The 2013 harvest has officially ended. Our crew worked alot of long hours to process the 705 tons that were brought in this year. The last time we saw numbers like that was in 2005 when a whopping 1374 tons of grapes were crushed here. Mostly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes were crushed and de-stemmed this year. Both varietals are primarily grown in the Carneros region. Now it's time to clean and sanitize all of the equipment and let it hibernate until next year. Meanwhile, the winemaking process is just getting started. The juice has fermented and is now into barrels for aging. Can't wait to taste the 2013 vintage!
It’s a humble start by Sonoma Valley standards but a big step for a middle school whose students won’t be able to sip wine for at least a decade – a harvest yielding 40 pounds of plumb zinfandel grapes.
Horticulture students at Adele Harrison Middle School on Broadway trekked out to a front corner of the campus Friday morning for their inaugural harvest.
Under the watchful eye of teacher Shirley Austin-Peeke and the patient direction of a skilled vineyard worker, eight students took turns picking the deep purple fruit destined for icy sorbets and fruit juice rather than wine, at least for this year.
Isidro Corona, the viticulturist who manages 600 acres at Larson Family Winery, stepped away from his harvest duties to oversee the latest phase at the Adele Harrison vineyard, where 120 vines were planted in June of 2011.
“It’s the first growth of grapes and it’s exciting,” said Corona.
Becky Larson, who coordinates the project between the school and the winery, was on hand offering encouragement. Two eighth-grade students also offered some capable help – Larson’s 13-year-old twin sons, Will and Wyatt, who attend the school and know a bit about the wine industry themselves.
Corona told the students it will be a few more years before the vines really start producing, but even school Principal Karla Conroy was impressed with the harvest. She, too, carefully cut a few bunches of grapes.
The students’ hands-on experience included a few quick lessons about sugar levels, varietals and vineyard management. Becky Larson explained that T-posts and tubes support and protect the young vines from wind and animals like jackrabbits that might romp through the vineyards.
For students like 11-year-old Sonoma native Jason Chiotti, the lesson was an inside glimpse into the terrain and economy of their hometown.
-Dianne Reber Hart, Press Democrat Towns Section, 9-14-2013
by Kathleen Hill/Index-Tribune Food and Wine Editor Aug 15, 2013 - 04:25 PM Kathleen Hill
Known as a family- and dog-oriented winery, Larson Family Winery just gave more and more, again.
On Monday, we celebrated and dedicated the new vineyard at Valley of the Moon Children’s Home. As the ChaChas garden coordinator, I asked Becky Larson, whose staff and vineyard crew have been an enormous help with educational vineyards at Adele Harrison Middle School and Sonoma Valley High School, if they would like to contribute even more. Becky’s answer was, “We would love too!”
Larson vineyardist Isidro Corona and crew pruned the long-untended old vines at the Children’s Home last year in hopes that they might produce something. It mostly didn’t work. So they pulled out the old vines and planted 100 zinfandel vines, all donated by Sam Caselli of NovaVine, who also gave our whole vineyard of vines at Adele Harrison on Broadway.
As her senior project, Becky and Tom Larson’s daughter, Erica, coordinated all of the donations, i.e. talked everyone into giving what they had to give and did a masterful job. She also got Vineyard Industry Products to donate 100 new t-posts for the vineyard.
In front of many polite and enthusiastic Children’s Home residents Monday morning, Erica pointed out that the soil is very good for grapes, the vines will produce in three years and will be fully matured in five to seven years. “Isidro and his crew and VOMCC garden staff will maintain the vineyards. Some day the hope is to make wine from the grapes. One-hundred vines should yield a ton of grapes or 60 cases of wine. The money raised will go to (ChaChas’) programs for the children.” Isidro guided the children on a tour of the vineyard and explained the whole growing process in both English and Spanish. Thank you all.
