A Gold Medal Thanksgiving at Blue Rock Vineyard

A Gold Medal Thanksgiving at Blue Rock Vineyard November in the Alexander Valley sees activity in the vineyards winding down, the fall colors popping up all around us, and the temperatures beginning their annual migration south. 2015 has been a year of wonderful growth for our winery and our team here at Blue Rock Vineyard. Now it is the season to give thanks. After another very successful harvest we were thrilled to learn that we won a double gold medal for our 2012 Best Barrels Cabernet Sauvignon at the 2015 American Wine Society Commercial Wine Competition. The American Wine Society, founded in 1967, is the largest consumer-based wine organization in the U.S. The American Wine Society competition for commercial wine has been held annually since the 1986. Judges are selected from a broad spectrum of wine industry professionals, including marketers, writers and wine makers.  All wines are judged blind and by panel consensus.

Images from Blue Rock Harvest 2015

  Images from Blue Rock Harvest 2015 offers our readers and Ambassador members a view into the world of a winery harvest, and insight into the results of this year’s crush from our owner Kenny Kahn. We are also sharing some of the backstory on these fantastic harvest images taken by guest photographer Loren Root. Loren, a veteran of 16+ years in the wine industry, is a terrific artist whose eye for the rigors of harvest is apparent in these compelling photographs. This photo essay is a testament to the men and women who do very difficult labor, under fast-paced and challenging conditions, in order to deliver our exceptional fruit to the winemaking team. Neither Blue Rock nor any other winery in California could make the wines we make without the contributions of these workers, and for that, we offer our sincere thanks for a job well done.

Blue Rock 2015 Harvest Report

We are knee deep into Harvest 2015 at Blue Rock, and we are grateful as always for the beautiful estate fruit that makes the backbone of our wines. The size of our crop is lower by 40% compared to an average year but the berries are tiny which portends a concentrated and high quality crop. The heat wave around Labor Day pushed the brix to 25+ which forced us to pick some of the earliest on record.   *Videographer: Oscar Beckmann   At our Alexander Valley Estate blue Rock Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are at a record low for cluster weight and what we have picked thus far is 40 percent below normal crop yields. We have harvested about 75 percent of our grapes so far and the reds we have crushed to date are beautiful with deep colors and wonderful aromas. The berries are small but delicious. The early reds, Merlot, Petit Verdot Read More …

Blue Rock Harvest 2015 – Coming Soon!

Blue Rock harvest 2015 is coming soon, and we are more prepared than ever to convert this amazing fruit into the best wines we can make. At Blue Rock Vineyard, we take quality to a level very few producers are willing to do. We spare little expense in doing the work in our vineyards that elevate our wines to collectible status. One of the principal costs to us is the material wrap we stream across our entire estate. You can see the extent of this wrap in the photo above. Our vines are left open to the gentle rising sun in the east. This helps to eliminate dew, and to get our grapes photosynthesizing each morning during the growing season. As the grapes begin to mature, and before veraison (the point at which red wine grapes go from green to dark blue and purple), we painstakingly install this vineyard wrap. The ambient temperature in the Read More …

Miro Tcholakov – Winemaker Against All Odds

Miro Tcholakov makes the red wines of Blue Rock Vineyard. He came to this role against all odds. Miroslav, as written on his passport, hails from the town of Trayan, Bulgaria. This village of under 22,000 inhabitants is named for the Roman emperor, Trajan. Trajan would have been proud to have known Miro. Because like the great emperor, Miro’s rise to prominence came through hard work, duty as a soldier, and a keen understanding of the wants of the people. Born and raised under the unrelenting regime of the former Soviet Union, the odds were against him. Miro had to make tough choices, the kind that few of us in the free world will ever face. These decisions led him on an adventure typically reserved for Hollywood, or the wine business.

Housewrighter embeds with Blue Rock Vineyard

The Housewrighter has embedded with Blue Rock Vineyard for a 1 year exploration of an estate, its winery, and the people who manage them. Kenny Kahn is the magnanimous owner of Blue Rock in the Alexander Valley. This recently fashionable enclave of excellent wine is showing up all over the press lately. Blue Rock is one of the reasons it is. The wines are excellent, but I am not here to write about wine flavors, organoleptic compounds, or scores from critics. I am here to talk about people, to share my observations living at the winery once a month, and to learn just what the hell goes on day-to-day during the winery year. It all starts with Kenny, a native of Memphis, and while his southern charm is evident, do not be mislead by the lilt of his voice when he describes his estate. Kenny is no bumpkin. He is cool, well-dressed in French berets, Read More …

The Blue Rock Chronicles – Blending

Kenny Kahn and Graduated Cylinders, in Baby Blue, of Course The Blue Rock Chronicles is my year-long journey, in residence, with Blue Rock Vineyard in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley. Recently, I had the great privilege of sitting in, and joining, the blending of Blue Rock’s most popular wine, Baby Blue. My favorite part of being a wine merchant, for many years, was the opportunity to taste so many finished wines upon their releases. Now, after the many thousands of prêt à boire products I have tried, for which I believed many could have been better with my professional input, I was getting my chance to put my money where my mouth is. Well, let’s just say, not only was I bad, I would have likely ruined Baby Blue, and the winery’s reputation had I been given the final say in the blend. Gut instincts, guesses, and my long-held beliefs as to which varieties of grapes Read More …