Phillip is just finishing disking the vineyard for the year. It seems he’s been “missing” for a couple of weeks, as he’s been on the tractor 9 to 10 hours a day and I only briefly see him during this time. Our last rainfall was 3 weeks ago, but the soil is already drying out, so it’s been a dusty/dirty job for him. Yesterday we also completed pruning the vineyards. We were pruning only during a descending moon, on Fruit days, as the sap is being pushed down during this time and causes less weeping for the newly cut vine.

Our joint winemakers dinner with Venteux Vineyards and Bella Luna Winery was a great success! Chefs Rochelle Harringer & Brooke Hazell of Inn Paradiso created a magical menu to pair with our wines. We hosted the dinner in our home and gladly welcomed 43 guests for an intimate evening with winemakers. For those of you who missed the event, take a minute to place yourself here:
Passed Appetizers
Saffron & citrus marinated grilled squid, stuffed with AmByth olives, roasted peppers, scallops and chorizo
Baby brussel sprout salad with shaved manchego, dried cherries and crisp jamon
Sea shepherd’s purse: salmon baked in pastry with sauteed crimini mushrooms, shallots, garlic & greens from the AmByth garden
First Course
Warm sweetbreads salad with lentils, cabbage, pancetta and caramelized shallot served with black fennel vinaigrette
Featuring Bella Luna Wines:
2005 Estate Reserva Bellicaia & 2007 Estate Sangiovese
Second Course
Roasted quail stuffed with rhubarb, venison sausage and leeks, served with wilted chard from AmByth gardens, yams roasted with herbs du Provence and fleur de sel finished with curried rhubarb and reduced AmByth wine pan sauce
Featuring AmByth Estate Wines:
2006 & 2007 Grenache/Mourvedre/Syrah Blends
Palate Cleanser
Rustic rabbit terrine served on a salad of mache, arugula and miner’s lettuce with meyerlemon/tarragon vinaigrette
Third Course
Chinese five spice short ribs, braised with a garlic, hoisin Venteux wine reduction, served with glazed baby bok choy, roasted acorn squash and steamed “dim sum” bun
Featuring Venteux Vineyards Wines:
2006 Estate Syrah & 2006 Estate Petite Syrah
Bella Luna 2005 Bellicaia poached Bartlett pear with stilton mousse, candied pistachios and Bella Luna Sangiovese chocolate syrup
Featuring handmade Truffles by Brooke Hazell