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Trinitas Cellars Blog
Welcome to the Trinitas Cellars Blog! We hope you join us for frequent updates on our vineyards, production, tasting room and wine education.
Our winemaker, Kevin Mills, spends countless hours perfecting the wine that we all enjoy to drink. Last week, I caught up with Kevin's wife, Brandy, to get her perspective on the life of a winemaker and what it's like to be married to one!
Q: What is your favorite part of having a husband who is a winemaker?
A: Drinking the wine, and learning about the winemaking process. There are so many steps!
Q: What is your least favorite part of having a husband who is a winemaker?
A: The harvest beard!
Q: We’ve seen Kevin’s “harvest beard” that he grows from the first day of harvest to the last day of harvest. When did this tradition originate and how do you feel about it?
A: I’m not sure when it began but he has grown one for the past 9 harvests that I have known him. I made him shave it early one year for a wedding (for Jen Heim, our Director of National Sales) and he swears it affected the wine! I do not believe in the superstition, but he does, so the beard must grow.
Q: What is your involvement in the wine industry?
A: I am the Auctions Manager for the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV). The NVV is the nonprofit trade association that promotes and protects the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region.
Q: What’s your favorite wine that your husband has made?
A: Everything! But I have a soft spot for Pinot.
Q: Any requests for a wine that Kevin should make but hasn’t yet?
A: No, just continue to make high quality wine and save a few bottles of each for me.
Let's hope he saves more than a few bottles for you, Brandy! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and especially for sharing your husband with us! Cheers!
We would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank a fun wine tasting group (with quite a few loyal Trinitas Wine Society members) called "GrapeFull Reds". Last month, Trinitas Cellars' owner, Tim Busch, hosted the GrapeFull Reds at his home in Laguna Hills, California. This was an extra special evening as GrapeFull Reds is a group that gets together to blind taste and score wines once a month. The group met in Tim's wine cellar and included some of Trinitas's wines (red only of course!) in the mix for the October tasting; including the 2009 Mendocino Old Vine Zinfandel, 2010 Mysterium, 2010 Pinot Noir, 2010 Petite Sirah, 2009 Meritage and 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2010 Petite Sirah was the favorite among the group and received an average ranking of 91 points among the 15 group members present. Here are some pictures from the event and below is a brief history of the group and how they got started!
A brief history of the GrapeFull Reds Wine Society
By Steve Severy, co-founder of GrapeFull Reds
(Yes GrapeFull is one word with two capital letters)
The GrapeFill Reds Wine Society was officially born, in Coto de Caza, CA. over 15 years ago on my next door neighbor, Bill Arman’s deck. For several years before this day, friends would arrive at my home or Bill’s with a bottle of wine closeted in a paper bag. These gathering were almost never scheduled, but somehow the word would just get out. Now what better thing to do on a weekend afternoon than get together, taste, drink and share wine. Most would arrive with a bottle of wine, tightly wrapped in a paper bag, that they were very familiar with, but were amazed that once they were blind tasting 4-9 different wines, they could not identify the wine they brought with them.
On one sunny afternoon Bill announced that we were not going to leave the deck until we came up with a name for the group. Fortunately I have a large wine cellar next door and we were not in danger of running out of wine before finding a name. As the day wore on our name the GrapeFull Reds (GFR) was born and then we fancied up the name by adding Wine Society to balance the tongue-in-cheek reference to the “Grateful Dead” music group.
For some 15 years we have been meeting on the third Thursday of each month except December when we meet earlier in the month. We blind taste three flights of three wines (9 total) that have been decanted. After each flight we score the wines and then go around the table to reveal our comments / scores. This is the true educational part of the evening. Then the three wines are revealed as to grape, winery and price. At the end of the tasting the total scores are averaged. There are two winners every time. The wine with the highest average score and the “best value” of the night, comparing price to score. Sometimes one wine takes both honors. When that happens there is usually a rush out to purchase a lot of that wine. (That is exactly what happened at our recent Trinitas tasting at Tim’s house.) And yes we only taste red wines.
