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“State of the Winery” Address 2018 Paskett Winery | December 2018

Paskett Winery Team

We couldn’t resist this play on words for Paskett Winery’s end of the year newsletter. Our tasting room rests on Senator Ben Langford’s estate – Lodi’s first senator. Alas, we present to you the “State of the Winery” address summarizing our 1st year open and a preview what’s to come.

WINE

NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE WINE!

Opening the Paskett Winery tasting room a year ago was a journey that forced many good things to come to the fore. With great effort, we refurbished the glorious Langford Estate. It was satisfying to see it transform it into a hip tasting room. a relaxing, customer-sipping, tasting, picnicking, bird-watching, lawn game-playing, flower picking and what-ever-strikes-your-fancy wine visiting center.

Our best wines in the line-up were presented in the tasting menu. They were put through the test with our customers and with judges at state and national competitions. We’ve won awards with nearly all the wines, and more importantly our customers love them. In our first year were lucky to have been recognized by respected wine periodicals and sommeliers as a new super-premium, small, unique winery.

One of our biggest sellers is the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet blends. The 2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon sold out within weeks of opening the tasting room. The top seller today is the 2014 red blend, “Cabrona.” To our surprise, our estate grown Charbono became one of the top sellers too. The 2015 Charbono is a small lot wine made from river’s edge vineyard behind the winery. Wine Enthusiast featured Paskett Estate Charbono last year, drawing interest and travelers from many parts of Northern California. Perhaps this is the start of an old wine aficionado trend; could it be that the Charbono Society that existed in Napa from decades ago will resurface?

On the whiter side . . . our Verdelho was featured in Sunset Magazine as 2017 National Wine of Year for its varietal. That was a big one! The 2016 Viognier is almost sold out just after having been well-rated in Wine Enthusiast. Albarino earned a crowd too; our 2015 Albarino is sold out, customers love the 2017 Albarino blend and 2017 Albarino. Who knew Lodi had such a big Albarino fan club. Our customers are open to trying something different.

2018 harvest

THANK GOODNESS IT’S OVER. JUST SAY’N.

This was a strange year; we all (farmers, winery owners, winemakers, crews) thought that, even if we didn’t say it out loud. The vineyards (and the fruit) were all over the place and late to come in. It is these unusual years that give us the biggest challenges and have the potential to deliver superior wines. This year, the weather was mild, which is optimal for winegrowers – slow, long ripening seasons allow berries to capture their full complexity of flavors from the mighty vines which work hard during ripening season. But we also experienced about 4 weeks of haze. This mild weather, haze and rain in October resulted in complex fruit offerings for the Charbono, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot and Cabernet Franc. (Yup, we added Cabernet Franc to the wine program this year!) We tracked each vineyard and each varietal closely, praying the fruit and vines stayed in balance and crews were at the ready to harvest when we hit that perfect balance which produces heavenly wines. They did.

There is also one big change this year. We decided to introduce 100% new French oak to some of our wines. We’ve historically used neutral to 40% barrels. New barrels are now being used for the 2018 Bordeaux-style varietals. We can’t wait to see how this influences some of our wines. You will be the judge. Hold that thought until 2020 when we bottle this vintage. Then, please, tell us if you like the difference.

We included two favorite whites this year in the wine program; Viognier and Chenin Blanc. These blonde beauties will be ready by next summer. They are in stainless steel this year. It will be a bit different than our first Viognier (done in French Oak).

2017 WINES IN PRODUCTION

What a line-up we have. We embarked on an ambitious wine program in 2017, even though it was the same year we built and opened the new tasting room, new barrel room, and new public gardens for the winery. Not sure what we were thinking. We are glad that we put in the extra effort to add more varietals to the 2017 program because it will enable us to showcase what Lodi AVA can offer to the wine scene. We have some of the best soils in the world for winegrowers. To boot, Lodi has dedicated, skilled viticulturists (wine grape farmers) and a wide wine grape variety planted. For a winery owner and a winemaker, Lodi AVA is a rich wine wonderland.

So, let’s get to it – in 2017 we added Petite Verdot, Malbec, and a Zinfandel (yes, we gave into pressure and added a Zin). These reds are all still aging, working, evolving in their French oak barrels. The other 2017 reds in barrels are Paskett Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Clone 7), Bischoff Cabernet Sauvignon (Clone 337), and Paskett Estate Charbono. We are planning to present a Bordeaux blend, and stand-alone wines of the various single varietals. We will bring back our famous Cabrona Proprietor’s red blend: Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Syrah. Just thinking about all those wines makes us tired!

FOOD THAT IS FUN

SNEAK PREVIEW INTO 2019 | POP-UP PARTIES MIX IT UP.

We are grateful for our wonderful customers and club members. In 2019, we will be looking for ways to keep it fun and interesting. Planning gatherings around cuisine and new chefs is in the works; our goal for new year is to keep searching for new, interesting experiences to bring to the region. As we team with our local culinary leaders and recruit new epicurious talent, we will be putting together a line-up of exciting wine/cuisine experiences throughout the year. Once 2019 events are released, we hope you join the fun!

Creating unique experiences for our club members is important to us. So, don’t be surprised if you find us bringing you to new venues outside of the tasting room grounds next year for exclusive club releases and club events. Stay tuned. 2018 was a rewarding first year for Paskett Winery and there is more to come in 2019.

WINE SPECIALS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Taking care of you is our priority. We hope you enjoyed the wine discounts this season that we extended to kick-start the holidays. If you are thinking of sending wine as gifts, let us know. We can handle the holiday packaging and shipping just in time to get to your loved ones. Visit us at the tasting room or on-line at Paskettwinery.com to order your wine for the holidays and times you share with friends, family and colleagues.

We have food pairing recommendations for each wine for your holiday meals and can help you calculate how much wine you need for each event. So, if you need to stock up for the holiday parties, or just need to take a break from the stress of it all, come out and see us. We will be here every weekend until the year closes out. Cheers!

Credits:

Created with images by Rawf8 - "Red wine glasses on snow" • martingaal - "pretty couple drinking red wine and eating in restaurant, winter time, romantic dinner" Also thank you Dale Goff, Stacey Caton and Steve Curry for providing pictures.

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