Brian Carter Cellars

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Brian Carter Cellars
May 1, 2018

 

Spring Wine Club Release Party
is Right Around the Corner

Thursday, May 3rd or Friday, May 4th
4:30-7:30pm

Featuring music performed by Enrique Henao
Food will be provided by Swift and Savory

This will be the first opportunity to pick-up your much anticipated 2018 Spring Release, with three wines that sing SPRING.

 

2016 Oriana
Hardly a month goes by without someone telling us that Oriana is their favorite white wine. With its seductive aromas and perfect balance, its popularity just keeps soaring.  The 2016 vintage is a richly aromatic wine, resplendent with tangerine, apricot, ripe pear and apple with touches of honey and anise. Crisp acidity greets the palate while mouth filling fruit flavors linger making this an excellent companion to many foods, from shellfish to Asian cuisine.   Double Gold at the 2018 Seattle Wine Awards  Viognier (54%), Roussanne (34%), Riesling (12%).  Retail: $25  Wine Club: $21.25 

 

2013 Solesce (Wine Club Exclusive)
Solesce is our signature Bordeaux-style blend. Cabernet Sauvignon was used as the heart of this wine, using only selected lots from E & E Shaw and Stone Tree Vineyards. Richly dark in color, the generous complex aroma includes ripe blackberries, blueberries, vanilla bean and an elegant floral note. On the palate, mouth filling flavors of cassis and black fruits are followed by firm yet silky tannins and a long finish and balanced acidity.   Best of Class / Double Gold at the 2017 Tri-Cities Wine Festival  Cabernet Sauvignon (54%), Merlot (25%), Petit Verdot (9%), Cabernet Franc (7%), and Malbec (5%).  Retail: $60  Wine Club: $51.00

 

2017 Rosé
What a better way to enjoy the summer than with the new Abracadabra Rosé. Beautiful electric pink in color, aromas of ripe strawberries abound with more subtle notes of peaches and orange blossoms. On the palate is bountiful fruit backed up by deliciously crisp acidity. Experience the magic with summer salads, BBQ salmon, new friends and plenty of sunshine.    Last year won Best Rosé in the Northwest by the Seattle Times  Sangiovese (70%), Syrah (17%), Grenache (5%), Malbec (5%), and Mourvedre (3%)  Retail: $25  Wine Club: $21.25

 

Mother's Day Magic!

This year we have two great ways to treat your Mom and give her some magic. 

Give her the great taste of Brian Carter Cellars with a free tasting on Mother’s Day weekend.  Come in with your Mom on May 12th or 13th and she will receive a free tasting flight. 

Don’t worry Moms, you don’t have to bring the little ones to receive your free tasting flight, leave them home with Dad and you can enjoy the magic with us!

This year, surprise her with the magic with our two-bottle gift set of our
Abracadabra Magical Blends. 

Retail:  $50
Sale:  $40 (20% off retail)

2017 Abracadabra Rosé
What a better way to express your love for Mom than with the new Abracadabra Rosé. Beautiful electric pink in color, aromas of ripe strawberries abound with more subtle notes of peaches and orange blossoms. On the palate is bountiful fruit backed up by deliciously crisp acidity.

2014 Abracadabra Red
Mom will love this red blend of the same great red varietals from the same great vineyards, but with a varietal mix that depends on the ‘Magic’ of the harvest each year.  Abracadabra Red is anything but traditional in its final blend, instead it is a bit unpredictable, curious, mysterious and amazingly delicious.

Valid while supplies last. Additional discounts do not apply. Sale valid May 3-13, 2018

Meet our Employees

We are in the business of making sure our guests have the best day ever, not only with our award-winning wines but with a smile. Each month we hope to introduce you to another member of our fabulous team, and the smiles behind the wine.

Katy Apple is our newest member to the Brian Carter Cellars team. Katy recently moved back to Washington from Mississippi and she is responsible for our bookkeeping and compliance activities.

What attracted you to work for Brian Carter Cellars?
I am excited to work for Brian Carter Cellars as it has given me the chance to work with one of the area’s best wineries.

What is your favorite Brian Carter Wine?
My favorite Brian Carter Cellar wine is the 2013 Corrida, Tempranillo is one of my favorite varietals and Brain Carter Cellars take on Tempranillo has been my favorite so far.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I am an amateur photographer and I love to get out into nature and hiking. I also love exploring the food and wine culture, as well as seeing the city that have grown so much in the 15 years since I moved to Oregon.

