Monday, May 19, 2008

Young Oak Vineyards - Vol. 2: The Adventure Begins

December 2, 2007

Hi all:

First of all, congratulations to all the
Escondido Elementary School PTA auction winners who successfully bid on the Emery-Sphar Vineyard Planting Party. By your efforts, you have helped raise a $1,000 towards an auction total of over $60,000 for our children's school. We are really looking forward to a wonderful day of a little work, great food, conversations, music & celebration with you, our friends & family!

Secondly, as you seem to be interested in vines & wines, I thought I might give you some background information on this project and then keep you posted on the process & progress towards the vineyard planting date. If you do not wish to receive these e-mails, please let me know and I will remove from my list and just send a couple of reminders nearer the vineyard party date, March 1st.

My interest in wine goes back to my childhood (John's), so when Kris found this orchard property, I jumped at the opportunity to have our own grapes. In my childhood, I always looked forward to the traditional sips of wine at family holiday dinners. And then there was the time I brought a little bottle of wine to school in sixth grade to have with my lunch (and got into big time trouble for that)! My family did a lot of local vacation road trips, many to the Napa & Sonoma Valleys or other wine regions and I always enjoyed the historical displays of wine making. I was very fortunate in that by the time I was in high school I had visited most of the major cellars in Northern California.

However, it was my college days, sippin' wine, looking at world maps & reading National Geographic with my buddy Al, that really caught me up in the enjoyment of wine! I took Vitaculture 101 - Intro. to Wine, from Professor Singleton at UC-Davis. Prof. Singleton had written our text and had introduced many innovations in fermentation techniques, although the only one I can remember was his idea about adding oak chips to the huge stainless steel tanks that the bulk winemakers use (actually, not so memorable!).

Oh yeah, I also once had a bottle of Heitz Cellar, 1969 - Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon! I would say that was the best red wine I have ever tasted (visualize a taste of a wonderful combination of flowers & food!!) And so for the past 25 years I have enjoyed what wines I could afford, but I am ready to try the next level, growin' and makin' my own.

From down in the (future) vineyard,
John Sphar

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