Monday, April 30, 2007

Long time no post!

Hey everyone! I just thought I'd stop by and say hello to everyone that finds me hanging out over here. Many of you come by looking for my ruminations on making wine up in the Colorado high country, and for that I'm thankful. Making wine has been a wonderfully unexpected element of my life this last decade or so. You all coming around is just icing on the cake.

For the most part, I'm posting over at Typepad at this address: typepad.creative-emarketing.com/mountainspiritwinery. Come see what we've got going on over there. It's really thanks to the great staff over at Creative eMarketing Solutions for helping us maintain our blogs and our websites. Check them out if you're ever in need of search engine optimization or other online website publishing needs like copywriting and website redesign.

Take care and be well.

Mike

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Moving our Blog!

Hello everyone! The fine folk over at Creative eMarketing Solutions (they've been handling our eMarketing strategies) have upgraded their blog hosting service to Typepad's platform. We hope that all of you will join us over there to continue our journey into wine making and wine appreciation.

Here's the new address. Aside from that, everything else is the same. You can continue to expect thoughtful and (we hope) insightful glimpses into the behind the scenes action at Mountain Spirit Winery and Gallery, one of Colorado's premier wineries.

http://creative-emarketing.typepad.com/mountainspiritwinery

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Our hands-off policy

One of the important things Terry and I have learned about making wine is that so much of what makes a good wine is completely out of our hands. We try our hardest to control the things we can control and then to surrender to those things that we have little or no control over. And, over time, we're realizing that more and more of the wine process is best left in the hands of nature and God. I figure they've both got loads more experience at this business than we do!

Our infant wines are still settling, and for the most part, they've settled nicely from the crushing experience of last fall. The red has been transferred into our oak barrels so they can age for about a year. For our purposes, we like the French and the American oak barrels. There's something about these particular oaks that impart such nuanced and balanced flavors to our young wines.

We've been having a great winter, as far as snow goes! Just fifteen miles up the road is Monarch Ski Area and some of the best downhill skiing and snowboarding the state has to offer. Come on out, strap on those boards, and when you're done zooming down the slopes, stop by the winery (you'll see the signs as you come down from Monarch Pass) and check out our barrels while enjoying a glass. I've always found the sight of the full barrels stacked on top of each other in the winery to be a marvelous picture. We'll even take your picture standing in front of them!

Peace and love my friends.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Relationship Saver of Wines




So much of the enjoyment I get from making wine is the act of creating new wines from simple ideas. My wife, Terry, witnessed an interesting and not uncommon event in our gallery/tasting room, which eventually led to the creation of an entirely new wine. She saw that many times when a couple would visit our gallery next to the Twisted Cork Cafe in Salida, CO to taste our wines, one half of the couple would like the sweeter wine while the other half would prefer something a little dryer. After seeing this minor dilemma replay itself out time and time again, she got the idea to take a cabernet franc wine and blend it with a blackberry wine.

Mountain Spirit Winery's Blackberry Cabernet Franc was born. It was quickly dubbed the "relationship saver " in that both members of the couple could take enjoyment in the wine. This Blackberry Cab made for an absolutely enjoyable off-dry red wine. And, a little sweetness in the wine made it much more food friendly.

Our Blackberry Cabernet Franc has won many international medals for several years running. But even if it hadn't, we would know it was a good wine, just from hearing about how many people enjoyed serving it at their dinner parties because of its ability to please a diverse range of wine tastes.

If you're in the area, stop by and taste this original wine. Or, if you're feeling brave, go ahead and order yourself up a case from the winery. We're sure that once you've tried it, you'll come back to its unique off-dry character again and again.

Peace and love everybody!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

An Adventure Journalist

I just discovered a neat blog from a young woman out of northern New Mexico. It seems that she spent the new year's celebration in our fair town of Salida and enjoying the surrounding beauty. Check out her blog at http://www.adventurejournalist.com/notebook/. She's even got a great photo movie that depicts the snowy beauty of the last storm that rolled through here.

Thanks for the mention Tonya! Keep up the good blogging work!

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Origin of Mountain Spirit Winery's Apple Ice Wine


Many of you have discovered one of the newest trends in wine making- the ice wine. These wines have become a huge hit across the board amongst those who enjoy wine. If you haven't yet experienced this delectable trend in wines, here's a link that will help fill you in: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_wine. In brief, ice wines are made from grapes that have been frozen. The sugars and other dissolved solids do not freeze, but the water does. This creates a concentrated, often very sweet wine. In a word, "Yum!"


Mountain Spirit Winery has created a delectable Apple Ice wine. This wine has a huge flavor with a powerful finish. This "apple pie in a glass" stays on the palate from five to ten minutes, making for an absolutely delightful dessert wine.


Our first batch of this Apple Ice wine sold out so quickly, we didn't have enough to send to our wine club members. Fearing a revolt, we produced another batch as soon as we could. Now, we struggle to keep it in stock.


In the hopes that we could start 2007 off right, we've released another batch of this very popular wine and have made it available from our website at http://www.mountainspiritwinery.com/wine_list.htm.


If you like dessert wines, order a bottle of this now. It won't last long, and before you know it, we'll be seeing fewer and fewer cold nights freezing that fruit!


Peace and love friends. And happy new year!

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Exposing those wine snobs out there!

All of us at one time or another have witnessed the sub-species of wine conniseurs lovingly called "the wine snob." These individuals know how to judge a wine expertly, determining every subtle flavor and educating everyone within hearing distance. They are quick to share their expertise and, all-too-often, to expose one's pitiful lack of wine knowledge.

Well, a couple of French researchers claim that they have proven that the so-called wine experts know "no more than the rest of us," according to a report in The Times of London. This award-winning French study exposes the fact that for all of us, perhaps even more so for these "experts," personal views on wine are based "...as much on color and labels as upon a wine's bouquet and flavor." I say "even more so" because the study saw that the more "profound" a person's experience with wine, the more that person became blind to what they were tasting and more susceptible to what they thought they should be tasting.

Here's what I mean. The study had two parts. In the first, the researcher invited 54 of Bordeaux's eminent wine experts to sample different bottles of wine. One of these was a white wine to which the researcher had added a flavorless substance giving it a red color. Not one of the experts noticed that the wine they were drinking was actually a disguised white!

In the second part of the study, 57 experts tasted the same bottle of a very average wine twice. The first time, the wine was labeled as a "high-prestige grand cru" and the second time it was labeled as a "cheap vin de table." When the experts thought it was a grand cru, they described it as "agreeable, woody, complex, balanced, and rounded." Whey they tasted the bottle labeled as a simple table wine, they replied that it was "weak, short, light, flat, faulty and with a sting."

What does this mean for us? Well, if you're like me, you know what wine you like. And you like it for very personal reasons. Sometimes the reason is as simple as the fact that you like the label or you remember visiting that winery last summer or any of a hundred other perfectly good reasons for liking a wine. Likewise, you probably don't like specific wines for equally appropriate reasons. Whatever these reasons are, they are perfect for you and your wine selecting criteria.

So, the next time you witness the antics of that wine snob looking down his nose at your selection, just smile and pick out any darn wine you want.

Enjoy!