Friday July 12, 2013 marks the start of the California State Fair. The fair has been running since 1854 and judging wines since 1855. This year, Larson Family Winery was awarded a Gold Medal on our 2010 Larson Family Winery Chardonnay! We called Vella Cheese Company of Sonoma to arrange a tasting of our Chardonay and their Dry Aged Jack. Turns out, they won a Gold on their cheese! Their Dry Aged Special Select Monterey Jack is the perfect accompaniment to our Estate Chardonnay. On Friday, July 12 from 2-4 pm Larson and Vella are teaming up to share our Gold Medal winners. Come to the Larson Family Tasting Room and enjoy a complimentary tasting of our Gold Medal Chardonnay and Vella's Dry Aged Jack. Our winemaker Carolyn Craig will be here along with Chickie Vella of Vella Cheese. Out of 2,625 entries in the wine competition there were only 207 gold medals, so be sure to come in and enjoy two of the Gold medals won by Sonoma businesses!
Cowboy Cab is a fundraiser that benefits the Sonoma Valley Teen Services Center and Larson Family Winery held this beautiful event for the second time last Saturday. The evening started with Cab tasting from Cabernet Sauvignon that was donated from various Sonoma wineries. From there, guests were led outside to enjoy the swinging sounds of Tommy Thomsen. Meanwhile a silent auction took place with amazing items all donated. There was wine, vacation packages, art and a guitar to name a few that were up for bid.Anea Botton, a Sonoma resident who has been mentoring teens with her Valley Girl Food Stuffs program, takes food donated from whole foods and teaches the teens how to make jams, syrups, chutney and mustards. This delicious food was served as appetizers to the Cowboy Cab-ers and jars were made into centerpieces for the tables. Anea also over saw the teens as they prepped salad, cornbread and other side dishes. Native Sons of the Golden West graciously donated their time to man the bbq pit and cook the meat for the 250 guests.The auction was a huge success, more than double last years, the Teen Center took in $55,000! The highest bid item was the Sonoma Raceway package with the bid winning at $4,000. An anonymous donor also wrote a check for $5,000 to go towards the bike program that is put on by the Sonoma Police Department. This program takes bikes that have been unclaimed and allows the teens to repair them. This was an incredible show of community support and fit so perfectly at Larson Family Winery who provided the venue. Jenah Smith of Sonoma Raceway, also put in countless hours of time planning this event. We can't wait to get ready for next year's Cowboy Cab event!
Cowboy Cab, a huge success!
LFW Most Interesting Guests: Elisha-Emily-Tiffany, April 2013Let us introduce you to “The Clique”, aka Elisha, Emily and Tiffany from LosAngeles CA, who recently visited Sonoma and Larson Family Winery for the first time. The Cliquesters impressed us as candidates for Larson Family Winery’s Most Interesting Guests of April 2013 and so we present them to our dear
Evidently Tiffany didn’t get the email that she should have a name that starts with the letter “E”, but we overlook such minor things. We also noticed that they were not wearing socks that matched each other,so it would seem that matching group socks and a name beginning with the letter “E” are not defining requirements for admission to The Clique.
At first the Cliquesters would not admit to ever doing anything more dangerous than exploring wines beyond Moscato and riding the biggest roller coasters they can find. That’s pretty tame stuff for residents of Sonoma Wine Country. Later during their visit to LFW they confessed to having visited the Florida Everglades in heels. Now that’s pretty high up on the danger meter, especially if you need to move quickly to avoid becoming an alligator’s dinner. One of them said she wasn’t worried about running fast, just running faster than the other two.
One member of The Clique claimed to be able to fake a credible Indian accent, while another said she knew all the words to “Auld Lang Syne”. For old time’s sake we didn’t ask her to sing it. The Clique enjoys dining at Fogo de Chao, the Brazilian steakhouse chain with restaurants in cities all over North America (but not Brazil?) except in the San Francisco Bay area. There is a Fogo de Chao in Miami but that is not close enough to walk to the Everglades, especially if you’re wearing heels. We looked at their menu but could not find any evidence of alligator steaks. The Cliquesters are quadra-lingual, able to speak English, Chinese, Vietnamese and Taiwanese, a variety of Mĭn Nán (Southern Min) popularly spoken in Taiwan. We missed the opportunity to ask how to say “3 Lab Cab” in Taiwanese. Perhaps when The Clique sees this they will advise us.
Send in your vote and comments to tell us why you think “The Clique” should be named the Most Interesting Guests of the Larson Family Winery Tasting Room for April 2013. However, please tell us in English. Our Mĭn Nán es poquito. Written By Ron Rodeo, a faboulous tasting room associate.
