Life in the (lovely, wine-drenched) Trenches

IN WINE WE LUST

New wines and IN WINE WE LUST merchandise available soon!

Dear Readers and devoted friends of Bacchus, please forgive my absence. My last entry recounted the bottling of my first wines and the thrill of my hard won accomplishment. The following months have been a whirlwind involving single-minded efforts to get my wine into stores, restaurants and ultimately into the wine glasses of wine lovers here, there and everywhere!

Pat Haley with Colibri Chocolates and me at the La Bufadora Art Show. Courtesy of EnsenadaGazette.com

Pat Haley with Colibri Chocolates and me at the La Bufadora Art Show. Courtesy of EnsenadaGazette.com

On a personal level it has been frightening as well as validating. Just like the opening night and run of a theatrical production where one hopes the house will fill and the show will be well-received, introducing my new wine to the public has been nerve-wracking. What if no one likes it? What if I flop? And like a poem or any work of art, it is what it is and must speak for itself. The author and the painter have to release their expectations at a certain point and allow others to come to their own conclusions. Likewise  every bottle can’t be followed to its destination with me in tow explaining that it’s my first wine and what my intentions were and what to expect and how to drink it, and, and, and …

handcrafted artisanal wine

All VG wines are corked, labeled and capsuled by hand

It’s also fascinating to review where I started with the wine and where I’ve ended up with it. What an evolution! Hand-crafting a wine and making the blend represents a winemaker’s personal aesthetic and this was perhaps the highlight of winemaking for me.

Though I do admire and desire big, heavy, oaky, aged wines from time-to-time, they’re not for my every day palate. I knew I wanted to create soft, young, fruity wines that are easy drinking, approachable and fun. Wines that don’t necessarily need to be paired with strong food in order to be appreciated. There’s quite a lot of awe and grave veneration when it comes to wine culture, a lot of competition for recognition and prizes. I wanted to step away from all that and create wines that celebrate sexy irreverence and are simply fun to drink.

Tasting from the wine barrels

Frequent tastings from the barrels prepared me for the final blending

For “Lady in Red” I had a formula that I wanted to play around with and I knew from frequently tasting the wine in the barrel what I would get and how to create the balance and the results I was looking for. My second wine, “50 Shades of Red” was a completely different story. I woke up in the middle of the night with the name in my head and when it came time to blend I had no particular recipe in mind, I started with a base and added a little of this and a pinch of that like a mad chef inventing a new dish in the kitchen until I encountered that which I didn’t know I was even looking for. Voila! Wine as revelation. Wine as a mirror where I see my giggling, happy reflection winking back at me. Wine that makes you want to get up and shake your booty! You know what I’m talking about, Ladies. One thing that has been fascinating and gratifying to observe is that neither wine is consistently favored over the other. Some people gravitate towards “50 Shades of Red” for its lovely aromas and refreshing brightness on the palate and others choose “Lady in Red” for the velvety mouth-feel and more complex fruit.

"50 Shades of Red" at the 1O1 Vino & Bistro in Ensenada!

“50 Shades of Red” at the 1O1 Vino & Bistro in Ensenada!

After all the teeth gnashing and hand-wringing I’m happy to report that the wine is selling well and it looks as though I may actually have a future in this business! Meanwhile I’m continuing to explore the wine valley and experience the phenomenal wines produced here. I am continuously learning, adore having my palate challenged and I love supporting the generous and passionate community of winemakers who I am privileged to count as my friends. I have a strong, savvy, hard-working and talented team coming together and the future of Valley Girl Baja Wine is exciting. New releases are just around the corner and IN WINE WE LUST merchandise will be available soon.

Recently bottled Dolcetto

“Soul Sister” my 100% Dolcetto to be released soon!

Summer heat has arrived and Guadalupe Valley vineyards are lush with young fruit and leafy vines. Suddenly harvest doesn’t seem that far away. Vendimia (festivals and parties held at local wineries celebrating the upcoming harvest) is right around the corner. I’m getting my ducks in a row. This year I plan to expand my product line and double production. It’s going to be a wild ride. Wooo hooooo!!!!!

Valle de Guadalupe vineyard

The promise of summer fruit ripening on the vine

About valleygirl

6 Responses to “Life in the (lovely, wine-drenched) Trenches”

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  1. Susan A Mahalick says:

    Sitara has continued to exceed my expectations of her from the beginning of our friendship. I had every confidence in her from the beginning. It will be exciting to see what the future holds for one of our newest winemakers in the valley. WooHoo!

  2. Leonora says:

    Well done! Your courage and enthusiasm has got to result in success. I’m routing for you from this side of the planet.

    By the way, when are you going to start writing the book? You make one feel and see whatever it is you’re describing.

    Here’s to the new born Queen of Wine:)

    • valleygirl says:

      Thanks for cheering me on, Leonora. Some day I’ll figure out a way to come and visit you. Trying to get a documentary project off the ground in the meantime … “Over a Barrel”

  3. Hey….this is fascinating! I have met you a couple of times, once with mr. James Kay at the italian restaurant, and again at gusto with bekka Ladies Lets Lunch! Very interested in what you’re doing…..and I’d love to taste your wine. Would love to meet up !

    • valleygirl says:

      Thanks, Robin! Let me know when you want to come to the valley sometime. I’ve got a little tasting bar on my front porch I’m about to open to the public. Would love to have you over!

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