Winter 2005 Newsletter

Welcome to the winter version of Ophir Wines newsletter. We use this bulletin to keep you up-to-date on coming events that will feature our wines, what’s going on in the vineyards, release of new wines, stores and restaurants that offer Ophir wines, and perhaps the occasional recipe or article that we found interesting and wanted to share.


Along with bud break, winter is my favorite time of the year. Unlike the East and Midwest, winter in Ophir is alive with activity. The winter grasses are bright green, the birds from the small gold finches to the Canadian Geese are everywhere, the sky is washed clean by winter storms and the outside air temperature is perfect for working outdoors. The vines themselves look majestic, if somewhat unruly, without their leaves. Soon, pruning will commence and give the vines a uniform look and bud break will be close at hand. But before that happens the sheep will be allowed in the vineyard to graze, burn piles will be built and fired and general clean up will proceed. During crush at the end of a long, hard and hot day, grimy and exhausted, we gratefully sag into chairs waiting outside the winery doors, cold beer in hand hoping to recover for the next day's work. This year on one of these occasions Mike commented that "sometimes it is hard to find the romance of winemaking" and on some days it is hard to find. Not in winter though. In winter romance is everywhere. Just the other evening I was returning from feeding the cows when I looked up. Above me was one corner of the vineyard, silhouetted against the twilight sky. Behind the bare trunks and canes the sky was aquamarine. Higher up it turned light blue, than gradually darker until it became shades of violet and purples. A few wisps of clouds dotted the sky, some pink. others rose or rust. For a few moments I stood and let the beauty fill my soul. Yes, there is romance in winemaking -- in winter I love what I do and where I live more than in any other season.


You are invited to come share the winter vineyard with us on Saturday, February 5, 2005. You can experience a day of learning and fun. Paul plans a pruning demonstration (be careful or he will have you do a row or two). Sample our soon-to-be-released wines, taste our Syrah (if you haven't already had the opportunity), enjoy Mike's famous BBQ, quiz Craig on fermentation and just breathe the fresh air. The festivities will take place at Lois' and Paul's Gold Blossom Vineyard at 7870 Santini Lane from 10 to 4. There is no charge for this event. Call (916) 531-3055 for more information, directions or to let us know you'll be coming.

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Note: Because the vineyard is an "outdoor" location, rain cancels this part of the event. We will have backup "inclement weather" plans.

Two other Placer County wineries, Pescatore and Secret Ravine will also be having "Open Houses" on this day so come up to the foothills and make a day of it.


Here at Ophir Wines, 2004 was a big year. We released our first wines, won our first ribbons in competition, and made our first sales. Our biggest thrills have been sitting down to eat at Latitudes and seeing our wines listed on their menu or seeing another patron at Le Belig with our wine on their table. Most important though, was that we met many of you - at tastings, at the Auburn Wine Festival and at the Granite Bay Farmers Market we shared our wines with you and you shared a little of yourselves with us. Your interest and your comments made marketing our wines an enjoyable experience. Thank you for letting us be a part of your life. We look forward to continuing the fun in 2005

À votre santé!
Craig, Mike and Paul

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