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What’s That Smell?

Date: Tue, Jun 9, 2009

Grapevine bloom, and the pollination that follows, is one of those amazingly simple but ridiculously complicated things. First, the basics: Before bloom the only visible part of an individual grape flower is the fused cap of petals known as the calyptra. Once the calyptra is shed, pollen is liberated from the anthers of the stamen. [...]

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What’s With The Rain Today?

Date: Fri, Jun 5, 2009

We have taken a roller coaster ride here at the winery with the weather. The last few weeks we have seen temperatures over 100 degrees and today we woke up with showers and clouds. We certainly need the moisture, but those cooler temps are going to make the garden slow down its great [...]

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Music in the Cellar

Date: Wed, Jun 3, 2009

I mentioned in a previous post that the vines seem to do better when they have a little company. Hogwash? Well, if that was a stretch for some of you, this may be way over the top. What influences do you think music has on wine, if any? I’m a firm believer that music shapes [...]

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Tiny Fuzzy Hummingbirds

Date: Fri, May 22, 2009

I just got back from an afternoon in the vineyard, hiking around and keeping track of bloom (underway in the chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot blanc right now).  Have I mentioned that it’s incredibly beautiful out there in the vineyard?  And although it’s quite easy to get caught up in the grand scheme of things [...]

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Gardens Gone Wild!

Date: Wed, May 6, 2009

Last spring, at one of the many fun festivities under the oak tree at Michel-Schlumberger, I overheard a bemused young woman as she wandered through the organic vegetable garden. “This garden is a mess!” Ouch.  That wasn’t one of the better compliments I’ve received on my gardening but it did get me thinking.  And I can kinda [...]

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Seeds and Spring

Date: Wed, Apr 22, 2009

If you have any interest in gardening, and have gotten on a mailing list, you should have already received enticing catalogues that showcase vegetables and flowers to plant for Spring.  I put all the other materials aside, and spend my time reading the descriptions for these plants during the cold and rainy months of the [...]

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Smoke Signals

Date: Fri, Apr 3, 2009

 The crew has gone through and completed all the pruning for the upcoming season.  What now?  What to do with all those clippings?  You could A) take all the clippings and throw them into the vine row and chip them down with your mower. B) collect all of the clippings and chip them into a [...]

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A Walk in the Vineyard

Date: Thu, Apr 2, 2009

As Vineyard Biologist at Michel-Schlumberger, one of my responsibilities is “vineyard monitoring.”  This semi-scientific term simply means that once a week I walk through every one of our 65 individual vineyard blocks over 90 acres to assess the general health of the vines.  This involves keeping track of vine phenology (the timing of bud break, [...]

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A Birth Announcement

Date: Fri, Mar 20, 2009

Congratulations, I think, are in order.  I am extremely pleased to officially announce the birth of the 2009 vintage Michel-Schlumberger wines.  We’re all very proud! Yes, it’s bud break time in the vineyard. The bare vines, dormant all winter, are just starting to spring back into action.  The fuzzy white buds in the early-ripening varietals (Chardonnay [...]

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Roll Out The Barrel…Weekend!

Date: Thu, Mar 19, 2009

Barrel Tasting Weekend sponsored by the Russian River Wine Road is one of the best parties on Earth!  The event takes place over 2 consecutive weekends and always is a huge hit with wine lovers.  This year was certainly no exception.  And in Dry Creek Valley, where there is a virtual sea of Zinfandel, Michel-Schlumberger [...]

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Michel-Schlumberger’s Benchland Blog Wins Top Award!

Date: Tue, Mar 10, 2009

We’ve been so swamped with Barrel Tasting Weekend 1 that we haven’t had a chance to share the great news.  Last Friday, Michel-Schlumberger’s ‘Benchland Blog’ received recognition by winning the 2009 American Wine Blog Awards for top winery blog!  We are absolutely thrilled & honored for this recognition and want to thank all who voted for [...]

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Great wine town - Washington D.C.

Date: Mon, Mar 9, 2009

Washington, D.C. is one of my favorite places in the country. I just returned from selling wine in the D.C. and Northern Virgina market. What is not to like about DC? The best museums in the country, btw they are all free. Turn the corner and bang, its the White House. Lets go check out [...]

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Open Your Bottle Night

Date: Wed, Mar 4, 2009

  Years ago I learned about the Wall Street Journal’s Open That Bottle Night.  The concept is why wait to open that “special” bottle of wine for a “special” occasion.   Instead open it now - it could remind you of a past special occasion, it could make this occasion special just by opening it or…you may [...]

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Open Your Bottle Night

Date: Wed, Mar 4, 2009

  Years ago I learned about the Wall Street Journal’s Open That Bottle Night.  The concept is why wait to open that “special” bottle of wine for a “special” occasion.   Instead open it now - it could remind you of a past special occasion, it could make this occasion special just by opening it or…you may [...]

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