Véraison 2016 at Mathis Vineyard

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:


Too bad there's no view!

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:

Mathis Vineyard 600 block in foreground

Mathis Vineyard 600 block in foreground

Marin county in background towards San Francisco

Southwest across Sonoma Valley floor

Southwest Sonoma Valley below the vineyard

West Sonoma Valley

Across the 400 block of Mathis Vineyard

West across Sonoma Valley

All About Mathis Rosé

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.

Smelling rosé juice in glass

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.

Mathis rose labels

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.

rose wine bottles in closeup

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.

grape vines at mathis vineyard

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.

Mathis rose and glass, best in class SF chronicle wine competition

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!)

Salmon salad

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:

Whisk together:
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1.5 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper

The salad:
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!

From Vineyard to Bottle - Mathis 2015 Rosé de Grenache

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:

2015 Rosé de Grenache is released!

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!

The Flowers at the Mathis Vineyard

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

Paper Whites - a cheery January bloomer nestled in the rocks

Manzanita - The trees on the vineyard periphery bloom in January

Manzanita - The trees on the vineyard periphery bloom in January

Baby Blue Eyes - wildflower blooming in March

Baby Blue Eyes - a March bloomer

Crimson Clover - is part of the cover crop between vine rows, blooming in late March

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

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

 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.)

Guest Appearance on "In the Vine Country" Show

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:


The Ring Roller in Action

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.

Introducing the Ring Roller

by Peter Mathis on December 01, 2015

When I last left off, I was finishing broadcast seeding, walking every other row of Mathis Vineyard with winter cover crop seed. To finish it off, I go over those rows with the Ring Roller, a farming implement I built myself from some spare parts I picked up. Check out the details...


Broadcast Seeding - Old Style

by Peter Mathis on November 18, 2015

As you may recall, the rows of vines at Mathis Vineyard are spaced...tightly. I've made my own farming equipment for much of it as it's simply not manufactured at such a narrow width. This video clip follows up on the last one, showing how I broadcast the cover crop seeds for planting on every other row.