We are thrilled to welcome Jeff Strekas, our new winemaker, to the Record Family Wines team! Jeff has an impressive background, both in and outside of the wine industry. He has a love for blending, which we are excited to have him lead us through at the upcoming Blendning Experience. We still have a few seats left, so grab your tickets to this unique event today!
We conducted a quick Q&A with Jeff for our Spring Wine Club Newsletter so our members could get to know him better. We hope you enjoy learning more about Jeff and get the chance to meet him soon!
Favorite part of your job? In no particular order: talking about/teaching about wine, making a consumable product with my hands, working on my coopering skills (barrel repair), being out in the vineyard, cleaning the cellar floors and drains (no, seriously), forklifting, climbing barrel stacks, and of course tasting!
Favorite wine and food pairing? Dry German Riesling and sushi
What are your hobbies? Wine, whisky, IPAs, reading (a mix of non-fiction and cheesy fantasy), music (mostly classic rock and hard-rock), and Crossfit/Weightlifting
Favorite books? American Gods by Neil Gaimen and The Art of War by Sun Tzu (good luck reconciling those two things)
Favorite places to visit? There's too much fun stuff out there to keep going back to the same places! The most memorable trips I've had would be visiting Egypt, Tanzania (climbing to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro), Taiwan, Australia (Tasmania is criminally under-rated), and Tulum Mexico.
Anything else you would like to share? I'm a firm believer in Stapp's Law (the human aptitude for ineptitude is so great that it makes even the smallest accomplishment a minor miracle) and Hanlon's Razor (Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity).
Our first blending seminar was a wild success! We would like to thank the 39 participants that competed to create the best belnd of our 2016 Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre. Spring is usually a gorgeous time in the vineyard, and the weekend of the Blending Seminar was no exception!
Guests arrived at 3:00pm to start with the serious part of the event - creating the ultimate GSM blend! We separated the attendees into smaller groups, about six people per table, and let them take it from there. First we had the participants come up with a team name and get familiar with the individual wines they would be working with. After names were selected and they knew what they were working with, the teams got down to blending.
Once each team had come up with their favorite blend, we had our Vineyard Manager, Mindy, Assistant Winemaker, Vince, and neighbor and fellow Winemaker, Leon Tackitt, taste through the six blends to narrow it down to three finalists.
While we were working on narrowing the field down, guests were able to take a short vineyard tour ending at our VIP tasting area where they sampled our 2016 Viognier and enjoyed a selection of cheese and other bites from Le Vigne.
Gathered back at the shop, the event concluded with dinner provided by Hurricane Kitchen, dessert by Clementine's Cupcakes, and entertainment by Chris Beland. Throughout the evening, guests were able to taste the three final blends and vote on which was their favorite. We tabulated the votes and finally declared a winner!
The winning blend was from the team The BabyMakers and consisited of 55% Mourvedre, 33% Syrah, and 12% Grenache. We are anxious to bottle this wine and release it next year!
In an attempt to make Record Family Wines a truely family friendly experience, we secured two babysitters to take care of children of attendees throughout the blending portion of the event. When it was over, kids were welcome to join the group for vineyard tours, dinner, and entertainment! We sure are glad we added this option because the winning team had seven young children between them!
Thanks again to everyone that joined us for a beautiful weekend at the vineyard. We hope you had as much fun as we did!
Photos courtesy of Sara Record!
I got to spend a quick but wonderful weekend in Paso for the inaugural CABs of Distinction event put on by the Paso Robles CAB Collective. The events were fabulous and the wines amazing. If you can, I highly recommend attending the consumer event next year!
I was able to take a few pictures of the vineyard to get in this blog post before the end of the month! Spring can be a stressful time in the vineyard. Once the buds break through, it is crucial to keep the new growth safe from the elements. It can still get pretty cold in the early morning hours and the vines are susceptible to frost. Frost can drastically reduce the yield of a crop and in the worst case, destroy an entire crop. Fortunately, because of our location and the fact that we delay pruning for so long at the beginning of the year, we do not typically experience extensive frost damage.
We are taking frost into consideration when developing the new plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon and taking several measures to protect the new vines from frost in the future. A blog post describing those measures will be coming soon!
[Left - April 5th, Right - April 28th]
Left – April 5th, Right – April 28th
[Fragile new growth.]
Fragile new growth.
It is in the 90’s today in Paso Robles, so expect to see much more green and substantial growth in May’s post!
The vines have obviously been loving this warm Spring weather! Here are a few pics of the vineyard from yesterday. Lots of lush green canopy ready to provide some shade for the developing clusters as summer unofficially arrives this Memorial Day weekend!
Clusters starting to form on the vines.
Overlooking the new plantings and Merlot.
New vines are looking strong!
Close up of a new vine.
Gorgeous Oak trees in the middle of the vineyard.
It’s amazing to watch the transformation that takes place in the vineyard! Just six weeks ago we were looking for any sign of bud break – now the vines are well on their way to producing the 2012 crop. A post on weather updates for this growing season will come soon!