuring wines from across our portfolio.

When we think of winter soup, the ever-classic Minestrone Soup is the first to come to mind. And our go-to pairing is Duckhorn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Both are instantly warming and comforting which is why they work so well together. Black pepper and licorice flavors from the wine bring a sense of spice to this bean and pasta-filled soup. Open a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and enjoy a classic winter pairing.

Clam Chowder is always one of our favorites for the winter season! This soup really captures a taste of the coast. The salinity of the clams and the richness from the butter and cream is balanced perfectly with a glass of the bright acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc. For Clam Chowder, we are reaching for our Decoy Sauvignon Blanc which features crisp acidity and notes of citrus, guava and stonefruit which cut right through the creaminess of Clam Chowder.

Earthy, funky and oh so delicious, Cream of Mushroom Soup is a comforting choice. In terms of pairing, Pinot Noir brings a great acidity and lovely fruit aroma to the table. Our personal choice for pairing Mushroom Soup and Pinot Noir is our Goldeneye Anderson Valley Ten Degrees Pinot Noir. Blended from our estate vineyards with the depth and diversity of Anderson Valley, Ten Degrees has layers of blueberry and blackberry, as well as notes of redwood forest, earth, and spice.

Potato Leek Soup is a smooth and velvety bowl of goodness. Our go-to pairing is our Migration Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, hints of apple, stonefruit and citrus mingle with subtle notes of sweet vanilla which bring a refreshing element to this savory-filled meal. A little sweet and savory can never go wrong!

We hope you are enjoying soup and wine season just as much as we are. Tag us on Instagram to share your favorite pairings with us!

Time Posted: Jan 28, 2021 at 10:56 AM Permalink to Our Favorite Soup and Wine Pairings Permalink
Alex Gerberick - Sr. Marketing Coordinator
 

Dried Citrus for the Holidays

Make dried citrus slices for Holiday decorations

Drying citrus for decorating or eating, is an easy and wonderful way to add beautiful color to your holiday decor. You can add citrus slices to greenery like wreaths and garlands, or serve with your cheese and charcuterie board. You can even have a fun family craft night in front of the fireplace while making a string of citrus for your holiday tree! A few simple steps and you are ready to go, however you choose to use them.

1 - Start the Heat

Set the oven at 170 -200 degrees or use a dehydrator. The dehydrator requires a bit more time, but less watching and moving. If you’re in a pinch for time, the oven is a better choice - plus it makes the house smell so good!

2 - Gather your Citrus:

It’s fun to do a mixture with different types of citrus - Navel oranges, blood oranges, Cara Cara (they have a beautiful pink color inside), tangelos, Meyer lemons - or any other citrus you’d like to use. The variety of sizes will look great.

3 - Chop Away:

Using a sharp knife - thinly slice the citrus - 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Try to keep them consistent in thickness so they dry evenly. Gently lay them between two towel layers and press to absorb some of the juice released when slicing. This will allow for more even drying when you pop them in the oven. It's a good idea to remove the seeds as well before heating.

4 - Bake or Dry:

Bake: If you’re using the oven, line your sheet pans with parchment paper and layer the citrus down, trying not to overlap and leaving a bit of space between each slice. Place in oven. When citrus slices look about halfway through baking, move them onto a drying rack. Then place back on top of the cookie sheet & parchment before putting back in the oven, to catch any drippings. When they are dried to your liking, remove from oven and let cool completely.

Dry: In you’re using the dehydrator - layer the citrus on the trays, leaving a bit of space between each slice. Close dehydrator and set to the desired temperature. 145 is recommended but you can turn to the highest temperature on your dehydrator (usually 165) if you’d like. They will be done in 3-5 hours depending on thickness and temperature. Let cool.

5 - Decorate:

Making these together with family is a fun and simple idea that is easy to make into an annual holiday tradition. Add them to a centerpiece for the table, create a unique ornament, or embellish your gift wrapping with a natural touch. The possibilities are endless and you can enjoy your handiwork with a glass of any of our Duckhorn, Paraduxx, Goldeneye, Migration, Decoy, Canvasback or Calera wines when you are done! Shop our online wine store to find your favorite.

Time Posted: Dec 5, 2020 at 5:38 PM Permalink to Dried Citrus for the Holidays Permalink
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