Trinitas Cellars Blog
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!
I spent the day yesterday with our winemaker, Kevin, at the winery. I am excited to report that 2013 will be a year full of fun when it comes to our Sauvignon Blanc wines. This harvest we have a trinity (pun intended) of Sauvignon Blanc. Kevin took me around to taste the three types of Sauvignon Blanc that we currently have in our winery: Sauv Blanc in stainless steel tank, Sauv Blanc in Russian oak barrel and late harvest Sauv Blanc grapes that are just in from the vineyard.
First, we tried some of the Sauvignon Blanc from grapes that were brought in almost 4 weeks ago, which have already been pressed and fermenting in a stainless steel tank for a few weeks. We keep the Sauvignon Blanc chilled during fermentation so that we get a slower fermentation. This slower fermentation helps maintain the esters in the wine, which contribute to the aromas in the wine and the fruit flavors on the palate.
After we tried the Sauvignon Blanc that was in the stainless steel tanks, we moved over to our oak barrels to contrast the flavors. The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc that is in barrel right now was brought in at the same time, but due to the oak, it starts to develop different flavors. The oak provides a broader mouth feel and mid-palate and really lengthens the finish on the wine.
Last, but not least, we tried the late harvest Sauvignon Blanc grapes that we just brought in this week. Unlike the Sauvignon Blanc grapes that we brought in previously, we have not yet pressed these grapes, so we got to taste them right off the vine. Right away, you can see that some of the grapes have already started to raisin since we harvested them about a month after the majority of our Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The higher sugar content and unique flavor of these grapes at harvest makes them ideal for creating a different kind of Sauvignon Blanc experience. I am excited to see this late harvest Sauvignon Blanc wine develop and looking forward to a new offering for all of you from our 2013 harvest.
I hope you are all as excited about the 2013 harvest as we are at Trinitas! More updates to come!