What would people be surprised to know about you?
I grew up in Sammamish and attended Skyline High School. I spent several years in Oregon working with wineries in Willamette Valley, learning as much as I could about Pinot and other Oregon varietals. I love working in the wine industry, and I am excited to be back in Washington working for one of the best wineries in the state.

Tell us a little bit about your family?
I am a Mom to three amazing kids and sharing with them the area in which I grew up has been fun.

 

Cascadia International Wine Competition

 

We are truly honored to receive wine awards at the Cascadia International Wine Competition. Thank you to the judges and Great Northwest Wine!

The Cascadia Wine Competition, operated by Great Northwest Wine, is the largest judging of Pacific Northwest wine staged in the U.S., and an international panel of 21 experts spent three days evaluating 1,012 wines using fruit from Washington, Oregon, Idaho or British Columbia.

Award Wine AVA
Gold/Best of Class 2015 Abracadabra Red Columbia Valley
Double Gold 2015 Opulento Yakima Valley
Silver 2013 ACE Columbia Valley
Silver 2013 Solesce Columbia Valley
Silver 2014 Byzance Columbia Valley
Silver 2013 Le Coursier Columbia Valley
Silver 2013 Tuttorosso Yakima Valley
Bronze 2014 Corrida Columbia Valley
Bronze 2016 Oriana Yakima Valley

Join us at the The Best of Cascadia, June 30th (4-8pm) at The Lodge at Columbia Point where you can taste some of the top winners from the 2018 Cascadia Wine Competition.  A portion of The Best of the Cascadia proceeds will be donated to the Washington State University Wine Education Scholarship Fund.

Check out all the 2018 winners here.

Brian Carter Cellars Calendar

 

Wine Club Spring Release Party 
Thursday, May 3rd or Friday, May 4th    4:30-7:30pm

Featuring music performed by Enrique Henao
Food will be provided by Swift and Savory

This is the first opportunity to pick-up your much anticipated 2018 Spring Release, with three wines that sing SPRING.

 

 


STEM: Science Uncorked – Friday, June 1st   4-6pm
Pacific Science Center, Seattle

Learn about the other “stem” education at Science Uncorked at the Pacific Science Center. Enjoy an evening sampling Washington’s finest wines from Brian Carter Cellars and 15 other great wineries while exploring the science straight from the vine. Enjoy unlimited tastings from participating wineries and after-hours access to Pacific Science Center. Tickets are available through the Pacific Science Center.

 


Summer Music on the Patio – Friday, June 8th   4-6pm
Sip a glass of wine and enjoy the view from the patio as you take in the sounds of Gina Belliveau at Brian Carter Cellars Tasting Room.

Gina Belliveau is a Tacoma-based musician who plays looped, percussive acoustic folk with an Achilles heel for ridiculous pop cover tunes. Her ever expanding repertoire runs the gamut from Billie Holiday to Billie Jean.

 


A Brush of Pink – Friday, June 8th   7-9:30pm
Novelty Hill Januik Wnery, Woodinville

An evening of nothing but award-winning rosés from Brian Carter Cellars and more than 30 other local wineries. While you enjoy the best of the best of this summer’s wine, you will also be able to take in the creative displays of a dozen local artists, nosh on a buffet dinner by Chef Seth, and support the Woodinville Arts Alliance and Northshore Schools Foundation all in one incredible evening. Tickets are still available at: woodinvillewinecountry.com/brush-of-pink

 


Summer Music on the Patio – Friday, July 13th   4-6pm
Sip a glass of wine and enjoy the view from the patio as you take in the sounds of David Flett at Brian Carter Cellars Tasting Room.

Singer, songwriter and guitarist David Flett plays solo acoustic originals and covers that captivate audiences with a deft hand and an open heart.

 


Glassybaby Pop-Up for Motley Zoo Animal Rescue Friday, July 13th   4-6pm

Visit Brian Carter Cellars for a Glassybaby pop-up event benefiting the Motley Zoo Animal Rescue! Motley Zoo is a volunteer run, foster-based, non-profit animal rescue organization, that has rescued and found new homes for more than 2,300 animals! 10% of proceeds during the event from Glassybaby purchases will be donated to Motley Zoo Animal Rescue. 

PLUS: Rumor has it that Motley Zoo will be bringing some of their adorable rescues to help bring awareness to their great organization. Rock on, Motley Zoo!

 


Summer Music on the Patio – Friday, Aug 10th   4-6pm
Sip a glass of wine and enjoy the view from the patio as you take in the sounds of Devin Sinha at Brian Carter Cellars Tasting Room.

