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Family News: The Rocca Family Vineyards Newsletter

John Taylor
March 26, 2013 | John Taylor

Volume II: March 2013

Spring Has Come to Napa Valley!

Bud Break is happening all over the Valley, and we're waiting with excited anticipation for it to happen within our own Grigsby and Collinetta Vineyards. That said, we're still hoping for more rain. The few showers predicted this week will be most welcome, but the real hope is that we get a lot more before the buds get too active. We'll be heading out into the vineyards early next week to give you a full pictorial, and you can check it out in Family News next month or through our new Instagram account, @RoccaWines. In the meantime, I'll let winemaker Paul Colantuoni give you his update on Spring in the vineyards...

Hello again!  March has arrived, and we've finally finished the painstaking winter process of pruning all of our vines.  The vineyards are healthy, and things are looking great for the 2013 season.  The only caveat is that the months of January and February were unusually dry in Napa Valley, so we're hoping for a nice dose of rain to replenish our reserves before the vines decide that it's time to start growing again.  Keep your fingers crossed for us!

While we wait for our new buds to start to push, here's the update on our 2011 and 2012 wines that I promised you in last month's newsletter...

As many of you have probably heard, 2012 was an absolutely superb vintage for Napa Valley.  We couldn't be happier with the quantity or the quality of the harvest -- a very rare double-double in the winemaking world.  As I write this note, none of our 2012s have completely finished fermenting; they're all still bubbling along happily.  Some lots are just getting to the end of primary (alcoholic) fermentation, while the rest are working through their secondary (malolactic) fermentation.  This unusually drawn-out timetable is a consequence of our reliance on the yeast and bacteria provided naturally by the grapes themselves, rather than on commercially available microbes, in making our wines.  While these indigenous creatures tend to work quite slowly and to require diligent monitoring, we feel that they pay handsome rewards in the quality and complexity of the finished wines, their mid-palate weight and finish length, and their fidelity to the vineyards from which they come.

Right now, much of our attention in the winery is focused on preparing our 2011 wines for bottling.  The headline news here is that we're going to be bottling absolutely gorgeous versions of three of our wines -- our Syrah, our Merlot, and our Vespera blend -- while we've made the difficult decision not to produce 2011 bottlings of our Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet, our Collinetta Vineyard Cabernet, or our "little treasure", the Tesorina blend.  The 2011 vintage was one of the most unusual in recent memory for California, with a long, extremely cool growing season resulting in a late harvest.  For early-ripening grape varieties, and for wines emphasizing elegance and accessibility with lower alcohol and tannin levels, this proved to be quite magical. 

Our Syrah has a much spicier, more floral, cooler-climate personality than it has in previous vintages, and the Merlot and the Vespera are beautifully balanced, refined, and delicious.  While the lots that typically make up our other three wines were very good in 2011, we simply don't feel that they're extraordinary enough for us to place them in the company of our other vintages.  We believe that it's the right decision, and we're excited that those three wines will be back, and in glorious form, as 2012s.

Help Us To 500 Facebook Likes And Get A $10 Gift Card

Rocca Family has been a big believer of Social Media from the beginning - we think it's a terrific way to keep you posted on what's going on here and to provide you with a better level of customer service. We also use Twitter and Facebook to offer our loyal customers special offers on wine and events - and as I mentioned, we're now on Instagram, where you can follow us @RoccaWines. 

As I write this, we're at 473 Facebook followers, and we want to get the word out to every one to come join us on our Facebook Page. So here's the deal: We're offering a $10 Gift Card good for any purchase at our online store to anyone who Shares our "Facebook 500" post, PLUS we'll have a drawing for a bottle of our Vespera Red Blend for everyone who "Likes" our page. Here's how it works:

  • Go to our Facebook Page
  • If you're not a Follower yet, click on "Like"
  • Share the Posting at the top of the Page about our Facebook 500 Campaign
  • Send us a Message through the Page that you Shared the Post

And that's it! We'll reply to your Message with your $10 Gift Card, and enter all names in the drawing. Thanks for your help!

(If you Shared the Page already but haven't received your Gift Card, please Message us and let us know...some of you have FB privacy settings that prevent us from seeing who you are!)

Awards Are Pouring In For The 2009 Releases!

As those of you in Rocca's Best of Class Wine Club are aware, we've been releasing the 2009 vintage throughout the year, and the awards and accolades for these wines are already coming in! Here's what we've received so far:

2009 Estate Merlot, Grigsby Vineyard: Gold Medal, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition;

2009 Estate Syrah, Grigsby Vineyard: 90 Points, Wine Spectator; 91 Points, Purely Domestic Wine Report; (To Be Released October 2013).

2009 Vespera Proprietary Red Blend91 Points and Gold Medal, 7th Annual Cabernet Shootout; 91 Points, Purely Domestic Wine Report...and the one we're REALLY proud of...Best of Class for Red Blends, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

See you next month!

Time Posted: Mar 26, 2013 at 3:29 PM