COW Club Mooosletter
January - March ~ Volume 2014, Issue 1
A Note from Jill & Bill Smyth
The Dear COW Club members -
Happy New Year! Thanks to all of you for making our Holiday wine sale such a success. Close to $50,000 of wine went out the door for 38%-50% off every single wine, port, champagne and dessert wine from our library of 55 varietals/vintages.
We are in the stages of putting together the schedule of events for 2014. We plan to have many of the same events as before and a few more. Mark your calendars for June 22, 2014 - it's our annual FREE concert and party-on-the patio for Club members and their guests. New this year: COWfest is also PLOWfest.
You are probably wondering what PLOW means. It is our new club: "Port Lovers of Westover." In addition to being a (we think) catchy name, PLOW is also in honor of our heritage and the high-rise plow (invented by one of Bill's ancestors) that graces the labels of our Palomares wine, ports and sparklers.
We plan to limit the PLOW Club to 100 members. Each quarter, PLOW members will receive two bottles of ports, including PLOW-exclusive rare and small-lot ports as well as advance releases specialty ports, including new varietals and blends. PLOW members will also enjoy PLOW-only special (port-focused) events. We now have several dual members who are both COWs and PLOWs. To learn more about the PLOW club, come by the tasting room any weekend or contact our PLOW Club ambassador and winemaker Ken Tatum (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We thank you for your ongoing support of our family winery and look forward to seeing you on your next visit!
Bill Smyth & Jill Smyth
Owners, Westover & Palomares Vineyards
Jill Smyth, Head of the Herd of COWs and PLOWs
!st Quarter Club Wines - Ready for Pickup!
Your Winter COW Club Wines will be available for pickup in the tasting room starting Saturday, January 11th (wines for "ship-to-me" COWs will be sent via UPS). The cost of these wines, with your 15% club discount, is $39.74 (including 9% sales tax) which has been charged to your credit card on file. If your wines are to shipped, an additional UPS fee was charged as well.
2012 Roussanne, Steinbeck Vineyard
If you have not yet tasted Roussanne, you are in for a big treat. Roussanne is primarily known as a white Rhône wine which sometimes blended in with red wines. Plantings are now in many parts of the New World, including California. The berries of Roussanne are almost brown or rust colored.
This is a 100% Roussanne wine is full bodied and well-balanced. Roussanne grapes puts forth a very earthy solid taste, not often found in white wines. Some pick up a tea flavor with nutty hints.
Pairing with Food
Roussanne will pair nicely with many fish dishes including salmon and shrimp. Many Roussanne lovers find it perfect with Sushi and other Japanese dishes. However, others find it perfect with veal, roasted chicken, grilled vegetables, cheeses and a wide variety of vegetarian cuisine..
Price and Availability
The COW club price for this wine is $16.96 per bottle (retail is $19.95).
2011 Je t'aime (Meritage), Livermore Valley
In 1994 Westover introduced its first Meritage wine called Je t'aime. A Meritage wine is produced from a blend of any of the following: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petite Verdot and other varietals typically grown in Bordeaux France.
100% of the grapes used in the production of Je t'aime were grown in the Livermore Valley. The Cabernet Sauvignon (63%) and Merlot (25%) are from Thatcher Bay Vineyards and the Cabernet Franc (12%) is from a small vineyard located off Tesla Road.
Cabernet Sauvignon provides the backbone, Merlot the softness and Cabernet Franc the bouquet. This vintage was bin fermented for 1.5 weeks in a very cool environment with special enzymes to extract extra tannins. Completion of the fermentation took place in brand new American Oak barrels with medium toasted heads and staves. Many people say Je t'aime makes men and women go wild with romance and do things they have not done for years. Have wine with your Valentines Dinner and let the games begin. Best pairing with Je t'aime --- a hot tub.
Full bodied with rich fruit and firm tannins. Complex flavors of plum, black cherry, pomegranate and espresso currant round out this fabulous Bordeaux-style blend.
Pairing with Food
Je t'aime will pair well with broiled and grilled beef, tuna, lamb and wild game, as well as duck, sausages and wild mushrooms. Vegetarian and meat dishes with bernaise or hearty marinera sauce are also a good match. Blue cheese, camembert, hearty goat cheeses and any dessert featuring dark or bittersweet chocolate are also a great match.
