Belden Barns


Hello Friends of Belden Barns - Winter is upon us and here's what we're up to.....


Belden Barns Included In "Best of Year"

We're excited to report that Belden Barns is slowly but surely entering the zeitgeist.  While we always get a little jolt when a respected source gives our wines a nod, we thought it would be fun for you who are participating in the very early days of our family business to be able to say "I thought that was good juice before anyone else did!"  Here is some of the latest encouragement from the press.

94 points - 2013 Serendipity Block Pinot Noir - Wine & Spirits (December 2015)

92 points - 2012 Estate Syrah - Connoisseurs' Guide (November 2015)

91 points - 2012 Estate Syrah - Wine Enthusiast (November 2015)

91 points - 2013 Estate Grüner Veltliner - Wine Enthusiast (February 2016)

We are particularly proud to know that our Serendipity Block will be highlighted in Wine & Spirits annual Best of The Year Pinot Noir issue this coming April.


Words From The Wise

Want to get a feel for what it's like to start a family wine business with two kids under two?  Take a look at author Sarah Virginia White's piece on Belden Barns in Parentage Magazine to get a glimpse into the ups and downs and general craziness here:  Parent Inc.: Belden Barns

And for those interested in what we are trying to accomplish at Belden Barns through an integrated approach to Small-Scale Sustainable Agriculture, author Alastair Bland's piece in Sonoma's Made Local Magazine is a great read.  It discusses our goals to highlight agriculture "beyond wine" and give young farmers and food artisans a leg up as they begin their journeys:  Growing Together: Made Local Magazine


It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Gift Time.....

The holidays are fast approaching.  Not sure about you, but we've found that we enjoy getting a bottle of wine from a loved one or colleague a little more than getting a pair of socks or a calendar.  Best of all, as many of you know, wine club discounts apply to any incremental purchases for yourself or for others.  All you have to do is let us know where to send wine and the note you would like included.


A Harvest Update

No way to get around it, the 2015 harvest was a tough one - the hardest vintage we've witnessed at Belden Barns in our eleven years as grape growers.  Oddly enough, in this year of drought and heat, it was a record cold spell in the Spring that caused us problems.  Due to early warmth, the vines woke up prematurely in 2015 and started their annual work of pushing out shoots at a record pace.  At the time the shoots and their delicate clusters of grape flowers were fully deployed we hit a long stretch of cool, wet weather that disturbed the flowers' ability to pollinate.  As a result, we ended up with about half the berries per cluster = half the berries in total.  While nightmarish from a farming perspective, there is a silver lining for those of you that enjoy Belden Barns wine.  We took on more of our estate vineyard's acreage this year and reduced our selling to other winemakers.  As a result, we held our wine production steady and even increased production of certain varietals.  The primary impact will be felt in two years when we release the 2015 Serendipity Block.  While we will produce more of this wine than we released to you this year, we were certainly hoping for more.  When we get to that release, wine club members will be allocated first.


A Farmstead Update

While our grape farming was challenging in 2015, it's safe to say that we had a very successful year with the rest of our farmstead in 2015.  We introduced you to Jenny and Vince Trotter in our last newsletter.  The Trotters are the farming family we've partnered with to realize our goals of a diversified farmstead at Belden Barns, and they used 2015 as a year to experiment with what does and doesn't work on our site.  Their efforts led to a bounty of corn, potatoes, beans, melons, tomatoes, pumpkins, flowers and gourds grown on a quarter acre test plot.  Some of this produce showed up on the shelves of Bay Area markets like Bom Dia Market in SF and SHED in Healdsburg.  They also worked to improve the state of our existing orchard and position it for improved production next year.  As we look to 2016, the Trotters have prepped land for an incremental quarter acre of field crops and a half acre of increased orchard to be installed in the Spring.

In the future, these development efforts will lead to immersive farm experiences at Belden Barns that connect you to how your food is grown, how to prepare it, and how to pair it with Belden Barns wines.  Also, you will be first in line to receive hand-crafted preserves, pantry goods, and farmstead cheeses as part of your wine club shipment.

To see more of what the Trotters are up to at Belden Barns, you can check out their Instagram feed HERE 


Exciting New Placements

In our Summer Newsletter we reported a large number of new placements to you.  By the end of the summer, we had basically sold through the majority of our offerings, which allowed us to take a much needed breather from hitting the pavement (much needed).  That said, we did find ourselves on a few new and special lists due to some relationship building that started some time ago and a successful pouring event with Family Winemakers in June.  

Oakland Crush Wine Bar - Oakland

Parcel 104 Restaurant - Santa Clara

Resolute Wine Bar - San Francisco

Spinnaker Restaurant - Sausalito

Willi's Wine Bar - Santa Rosa


Until Next Time.....

As always, please keep us in mind when you're heading up to wine country.  We love to host private tastings for six or more people, share our vision, give you tours of our site, and have you hang a wish on our (super powerful) Wishing Tree.  For those of you who are wine club members who still haven't picked up or received your Fall/Winter shipments, drop us a line - your holiday dining tables will thank us!


Have a great holiday stretch!

Lauren and Nate




Belden Barns
5561 Sonoma Mountain Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

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