Each member gets a chance to host a tasting. That member has a budget of $300 to purchase the wine for the tasting and chooses the wines. That member also has a $100 food budget for the evening. There is usually an attendance of 10-12 members. Our members purchase a lot of wine, so often a winery or wine distributor supplies some or all of our wines for the tasting.
Once we start tasting we try to keep the conversation restricted to food and wine as much as possible. We are a men only group. We have nothing against the ladies but insert a lady or two into a men’s group and all the guys start showing off a little. Again our main goal is to increase our knowledge of wines and by not having the ladies there it helps us concentrate a little better. So once or twice a year we like to take our significant others out to a fine dinner to say thank you for letting us out to taste wine once a month.
Bill Arman and Steve Severy are the co-founders of the group. Our goal is to find the good wines, buy them at the best prices we can, then share them and have fun doing it. And sort-of by accident we learn a lot about defining what a really good wine is and what makes it so. Refining our palates.
Thank you GrapeFull Red for a fun evening and for being loyal fans and customers! We look forward to tasting again with you all again soon! Cheers!
I am no wine expert, but I have come to know what I enjoy to drink and what I do not! One of my favorite current releases at Trinitas is the 2010 Mysterium, which is a red blend of 6 different varieties. While pouring at various wine events and in the tasting room, I have come to learn that there is a large misunderstanding around the word “blend” with wine consumers today. I often find that there is a negative connotation with the word “blend”, as if the wine is not as good if it has been blended. Would the winemaker blend the wine if it were not going to result in a better wine? While there are many amazing and coveted single vineyard, single varietal wines, there are also some lesser-known, under-appreciated blends and I am here to share my love for them!
According to dictionary.com, one definition of blending is “to mix (various sorts or grades) in order to obtain a particular kind or quality”. When we think about blending wine, this definition is extremely relevant, as the main purpose for blending is to obtain a particular flavor or improve the quality of the wine. The winemaker is entrusted with the difficult task of determining which blend will enhance the quality of the wine and bring all of the best flavors, aromas and palates together. Too much of a certain variety and you might overpower the wine with that variety, but in the right ratio, the various varieties can truly complement each other to create a quality blend!
Among red blends, Mysterium is my favorite Trinitas blend, as I find it pairs well with almost anything, including itself! I also find that it is a fun wine to introduce to friends and family just because of the unique blend and smooth, fruity flavors. Each year, Mysterium, the Latin word for “mystery”, is truly a mystery to all, until the final blending is done about a month before bottling. Each grape variety is fermented and aged separately and based on the complexity and flavors, Kevin, our winemaker, will try several different blends of these varieties before deciding on the final magical “recipe”. This blending gives the ability to create a consistent Mysterium wine year after year even with a different blend because of the ability to choose those particular varieties in a certain year that are giving the desired flavors and characteristics and leave out others.
What I find most fascinating about blending is that each variety can bring something different to the blend, and sometimes even the slightest addition of one particular variety will make the difference for that wine. Sometimes we add a wine to a blend for the beautiful floral aromas, or fruity palate or even for the rich color. At the end of the day, I trust the expertise of the winemaker and look forward to the next mysterious vintage of Trinitas Mysterium!
I am excited to announce that today marks the day of the beginning of the Trinitas wine blog. We have come to realize that we are not the only ones who love talking about wine, learning about wine, making wine, and most of all... drinking wine! If you are a fellow lover of all things wine, tune in for updates on our vineyards and production as well as thoughts on Napa Valley news and other wine insights.
December 10, 2013
December 7, 2013
November 28, 2013
November 27, 2013
November 18, 2013
November 6, 2013
November 2, 2013
October 25, 2013(1 Comment)
October 23, 2013
October 22, 2013
- Garrett Busch, Proprietor (4)
- June Busch, Trinitas Wine Dog (1)
- Lamar Engel, Tasting Room Manager (1)
- Lucy Garibay, Wine Society Coordinator (1)
- Kevin Mills, Winemaker (1)
- Betsy O'Neill, Project Manager (6)
- Brianna Pickens, Wine Society Assistant (1)
- Trinitas Tasting Room (4)
- Kelly Wilkinson, San Diego Sales Manager (1)
- Ashley Younger, Tasting Room (1)