Price and Availability
The COW club price for this wine is $19.51 per bottle (retail is $22.95).
Winter & Spring Events at Westover
We are planning a full calendar of winery events for 2014! While we're still working out the details, we encourage you to save the following dates in your calendar:
Valentine's Sparkler Sale: Saturday, February 15th & Sunday, February 16th
Save 50% on Pomegranate Cuvée and Extra Cuvée Rosé Reserve.
St. Patrick's Day Celebration: Sunday, March 16th
Traditional Irish music on the patio, bring a picnic and blend-your-own green wine or port.
Easter Sunday "Lucky Eggs": Sunday, April 20th
Special discounts hidden in Easter eggs - pick one from the basket and save 10-50%.
Cinco de Mayo Sangria Special: Sunday, May 4th
Sample Linda's famous Sangria. Save on the Westover wine used in Sangria and receive a copy of the recipe to make your own sangria at home.
Bottle-Your-Own-For-Mom: Saturday, May 4th
The perfect gift for Mother's day: fill, cork and label your own bottle a port or wine direct from the barrel. Add a special note with our gold pens for a unique and personal gift for the Mom in your life.
Port & Cigars Under the Stars: Friday, May 16th @ 6:30pm
Our semi-annual port and cigar lounge on the patio.
PLOW Club Port Blending Party: Friday, April 25th @ 6:30pm
Exclusive event for PLOW Club members to collaborate and create a new port blend.
COW & PLOW Fest: Sunday, June 22nd @ 3:00pm
Our annual FREE concert, picnic and party on the patio for Club members and their guests.
More details about these events will be available on the website by the end of January. Also, you will receive event email updates as the dates draw closer. In the meantime, if you have any questions or want to discuss scheduling your own events at the winery (COWs receive special discounts for private events and fundraisers), contact General Manager Michelle Ellison (email@example.com).
Many or our members hear us talking about Bordeaux, Rhône, Champagne and other famous wine regions of France. Since we are offering Roussanne this quarter (a Rhône varietal grown for us in California), we thought we might share the following about the Rhône Valley.
The Rhône Valley is a key wine-producing region in the south-east of France. It follows the north-south course of the Rhône river for almost 150 miles (240km) from Lyon to the Rhône Delta (the Bouches-du-Rhône), near the Mediterranean coast.
The length of the valley means that Rhône wines are the product of a wide variety of soil types and mesoclimates. The region's wine-producing areas cover such a distance that there is a widely accepted division between its northern and southern parts. Rather neatly, they are separated by a gap of 25 miles (40 km) between the towns of Valance and Montelimar, in which almost no vines are grown.
This division is reflected not only in geography and preferred grape varieties, but also in the quality and quantity of wines produced. The smaller, more quality-driven northern section focuses almost entirely on Syrah for red wines and Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne for whites, while the larger and more prolific south employs a much longer list of varieties. The most notable of these are the red varieties Grenache and Mourvedre, which are combined with Syrah to produce the 'GSM' blend so characteristic of the southern Rhône. While the granite-blessed slopes of the north are paired with a continental climate, the rocky, sandy soils of the flatter south enjoy the warmer winters of a Mediterranean climate.
Wine 101: What's Happening at the Winery
In January, we are primarily working in the vineyard. We count the buds which will become grape clusters this Fall and prune the vines so we have about 20 - 30 total buds on the remaining vine. By severe pruning, we are focusing on quality and not yield.
We are also changing our trellis system and putting up new poles. We are also working on our fencing system to keep the deer out of the vineyard.
Next COW Club Shipment: April 2014
The Spring Club Wines will be released for pickup (or shipment) in mid-April. Your credit card will be billed during the first two weeks of April. Contact Jill Smyth, COW & PLOW Clubs Director regarding changes to your credit card, expiration or billing information at (510) 537-3932 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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COW Club Questions & Account Updates
Jill Smyth, Owner & Vice President
COW & PLOW Clubs Director
Westover Vineyards & Palomares Vineyards
34329 Palomares Road ~ Castro Valley, CA 94552
Winery: (510) 537-3932
Tasting Room Open: Saturdays & Sundays, 12pm - 5pm ~ Weekdays by Appointment