Singer, Songwriter & Guitarist Devin Sinha plays primarily a mixture of contemporary folk and indie rock, mixing autobiographical flavors into his fiction of poetry and music.

 

Brian Carter Cellars Tasting Room
14419 Woodinville Redmond Rd NE | Woodinville, WA 98072 | 425.806.9463
Open 12-5pm, daily | Last tasting begins at 4:30pm
info@briancartercellars.com | www.briancartercellars.com

Copyright (C) 2018 Brian Carter Cellars. All rights reserved.

May 1, 2018 at 2:42 PM
Brian Carter Cellars
February 8, 2018

Love is in the Air at Brian Carter Cellars

 

All you need is Love
… and Wine
… and Chocolate!

Chocolate and port-style wine have always made the perfect pair (almost as perfect as the pairing of you and your lover!). Not to worry because this year we’ve made it easy for you with our Valentine Special.

One bottle of our 375ml Opulento
and a box of Wellington Opulento Chocolates.

Retail: $29
Sale: $22 (25% off retail)

Brian Carter Cellars Opulento is a deep impenetrable garnet color, aromas of raspberry, cherry and chocolate with hints of almond and orange peel. On the palate this wine has opulent flavors of chocolate and berry fruits with a perfectly balanced and satisfyingly sweet finish.

Paired with your favorite Wellington dark chocolates infused with the same decadent wine.

 

Valid while supplies last. Additional discounts do not apply. Sale valid through: February 28, 2018

 

Winery News

 

Pacific Northwest Wine Press Platinum Awards

Excerpt from Wine Press Northwest Article by
Eric Degerman, Ellen Landis and Ken Robertson

 

This year Brian Carter Cellars, moved up on the Platinum’s all-time tote board with six awards and doing so in extraordinary fashion. Perhaps the region’s most decorated when it comes to proprietary blends, Brian Carter Cellars earned a total of five platinum awards and one double platinum this year.  Brian’s Petit Verdot-based 2013 Trentenaire earned Double Platinum while the 2007 received a Platinum. He also continued his stellar work with his Byzance. The 2013 vintage marked the fourth time in the past six years he’s earned a Platinum for this Southern Rhone-style blend based on Grenache.

Double Platinum • 2013 Trentenaire Red Wine, Yakima Valley • Few winemakers would attempt to create a Bordeaux-style red wine using Petit Verdot (62%) as the foundation, but master blender Brian Carter shows the way with this wine that references, in French, the Oregon native’s three decades as a winemaker in Washington. StoneTree Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope contributes much of the five-variety Bordeaux blend, which offers violets and dark fruit on the nose. The palate, rich in flavor with black raspberry, licorice and Montmorency cherry, includes a touch of herbs and a thread of minerality. It’s complex and remarkably balanced through the cocoa-dusted finish.

Platinum • 2013 Byzance Red Wine, Columbia Valley • Inspired by Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Brian Carter’s winning formula of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre from Boushey, Lonesome Springs, Stillwater Creek and StoneTree also includes Counoise and Cinsault. Alluring signs of barrel influence include caramel and mocha that allow for a rush of cherry and raspberry that’s finished by a pinch of sweet dill, toasted walnut and clove.

Platinum • 2016 Abracadabra Rosé, Columbia Valley • Master blender Brian Carter takes a winning, albeit unusual, approach by weaving five varieties that do well on their own as rosé - Sangiovese, Grenache, Syrah, Malbec, Cinsault. He used it to top a field of 122 entries for our spring rosé tasting, and it continues to sing using a crisp approach with cranberry, Rainier cherry, melon and orange slices.

Platinum • 2012 Solesce Red Wine, Columbia Valley • It is fitting that Brian Carter’s Left Bank-inspired blend, which he names for a Latin reference to “sun and essence” features Cabernet Sauvignon from Klipsun Vineyard on Red Mountain. Berries and spice on the nose turn juicy with cassis and dark plum flavors as tobacco walks among nicely understated oak and subtle tannins.

Platinum • 2007 Le Coursier Red Wine, Columbia Valley • It was two years in barrel and two more in the bottle before Brian Carter first released this Bordeaux-style blend that leads with Merlot from Solstice (planted in 1980) and StoneTree vineyards. The blue and black fruit aroma leads to a spice-enhanced entry. Flavors of dusty dark plum, sweet tobacco, blueberry compote and sweet and savory notes are carried by a silky texture to a long, oak-kissed finish.

