by Peter Mathis on April 22, 2017
Barbera is a new wine for the Mathis brand. And for the first time, I've sourced grapes grown outside of the Mathis Vineyard by my friend and mentor, Joel Peterson, at his Bedrock Vineyard in the heart of Sonoma Valley. Here's a picture of it from 1905:
Bedrock Vineyard has a long and storied history, beginning in 1856: General Joseph Hooker, bankrolled by William Tecumseh Sherman, a San Francisco banker before he was an infamous Union general, bought the land and planted the first Vitis vinifera grapevines at Bedrock. When the Civil War began, Hooker sold the property to Eli T. Shephard, a U.S. Ambassador to the Far East. After phylloxera had devastated the vineyard, George Hearst (father of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst) bought the ranch and began replanting in 1884. It's changed hands only a couple of times since then, all the while continuing to produce grapes for wine.
Barbera, a Northern Italian grape, is capable of making exquisitely beautiful wines, with bright acidity and deep fruit character. The great vineyard site and careful farming at Bedrock resulted in spectacular fruit concentration in 2013 and resulted in luxuriously framed wine.
Sadly, this vineyard block has been removed from production, so this will be a one and done effort in my 2013 Bedrock Vineyard Barbera. Get it before it's gone! My limited split case offer will be gone soon...
by Peter Mathis on April 22, 2017
I was honored last week to represent the United States at the Pétanque World Championships, held in Ghent, Belgium. For those unfamiliar with the game, I can often be found playing on the Sonoma Pétanque courts when not tending the Mathis Vineyard and making wine. There were at least 48 countries represented this year at the championships. (See photos at bottom.)
The image above links to the Flanders, Belgium TV News video about the games. You can see footage of me playing in the games and an interview with me begins at 1 minute into the 2 minute tape.
What does Pétanque have to do with Mathis Wine? Not a darn thing! Except that like many sports games, it often involves a bit of imbibing, sometimes after the game, and for fans, sometimes during the game! You might as well be drinking something delicious. Hence, might I suggest some Mathis Überblend or Barbera (my current special offer)? Both represent some of the finest winemaking I've ever done. Enjoy!
One of the most exciting aspects of the games (which we didn't win, by the way) was meeting so many wonderful players from around the globe. Below, you can see us beginning to get a bit silly and a couple of nice shots taken by someone of me playing. Cheers!
For those wondering about the "Paul" on my team shirt: my good friend, Paul Yang, was unable to attend the games. I was honored that he asked me to take his place representing the U.S.
by Peter Mathis on August 22, 2016
It's a favorite time of the year: Grapes ripening, colors changing, anticipation for the upcoming harvest. Take a look:
by Peter Mathis on August 11, 2016
Wine or no wine, you can't overlook the stellar southwest views from Mathis Vineyard! From the top of the 400 and 600 blocks you can take in a vast sweep of the bay to the south and the Sonoma Valley floor. Here's the view in an east to west sweep of pieces:
by Peter Mathis on May 25, 2016
Rosé lends itself to a bit of mystery. Many wine consumers are intrigued by this not-white, not-red wine and want to know more about it. So here are a few tidbits about the Mathis Rosé:
As you can see in the above image, the juice is nearly clear coming out of the press. Unlike some rosés, I make mine specifically from grapes grown for my rosé - not another wine. The 800 block in the Mathis Vineyard is farmed specifically for use in my rosé. The grapes are picked earlier than those used in my red Grenache wine.
The grapes are delivered whole cluster from the vineyard to the crushpad for direct press. Other rosé-making methods bleed off the clear juice (saignée) from red wine juice or blend batches to make rosé. My juice actually darkens a bit after this first press to develop the delicate pink color I am targeting. It only spends a modest amount of time on the skins, from which it gets its light pink color. To see more, view the videos on making my rosé.
You can see above that the fermenting juice is now turning light pink. This is part of the Provençal winemaking style I'm using. It is characterized by the very pale pink color and flavor profile of very aromatic, but dry, rosés. The wines of Provence are predominantly rosés made from Grenache. But rosé can be made from a wide variety of grapes, including Pinot Noir and even Cabernet Sauvignon.
