Cart 0 items: $0.00

Close

Qty Item Description Price Total
  SubTotal $0.00

View Cart

 

Cornerstone Cellars

Craig Camp
 
October 24, 2013 | Craig Camp

Swing for the Fences

The baseball season is long, one hundred and sixty two games. After six months of effort it can come down to one game, indeed one swing of the bat. Months and months of effort can come down to one second.

Baseball, grapevines and winemakers start and end their seasons at the same time and in the same way. Some teams are happy to go home with a .500 season while for others nothing less than a championship will do. Every year we swing for the fences expecting nothing less of ourselves than winning it all.

Our season came to an end almost two weeks ago when we picked our two cabernet franc vineyards in the Napa Valley. As usual, although Oregon and California are neighbors, the vintage experience is very, very different. In the Napa Valley it was smooth as silk. The early flowering in the spring gave us all the time we wanted to ripen our fruit to the very point of perfection. In Oregon the pace was not as relaxed as an approaching storm forced us into high gear to get our fruit in before the rains hit, which we did. 

Once again as in baseball, there is more than one way to win the game. The 2010 vintage may have been difficult and the 2012 vintage warm and benevolent, but we made excellent wines in both years. Most importantly we made wines of the vintage, letting the natural character of the wines nature gave us to speak their own minds. Perhaps the biggest difference between big industrial wineries and artisan producers like Cornerstone Cellars is that their wines taste the same every year and ours don't. In baseball "small ball" often wins games, but in winemaking there is only one way to the pennant and that is by swinging for the fences each and every year.

Now as we finish the 2013 harvest, we are releasing the Cornerstone Cellars Cabernets from the 2010 vintage and our Cornerstone Oregon Pinot and Chardonnay from the 2011 harvest, while the 2012's are still resting in their barrels. Each of them tells the story of our dance with Mother Nature every vintage and we are confident you will find each of their stories as compelling as we do.

Craig Camp
 
October 9, 2013 | Craig Camp

Napa Harvest Dawn

Dawn's first light breaks over the Vaca Mountains and our night harvest of Kairos Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Craig Camp
 
October 6, 2013 | Craig Camp

Harvest Oregon 2013: Beautiful Pinot Noir

Beautful Eola Hills Pinot Noir! Its looking good at Cornerstone Oregon in 2013

Craig Camp
 
October 5, 2013 | Craig Camp

Harvest Oregon 2013: Beating the Storm

A last delivery of grapes arrives as the rain really starts to come down. Winemaker Tony Rydners rushes to get covers over the bins of just picked pinot noir. We were able to get all of our Oregon chardonnay and the marjority of our pinot noir picked before the storm.

Craig Camp
 
September 25, 2013 | Craig Camp

Napa Harvest Dawn: After the Storm

The last of the storm clouds depart over Atlas Peak as the sun returns to dry out the vineyards of Yountville.

Craig Camp
 
September 18, 2013 | Craig Camp

Harvest Dawn

The dawn has yet to glow over the Vaca Mountains to the east. I am standing in the dark morningcoolness as hazy figures glide through the blackness waiting for first light to signal the start of the day's work. Harvest 2013 is now seriously underway in the Napa Valley as we prepare to pick our first grapes for red wine this vintage, Oakville Station Merlot. Theoretically the harvest started here weeks ago for sparking wines (they're done already) and some white wines, but in the Napa Valley you're not getting serious until you start picking merlot, cabernet franc and, most of all, cabernet sauvignon.

 

While the scene sounds idyllic, and indeed it is, there is an undeniable feeling of pressure. We get just the one chance a year to make meaningful wines from each of these sites. There are no second chances. Every decision is critical, including the timing of today's pick, which I believe we have gotten just right.

Vintage 2013 is full of potential. Our early spring combined with a warm, but not too hot summer has been ideal for developing the complexity of flavors we strive for in our wines while preserving the essential acidity, which makes them live. It is our responsibility to fully realize this potential.

The Oakville Station Merlot was of such outstanding quality in 2012 that we have decided to produce not only our first single vineyard bottling of merlot, but our first Cornerstone Merlot ever. The 2012 Cornerstone Cellars, Oakville Station Merlot will be bottled next July and released after a year of bottle age in 2015. We only produced 100 cases and it will be exclusively available to our Cornerstone Club members. Looking at the outstanding quality of the merlot we are picking this morning, I have every reason to believe that 2013 will see our second single vineyard bottling from this very special vineyard block that is tucked into the famous To Kalon vineyard. 

So as it happens each year in the natural cycle that is agriculture, our goals remain the same, but Mother Nature makes the rules. Our goal is to make elegant, refined wines that elevate your experience at the dinner table. Almost every year here in the Napa Valley nature gives us the privilege of achieving our goals. It is our duty to repay that privilege by doing the very best we can do. While that's a heavy responsibility, it is also a great honor. The ultimate expression of this honor is achieved when we can share our wines with you.

Time Posted: Sep 18, 2013 at 12:21 PM
Craig Camp
 
September 14, 2013 | Craig Camp

Harvest 2013: Oakville Station Cabernet Franc

Picking is hard work and the team does amazing job. Here just picked Oakville Station Cabernet Franc is loaded into half ton bins.

Craig Camp
 
September 14, 2013 | Craig Camp

Harvest 2013: Oakville Station Merlot

Morning clouds hide the hills while dawn's first light fall on pickers harvesting our Oakville Station Merlot. 

Craig Camp
 
September 14, 2013 | Craig Camp

Harvest 2013: Oakville Station Merlot

Pickers pull leaves from just picked merlot in our Oakville Station block. Harvest was a full three weeks sooner than last year.