Platinum • 2007 Trentenaire Red Wine, Columbia Valley • A decade beyond its birth, Brian Carter’s blend of Petit Verdot continues to mature majestically. Brooding aromas open to a powerhouse of flavors — blackberry, plum, black cherry — and focused graphite elements then meld with a touch of herbs. It’s muscular and rich from first whiff to final drop.

Check out the full article for a full list of all the winners and see how a platinum is awarded.  Click Here

 

Winter Wine Club Release Party

Thursday, February 22nd or
Friday, February 23rd
4:30-7:30pm

Featuring music performed by Sheri Greimes
Food will be provided by Swift and Savory

 

This will be the first opportunity for Red Wine Lovers to pick-up your 2018 Winter Release, with three of our most exquisite wines.

 


2013 Byzance
The ripeness of the 2013 vintage expresses everything I want to get from this wine: a complex nose of bright red cherries, tar, white pepper and the garigue spice that you get walking the fields of Provence.  The wine explodes in your mouth with lots of bright fruit and finishes with a long slightly earthy mineral note.  Great balance and a hint of tannin make this wine a great match for a wide range of foods. My favorite would be a medium rare duck breast with cherry sauce.  Grenache (53%), Syrah (22%), Mourvedre (17%), Counoise (5%), and Cinsault (3%)

2013 Le Coursier
The wine has a beautiful garnet hue with a generous nose of wild blackberries, ripe Bing cherries and Damson plums with touches of oak and licorice spice. On the palate you taste a mouth full of complex ripe flavors with well-integrated tannins, age-worthy balance and a lengthy finish. Enjoy with flank steak marinated in red wine, garlic and soy sauce then grilled to perfection.  Merlot (54%), Cabernet Sauvignon (22%), Cabernet Franc (14%), Malbec (6%), and Petit Verdot (4%).

2014 Corrida
A beautiful garnet color, the wine greets you with bright aromas of black cherry, toasted cedar, pomegranate and black pepper with hints of baking spices.  On the palate, the ripeness of the vintage shows through with expansive fruit balanced with pleasing old-world acidity.  The wine lingers nicely in the mouth finishing with the presence of fine tannins.  Enjoy this wine with grilled meats such as perfectly cooked rack of lamb and grilled vegetables. Tempranillo (66%), Graciano (18%), Garnacha (10%), and Cabernet Sauvignon (6%)

 

Byzance Special
Sale ends February 15th

 

European Style blended wines are Brian Carter’s passion. No wine and no region has inspired him more than Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The terroir of Washington expresses itself with an identity truly reminiscent of the Southern Rhone.

Experience the region of Châteauneuf-du-Pape yourself with our 2012 Byzance, with its complex nose of bright red cherries, tar, white pepper and the garigue spice it will transport you to the fields of Provence.

Save up to 35% off when you purchase a full case of Brian Carter Cellars 2012 Byzance, one of our most highly decorated wines.

 

Call for special Wine Club pricing: 425.806.9463

Valid while supplies last. Additional discounts do not apply. Sale valid through: February 25, 2018

Brian Carter Cellars Calendar

 

SAVE THE DATE!
Spring Barrel Tasting at Brian Carter Cellars Winery
March 31, 2018 

Brian Carter Cellars Winery (14030 NE 145th Street, Woodinville, WA)
Taste the future releases straight from the barrel. Like eating cherries from the tree, our Spring Barrel Tasting offers the ability to enjoy a taste something right from the source. This is your opportunity to taste the 2017 wines before they are blended, as well as get a glimpse of the 2016 blends.

Stay tuned for ticket information coming soon.

 


Summer Music on the Patio – Friday, June 8th   4-6pm
Sip a glass of wine and enjoy the view from the patio as you take in the sounds of Gina Belliveau at Brian Carter Cellars Tasting Room.

Gina Belliveau is a Tacoma-based musician who plays looped, percussive acoustic folk with an Achilles heel for ridiculous pop cover tunes. Her ever expanding repertoire runs the gamut from Billie Holiday to Billie Jean.

 


Summer Music on the Patio – Friday, July 13th   4-6pm
Sip a glass of wine and enjoy the view from the patio as you taken in the sounds of David Flett at Brian Carter Cellars Tasting Room.

Singer, songwriter and guitarist David Flett plays solo acoustic originals and covers that captivate audiences with a deft hand and an open heart.

 

Brian Carter Cellars Tasting Room
14419 Woodinville Redmond Rd NE | Woodinville, WA 98072 | 425.806.9463
Open 12-5pm, daily | Last tasting begins at 4:30pm
info@briancartercellars.com | www.briancartercellars.com

Copyright (C) 2017 Brian Carter Cellars. All rights reserved.

