Hello Friends and Happy New Year!

How the heck is it already 2019? So much has happened since our newsletter last spring, that it’s hard to even know where we want to begin this one.

Gratitude seems like a great place to start.  As we reflect back on 2018 and get ready to embrace a brand new year, we are grateful to be working hard, surrounded by wonderful family and friends, and doing what we love on a vineyard that is still standing despite increasingly frequent environmental threats. This fall’s devastating Camp and Woolsey fires were reminders of just how close we came to losing our business a year ago, and more importantly, how crucial it is that we all do everything we can to take better care of this planet.

 

THE VINEYARD

2018 was a GREAT growing season.  The perfect "low and slow" conditions bathed the vines this year.  Plenty of moisture in the soil, no wet weather during fruit set, no heat spikes late in the season, no smoke.  In our fourteen years as growers, this vintage arguably provided our best weather - we look forward to seeing how it translates in bottle.  With an "easier" time in the vineyard, we were able to focus entirely on our wine goals, which included a large Grenache harvest and a Serendipity-like Syrah pick (we now need to name this wine - let us know if you have any ideas!).  

 

FARMING

We take great pride in the fact that we are a diversified farmstead, our vineyard and agriculture is watered entirely by a rain catchment on site, and that we are a certified sustainable vineyard. We also love that our partnership with Jenny and Vince not only puts land to good agricultural use, but that products other than wine coming off the farmstead are of such outstanding quality that they also make it onto the Bay Area’s top restaurant menus (think Aster and Single Thread).  And, just like we have done with our wines, Jenny and Vince have taken some risks to offer unique vegetable varieties to help carve their reputation.  Ever heard of Celtuce?  We hadn’t until Jenny and Vince gave us a market basket with some that left us scratching our heads, but thankful after indulging.  Just imagine the love child of lettuce & celery.

To get oriented around Celtuce, you can find The Huffington Post take on this new-to-us veggie HERE

 

FOODIE CORNER

At the Belden house, holidays bring an opportunity for giving and receiving cookbooks.  Two we’re very high on this year are Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering The Elements of Good Cooking, by Samin Nosrat and illustrated by Wendy McNaughten (a cult favorite that needs little explaining) and Six Seasons:  A New Way With Vegetables, by Joshua McFadden.  Six Seasons is a great combination of new takes, recipes you will actually use and flat out beautiful.  As a farm-centric operation, we love useful, seasonal cookbooks and this one excels.  A fun selection to give you a feel is McFadden’s Delicata Squash Donuts.  Belden Barns Grüner Veltliner is a great companion to this one!

Lauren and friend Ashley Fan-Girling it with the dynamic duo from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.

 

BUZZ

We're happy to report that Belden Barns has recently received quite a bit of positive attention. With articles popping up everywhere from the San Francisco Chronicle to Wine Enthusiast to Sonoma Magazine to Walnut Creek Magazine to 7X7 Magazine and Forbes.com, visits to our farmstead are connecting with new folks, and it feels amazing to welcome so many enthusiastic new members to our wine club.  In fact, one of our favorite media reviews this year was by the fabulous wine blogger Sheila Jane (www.sonomawinelife.com), who visited 100 wineries in 100 days and only joined one wine club: ours. To read more about why, click HERE.

 

KEEPING SCORE

As promised, were going to toot our horn when there's something to trumpet.  We continue to strive for wines that straddle approachable and wine geeky, always shooting the highest quality wines we love to drink.  We pride ourselves on the fact that all of our wines have scored 90 or above, which is saying quite a bit given their reasonable price points.

93+ / Wine Advocate / Belden Barns 2015 Serendipity Block Pinot Noir

93 / Wine Advocate / Belden Barns 2016 Serendipity Block Pinot Noir

92 / Wine Enthusiast / Belden Barns 2016 Estate Grown Grüner Veltliner

92 / Wine Enthusiast / Belden Barns NV Late Harvest Viognier

91 / Wine Enthusiast / Belden Barns 2016 Serendipity Block Pinot Noir

90 / Wine Enthusiast / Belden Barns 2015 Estate Grown Chardonnay

90 / Wine Advocate / Belden Barns NV Late Harvest Viognier

90 / Wine Enthusiast / Belden Barns 2016 Estate Pinot Noir

 

WHERE THE WIND COMES SWEEPIN' DOWN THE PLAIN

Good news for those of you who live in Oklahoma.  We can now ship directly to your doorstep!

 

NEW PLACEMENTS

Bacchus & Venus, Sausalito

Bird & The Bottle, Santa Rosa

Douglas Market, San Francisco

Pläj Restaurant, San Francisco

StockHome, Petaluma

 

Finally, we hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and a great kickoff to the New Year! If you’re looking for something to do on Valentine’s Night, keep your eyes peeled for tickets to our inaugural “Bottle Your Love” blending workshop at 18 Reasons in San Francisco.  Tickets will go live shortly, so expect an email from us, and keep checking 18 Reasons February calendar HERE

 

In the meantime, sending lots of love, positive energy and BIG (warm) WISHES your way.

With love,

Lauren and Nate

 
Belden Barns
5561 Sonoma Mountain Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
415-577-8552

 

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