You can see above there are faint roses depicted in the label design, designed by my friend David Chung. The label itself is made from kraft paper, providing a slightly rustic impression of the wine.
An important characteristic in choosing a bottle is its color. For red wines I want very dark glass which helps to preserve the wine itself by blocking UV rays. For rosé wine, however, it's very important to see the beautiful pale pink color of the wine. (In this photo, the wine look slightly yellow since the bottles were shot sitting on a yellow table, but you get the idea from other images.) And to continue my theme of a simplistic look and feel, I opted not to add a foil capsule over the neck of the bottle so you can see the natural cork through the glass.
In case you've missed it from past posts, the grapes that go into my Mathis Rosé are all estate - all from the Mathis Vineyard in Sonoma Valley. This picture was taken on the day the grapes were harvested in 2015.
I'm happy to report the 2015 Mathis Rosé de Grenache was awarded Best in Class at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition this past January (and I happen to think it's the best rosé I've ever made!)
While you can quaff this rosé by itself (and I do), it's a fabulous food wine. At my house, it gets paired with many Asian dishes. It's terrific with summer grilling fare. And it's wonderful with triple creme cheeses. But for an added bonus, here is fan Erica Timmerman's terrific salmon salad (above) recipe which pairs perfectly with this rosé:
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1.5 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3-4 medium boiled, cooked, peeled, diced new potatoes
8 oz. cold smoked salmon, diced
1 to 1.5 Tbsp. diced red onion
1 to 1.5 Tbsp. capers, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1.5 Tbsp. minced fresh dill
Gently toss the ingredients together. Add enough dressing to evenly coat the salad being careful not to over mix. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Serve with lettuce cups.
Drink more rosé! Cheers!
by Peter Mathis on May 24, 2016
With the recent release of the 2015 Rosé de Grenache, we've been looking back over the 2015 harvest, crush and fermentation of the rosé. Here are the videos from last fall documenting these events, starting with harvest:
From harvest at Mathis Vineyard in the Sonoma Valley, the crew brings the grapes to the crushpad at Ravenswood approximately a half hour's drive away:
Once through the press, I watch the free run to determine when to make the press cut...
Once the cut is made the juice goes into a tank to begin fermenting.
How tannin affects color and taste in the rosé:
Fast forward several months and I'm tasting the rosé in my vineyard:
And here's a bit more on how I make the wine and the style I'm targeting:
by Peter Mathis on May 07, 2016
Had I mentioned my new rosé is now available? It is! I must humbly say it's the best I've ever made. And it was nice to have my personal assessment reinforced by the judges at the 2016 San Francisco Chronicle's Wine Competition by awarding it Best in Class this past January.
Here are a couple of videos I just produced on the rosé. I highly recommend it!
Get it now before it gets too warm to ship without extra refrigeration!
by Peter Mathis on April 06, 2016
Throughout the year several different plants and trees bloom in the vineyard. Most are along the periphery, while a few are blooming cover crop between vine rows. Take a look:
Paper Whites - a cheery January bloomer nestled in the rocks
Manzanita - The trees on the vineyard periphery bloom in January
Baby Blue Eyes - a March bloomer
Crimson Clover - is part of the cover crop between vine rows, blooming in late March
Purple Russian Irises - These wildflowers bloom in late May, cousins to the large bearded iris which bloom in March
Sweet Pea - These flowering vines bloom with the cover crop and are edible! They begin showing late March up through June. (Those remaining standing in June are growing wild around the vineyard and not part of the cover crop.)
by Peter Mathis on March 20, 2016
Co-hosts John Myers and David Cook invited me to appear on their weekly KSVY radio show on March 1st. They were gracious enough to share the audio recording with me, to which we added some visuals. Here are the first five excerpts from that show, during which I discussed the strategic importance of my vineyard's location in Sonoma Valley along the mountainside. You'll be able to see (and hear!) where Mathis Vineyard fits in amongst many famous and superb vineyards in the valley. Take a look:
by Peter Mathis on December 02, 2015
Yesterday I showed you the Ring Roller, made from parts I picked up from an early 20th century roller that was huge. (I only needed a small number of rings to fit my narrow vineyard rows.) Today, see the ring roller in action. It's a big help in ensuring the seeds are tampened down into the earth so they don't blow or wash away before germination.