Feb 8, 2018 at 2:59 PM
Brian Carter Cellars
November 15, 2017

Welcome

We welcome you to our monthly newsletter!  We have rejuvenated this newsletter to stay connected and share with you what’s happening at Brian Carter Cellars. You’ll find that it is filled with news, helpful hints and tips, future events, and even some recipes on occasion. If ever you don't wish to continue receiving it, simply click 'unsubscribe' at the bottom of any issue. We want this newsletter to be valuable for you so please share your feedback and suggestions to help us improve. Contact Us

This past September we said “Buongiorno” to Mike Stevens.  Mike along with Brian Carter founded Brian Carter Cellars in 2005.

Mike has been a passionate ambassador for the winery,” said Brian Carter.  “His relationships with our wine club members and those guests visiting our tasting room have contributed greatly to the success that we’ve come to enjoy over the past 12 years.

Moving forward, we would like to welcome to the team, Patti Youngbluth, as Sale and Marketing Director. She is primary responsibility for marketing our award-winning wines and to further develop our growing portfolio of regional and national accounts.  Brian Carter, will remain the company’s winemaker and assume the general manager position for Brian Carter Cellars.  “With several new investors and new management in place, I am incredibly optimistic as we enter a new era for Brian Carter Cellars, said Carter.

To that we raise a glass and wish Mike the best on his next adventure!

Harvest 2017

Wednesday, November 8th marked the end of harvest 2017 as we pressed off the last of our grapes! This year will be one to remember as we experienced some things we have not seen in previous vintages. Of course, every vintage has its own unique features and no two are the same. Due to a combination of wet weather early, hot temperatures in early September, and fairly cool temperatures in October made for an up and down journey, for both the grapes and the winemakers. These unusual conditions made it harder to choose picking times as both the sugar/acid numbers, and the flavors coming from the vineyards were harder to pin to past experiences. We certainly could say that all is well as the wines are tasting good coming out of fermentation. Of course, it is still very early to tell but overall, Brian is pleased with what he is tasting. In particular, some of the later picked red varieties such as Grenache, Sangiovese and Petit Verdot seem to be shining with good color intensity, nice fruit and acid balance.

Let the real winemaking begin!

Introducing the Brian Carter
Dedication Series - 2013 ACE

Cabernet Sauvignon / Syrah

I am very proud to introduce the Inaugural Edition of our Dedication Series of wines. My passion is making great blended wines and I offer a great selection of them, largely inspired by the classical blends of Europe. Never wanting to stand still, I am offering up a new series of blended wines outside of the box (but still inside the bottle). Each wine will be unique in its blend and unique in to whom it is dedicated. For our first of the series I have made a blend of two varieties less often blended in Europe but a blend rapidly becoming a Washington State Classic: Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

Brian pictured with his father and grandfather.

This wine is dedicated to my Grandfather A.W. "Nick" Carter who learned to fly before he learned to drive. During World War I he was stationed in France where he is credited with 17 air victories, earning several medals including the Distinguished Service Cross. He also had a very positive effect on my life and gave me many of my best memories as a young boy.  I have named this wine, one of distinguished character, 'ACE' after my beloved Grandfather Nick.

- Brian Carter  

More Information

Exclusive to Wine Club Members

Special Tasting with Array Cellars

November 18, 2017  2 - 5pm

Join us for an afternoon with Array Cellars in the Brian Carter Tasting Room. We have a special relationship with Array Cellars in that Brian Carter is also their winemaker. Their goal is to bring you three unique bottlings, each expressing something different but clearly Washington chardonnay. Join us for a fun afternoon of tasting.

2013 Washington State - Full ripe flavors of hazelnut, citrus, apple and vanilla. Good depth and a lingering finish with firm acidity.  Retail: $25  Wine Club: $21.25

2013 Celilo Vineyard - These old vine clones produce a wine with citrus/lemon aromas and flavors, powerful acidity, and a notable mineral finish. These vines have produced chardonnay aging well for 20 years and more, rivaling legendary counterparts Hanzell and Stony Hill in California.  Retail: $32  Wine Club: $27.50

2013 Dijon Clone - Taken from a single block of Dijon clone 76 in the Otis Harlan vineyard in the Yakima Valley. Believed to be the oldest such vines in the state. Our most burgundian wine, with a brilliant gold color, deep flavors of peach and marzipan, and a long silky finish from “sur lie” aging. Retail: $32  Wine Club: $27.50

Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving

What will you be serving with your Thanksgiving dinner?

