Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2009 16:47:30 -0800
Subject: [PV-Friends] February newsletter

Perennial Vintners In this issue:
 ▪ Open this weekend - Valentine's Day
 ▪ Frambelle (raspberry port) release
 ▪ Vino Verite - Seattle tasting, Thu.
Newsletter -- February-2009  ▪ Vineyard - Pruning/making cuttings
(Click here to view in HTML on website)
 ▪ Your own backyard vineyard  ▪ Open That Bottle Night

(Click on any image below to go to website with more information/larger image/etc.)

Open this weekend - Valentine's Day
We'll be open this coming weekend 14-15-Feb from 10am-5pm, no appointment needed.  This is our annual Valentine's day celebration.  The extended forecast is showing "scattered light rain showers" for the weekend, which usually means no rain for us, which makes for a nice vineyard tour.  We hope you can find the time to come visit with your sweety and spend a little time in a vineyard.

Frambelle (raspberry port) release
The long-awaited raspberry port-style dessert wine is finally being released!  We're very excited about this, as it's a fantastic wine!  I think it's the most enjoyable wine I've ever made, goes unbelievably well with dark chocolate.  When you open the bottle, you get the smell of fresh raspberries, you'll just want to keep sniffing it.  Great texture on the tongue, a touch of sweetness with a good acid backbone to keep it interesting.  We've made up the name "Frambelle" combining (sort of) the French words for raspberry (framboise) and beautiful (belle).  First availability will be in Seattle at Vino Verite (see next article), then at the winery as of this weekend.

Vino Verite - Seattle tasting, Thu.
Our exclusive Seattle release of Frambelle will be at Vino Verite on Capitol Hill in Seattle.  Proprietors Dave and Tom have weekly (Thursday evening) free wine tastings.  This week their tasting will feature the wines of Perennial Vintners and our Bainbridge neighbor Eleven Winery.  Myself and Matt Albee (winemaker at Eleven) will be there in person pouring our wines.  This should be a lovely intro to your Valentine's Day as you'll be able to taste and buy our Frambelle and Matt's Sweet Syrah and Pinot Gris port-style wines.

Vineyard - Pruning/making cuttings
If you're interested in learning how to grow grapes, or perhaps to establish your own backyard vineyard, then this is your chance!  Simply join the helpers email list if interested in coming out to help with pruning and to learn about grape growing -- whenever there's a work event I email about it there and you can choose to join in if you wish.  You may recall I mentioned pruning in the Jan newsletter -- I've been so busy with other work that I've barely started -- there's much work to do and time is getting short, so please consider helping out.  I hope to be starting in earnest this Wed.

Your own backyard vineyard
Have you ever thought about having your own tiny vineyard in your backyard?  This is the best opportunity you'll ever have!  If you have a strip of your yard 50 feet long (perhaps along a fence?), or a block about 25' x 8', you can grow enough grapes to make a case of wine each year.  Winegrapes also make fantastic eating grapes, they're always more flavorful than store-bought table grapes.  If you'd like just enough for munching, you only need one plant and you can stretch it out across an arbor.

What you'll want to do is to join the PV helpers email list and come out at least once to help us prune.  You'll learn in the field, exactly how to manage a grapevine, and why you're doing it, with hands-on experience.  But better yet, we'll be making cuttings from the trimmings.  You can take all the cuttings you make to plant your own vineyard from.  Mike will be happy to give you lots of advice on how to best ensure the long-term health of your new vineyard.  Mike might also be available to help you get it started.

Open That Bottle Night
You may be aware of Dottie Gaiter and John Brecher, wine columnists for the Wall Street Journal.  In the year 2000, they came up with the ideal wine drinkers holiday which they called Open That Bottle Night.  The point of this event is for you to simply enjoy that bottle that's just been too special to open.  For whatever reason you just don't ever seem to find an event special enough to make it worth opening that one bottle...  The wine is probably just going to go bad, most wines don't last more than a few years -- so why keep waiting?  Open it, and enjoy it!  Of course we'd love to hear that you enjoyed a bottle of Perennial Vintners wine that evening, but I'd be entirely satisfied knowing that you took their advice and opened any special bottle of wine that night.