The Company Pick
The typical Anderson Valley thick morning fog burned off while 25 Husch employees (sales staff, accounting team, winery crew, and family owners) came together to harvest the last grapes of the year.
This annual tradition solidifies our down-to-earth business practices. With clippers in hand (we leave the picking knives to the professionals) we walked the rows with good natured banter and harvested the very ripe Gewurztraminer grapes slated for the 2013 Late Harvest. As the sun came out the jackets were shed and the pace slowed. It took our crew of 25 to pick three bins in just under two hours - not exactly record pace. However the dirt on the shoes and sticky juice on our hands left our mark on this special vintage.
As the taco truck arrived the pace quickened and we topped-off the final bin. We celebrated the final pick with a tasting of Husch Late Harvest Gewurztraminers dating back to 1996. The 4th generation toasted with the non-alcoholic Gewurztraminer juice.
Winemakers Brad and Jeff reported that 42° brix was the record-breaking sugar at harvest for the Late Harvest Gewurztraminer - we anticipate a memorable wine.
Overall the 2013 harvest was a gift from Mother Nature. Moderate weather coupled with a healthy crop kept us busy for two months solid. A threat of rain here and there meant no weekends off and little time for breaks. As the last grapes were picked a sigh of relief was felt throughout. The wines are now resting in barrel, as the magic begins.
Garzini Ranch: Dry pond, crazy critters and wonderful wines.
Just under two years ago Husch bought the historic Garzini Ranch and we have been enjoying the work at this promising property.
Since it is only our second year of farming the grapes on the property we have found many surprises. For example, the pond went dry this summer. Remember last Spring’s newsletter that had the Canada Geese migrating from the pond? We knew the pond leaked (most ponds do) but this pond managed to leak itself completely dry. If we could just smooth the cracked, dry mud we could convert this huge empty bowl into a skatepark. The fourth generation (Luke, Amelia, Mojo & Trix) are pushing for this idea!
Another surprise is the abundant wildlife. Ducks, foxes, ‘possums, raccoons, and the occasional pheasant are visiting (residing?) the property. The deer seem to be causing the most trouble. Our first replanting of grapevines - along the fence - is a popular handout for the neighborhood deer. The tender leaves on the baby grapevines are considered a delicacy.
The heritage vines, which include Zinfandel, Carignane, and Petite Sirah are showing their age. Some of the oldest vines are rumored to be 90 years. This is what attracted us to the vineyard. We don’t expect the same ample harvest that younger vines can produce, but the flavors are worth it. The 2013 harvest yielded 2.8 tons per acre across the ranch, about half of what a modern vineyard produces.
We bottled our first Garzini-based wine, which we simply named Heritage. This wine captures both the story and amazing flavors that this vineyard has to offer. It will be released in Spring 2014. Also coming soon is the 2012 Old Vine Zinfandel from the Garzini Ranch.
2012 SAUVIGNON BLANC: A bargain at $14
Gold medals galore, and recently awarded The Press Democrat’s Wine of the Week with 4 stars, the 2012 Sauvignon Blanc continues to shine. Wine writer Peg Melnik describes it as “a layered sauvignon blanc with aromas and flavors of melon, guava, lime and a hint of jalapeno. Good acidity. Crisp finish. An absolute steal for the quality.” Food writer Michele Anna Jordan recommends pairing it with, “roasted chicken, young goat cheese, chickpea salad, ceviche, feta cheese, spring rolls, Vietnamese bun salads and Meyer lemon risotto.” It also pairs perfectly with Dungeness crab. In typical Husch style, winemaker Brad explains the inexpensive bottle price, “We are a no frills, down to earth, family-owned winery where wine caves and crystal chandeliers are not included in the bottle price.” Brad believes that Sauvignon Blanc has much to offer in the sensory spectrum. He tries to capture all nuances, while holding true to Husch’s goal of bright fruit with undertones of herbal grass, offering varietal character and flexible food pairing. The aromatics of Sauvignon Blanc never get old for us. Order a case now and receive a 10% discount for a total of only $151.12 per case.
Husch Employee Highlight:Which wine are you?
Who: Raul Mendoza
Position: Winery/Ranch Foreman
Employment at Husch:29 years
Definitely the Knoll Pinot Noir. It is a very versatile wine and can be paired with any type of food, just like me. I am versatile and like all types of food.
Who: Metah Green
Position: Tasting Room Manager
Employment at Husch: 6 years
“I am the Renegade.”
Editor’s note: Our 2012 ‘Renegade’ Sauvignon Blanc is limited in quantity, high in quality, a native yeast fermented
wine with wild roots, just like Metah.
Who: Zac Robinson
Position: Family Owner
Employment at Husch: since birth
Whatever Husch wine is put in front of me. While running the family business, challenges happen everyday, but the constant remains: we make delicious, food friendly wines that I enjoy!
Mushroom Shortbread Buttons & 2010 Syrah
The cooler 2010 growing season was perfect for Syrah. Without heat extremes or early rains, the grapes had extended time for flavor development and the natural acids were preserved. This vintage was cold soaked for 48 hours to extract maximum color and flavors, and then aged in French oak barrels (33% new) for 17 months. The wine displays subtle elegance with ripe, bold fruit and complexity. Aromas of violet, cherry, pepper, and vanilla greet the nose. The earthiness on the palate mingles nicely with the dark fruit, providing a long finish. Enjoy with savory dishes, lamb, or mushroom shortbread. This wine can be enjoyed now or cellared 6-8 years. Only 25 cases left!
Harvest Date: October 22, 2010
Sugar at Harvest: 23.6° brix
Total Acid: .58 grams/100ml
Retail Price: $28.00
Recipe by Metah Green - Mendocino’s Mushroom & Wine Recipe Contest Winner!
9 Baby Bella mushrooms
1 tsp tarragon
1 Tbl olive oil
1/2 garlic clove, minced
1 3/4 C flour
3/4 C Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 cubes cold butter, unsalted
2 Tbls Parmesan cheese, grated
Slice mushrooms, sauté in olive oil, tarragon and garlic for 10 minutes. Pat dry on a paper towel. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a food processor, pulse mushrooms, add the rest of the ingredients except the butter and 2T of cheese. Pulse to blend. Cut butter into 1 inch cubes then add to mixture. Pulse until dough comes together. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll dough into a snake and cut off 2 inch sections. Roll each section
into a ball and dip in remaining Parmesan cheese. Place on baking sheet cheese side up. Bake 20 minutes.
Winery & Tasting Room: 4400 Highway 128, Philo, CA 95466 1-800-55-HUSCH (1-800-554-8724)Hours: We are open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pmMailing Address: PO Box 189, Talmage, CA 95481