Question: Red, White or Rose? - A good and simple strategy for Thanksgiving wine is to offer a great bottle of each to allow your guests their choice. Plus, it's a good opportunity to introduce your guests to something new that they might not have tried before.

For a white wine, look for a wine with well-balanced acidity. The Oriana is the perfect choice for those that prefer traditional white wines. With its seductive aromas and perfect balance, its popularity just keeps soaring. The 2015 vintage is a richly aromatic wine, resplendent with tangerine, apricot, ripe pear and apple with touches of honey and anise. Crisp acidity greets the palate while mouth filling fruit flavors linger making this an excellent companion to any Thanksgiving table.

Whether your favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is the turkey or the sweet potatoes, a good rosé will pair well with everything on the table. Abracadabra Rosé is a beautiful electric pink in color with aromas of ripe strawberries abound with more subtle notes of peaches and orange blossoms.  On the palate is bountiful fruit backed up by deliciously crisp acidity. It’s not too big, it’s not too small; as Goldilocks would say, if she were old enough to drink, it’s just right. 

For red wine, look for soft tannins that will yield to and blend with your dishes and will delight most red wine lovers without overpowering lighter turkey flavors. The ripeness of the 2012 Byzanse with its complex nose of bright red cherries, tar, white pepper and the garigue spice that you get walking the fields of Provence is the perfect complement for Thanksgiving. The wine explodes in your mouth with lots of bright fruit and finishes with a long slightly earthy mineral note. A great balance and a hint of tannin make this wine a great match for a wide range of foods, including your mother-in-law's stuffing recipe.


Ending on a Sweet Note - Well, what pairs with traditional thanksgiving desserts like Pumpkin or Pecan Pie? We suggest a glass of Opulento. Deep impenetrable garnet color, with aromas of raspberry, cherry and chocolate with hints of almond and orange peel. On the palate, this wine has opulent flavors of chocolate and berry fruits with a perfectly balanced and satisfyingly sweet finish.

Brian Carter Cellars Calendar

Special Tasting Event with Array Cellars - November 18, 2017 2-5pm

Closed for Thanksgiving - November 23, 2017

Wine and Chocolate Pairing Event - November 29, 2017 2:30-5pm  
Local Chocolatier, Wellington Chocolates
www.wellingtonchocolate.com

St. Nick's "Cure-ated" Wine Tasting Night - December 1, 2017 7-9:30pm
Join Brian Carter Cellars and forty other Woodinville wineries for a festival holiday event. Special guest chef Justin Severino, James Beard Award-nominee and owner of Cure Restaurant in Pittsburgh teams up with Novelty Hill Januiks executive chef Seth Fernald to host a special evening of Cure-ated food. 
Tickets are still available: brownpapertickets.com/event/3084927

Nov 15, 2017 at 9:36 AM
Brian Carter Cellars
April 8, 2015

We racked over 130 barrels last week. Brian, Robert and Dennis worked long hours to get this done.

Just to review a little winemaking 101, here is a summary of the Winemaking process at Brian Carter Cellars:

Red grapes Harvested > Shipped to winery >  Grapes crushed > 
Alcoholic Fermentation >  Pressing to barrel >  Malo-Lactic Fermentation > 
First Racking >  Barrel Aging >  Blending and Second Racking > 
More Barrel aging >  Bottling > Bottle aging >  Wine for Sale

The first racking does not take place until both the critical Alcoholic and Malo-Lactic fermentations are complete. The completion of these two fermentations is confirmed in our laboratory by measuring for the presence of sugar and malic acid. When yeast have used up all of the sugar in the wine and when the bacteria have converted all of the malic acid to lactic acid then the wine is considered stable and ready rack.

This first racking is essentially pumping the wine out of the barrel while leaving the heavy deposit (called lees) behind. During the process each individual lot is blended together in a tank, usually two to eight barrels per lot. We then add the minimum amount possible of sulfur dioxide to the wine to protect it from oxidation and growth of undesirable yeasts and bacteria. Finally the wine is returned to the cleaned and sanitized barrels, bunged tightly and put into the cool cellar to age.

Now is a great time for me to taste through the barrels and assess the quality of each lot. My enthusiasm for the 2014's has only grown more with every stage. Look for more reports as the wine settles down to age slowly in the barrel.

Brian D. Carter, Winemaker

Apr 8, 2015 at 11:23 AM