Patrick showed up at the LFW Tasting Room wearing
mismatched socks last Sunday. He offered no explanation for the mismatched socks, but then that’s pretty normal around here on Sunday. Maybe we should have a “Sunday Socks” contest for the strangest/ugliest/most bizarre set of mismatched socks.
A.K.A. ‘Patty Cakes’, Patrick is a student at Sonoma State U. He is also the roommate of our Tasting Room Teammate, Amanda. He then told us, in his best Arabian accent, that the worst chore he has to do is clean up the apartment after Amanda. Probably explains the mismatched socks.
For fun, Patrick likes to live dangerously by going skydiving in Lodi. We asked if he could sing ‘Lodi’ by CCR. He said no, the only song he knows all the words to is ‘Bye Bye Bye’. Patrick also likes the
tallest, baddest rides at the amusement parks. When he told us that his friend Natalie Owdom, another teammate here in the LFW Tasting Room, is “the boss of all bosses”, we decided that Patrick does indeed like to live dangerously.
Mr. Hellmann likes to eat at the Glen Ellen Inn, a very nice upvalley restaurant. Patrick loves bacon, wine and lamb chops, presumably not all in the same meal. We decided that Patrick Hellmann is a great
candidate for the Most Interesting Guest of the Week. If you agree, show him your support and vote for Patrick. Amanda says that if Patrick wins, she will give him a break by cleaning up after him for a week. It gets more and more interesting.
-Wingo Starr, Another Fabulous Tasting Room Teammate at Larson Family Winery.
Do you have what it takes to be our most interesting guest? Stop by our Tasting Room and tell us about You!
On a cool, crisp February morning you can find vineyard manger Isidro Corona, and owner, Becky Larson, out in the vineyards with the students of Adele Harrison Middle School. The horticulture students are learning to prune the zinfandel vines that were planted there in 2011. The students are hoping to yield close to a half-ton of grapes come this years harvest. That is equivalent to about 30 cases of wine. In May, Becky and Isidro will return to the school to teach the students how to re-tie the vines. Eventually we would like to have a vineyard at all Sonoma Schools. The grapes from the vineyards will be made into wine and sold to raise funds for the distric-wide School Garden Project.
With over 100 growing regions in California and 90% of the wine made in the U.S. coming from California, this is a great opportunity for students. Tom and Becky Larson are very active in the agriculture community. From their involvement in FFA (Future Farmers of America) to 4H and the vineyards at the schools, future winemakers and grape growers start here!
This Saturday at Larson Family Winery it's our first Wine Club pick-up party of 2013! From 11-3, we invite our wine club members to come down, pick up their shipment and enjoy some tasty treats! In this months shipment, enjoy our 2010 Millerick Road Chardonnay and our Gold Medal winning, 2010 3 Lab Cab! The Millerick Road Chardonnay is crisp and clean with notes of green apple and pear. This chardonnay is the perfect compliment to any salad, fish or chicken dish. The 3 Lab Cab is a blend of cabernet, merlot and petite sirah. This blend is smooth yet structured with the classic cherry and berry notes you expect from our cab blends. The 3 Lab Cab is great with bbq'd meat or chocolate treats. Our 3 Lab Cab was just awarded a Gold Medal in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition!
From Feb 1 to March 1, Larson Family Winery is holding our annual Limerick contest! This year the contest is open to 21 and up. A limerick is a verse of 5 lines, usually funny, in which the 1st, 2nd and 5th lines rhyme with eachother and the 3rd and 4th form rhymed couplet. Just remeber, 5 lines! We've got some great prizes this year. There will be 4 winners this year. 1st place; Wine Club membership for a year, 2nd place; $50 tasting room gift certificate, 3rd place; $25 tasting room gift certicate, 4th place; a signed bottle of our "Pinot Greeno". 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will also receive a signed bottle of "Pinot Greeno". For complete rules or to enter, email firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also enter in person in our tasting room or by mail.
Larson Family Winery Staff
From the Winemaker to the Cellar Master, Tasting room to the dogs, we are all part of the family.