Food. Joy. Disco. The 3 Ps of Pinot!

Food. Joy. Disco. The 3 Ps of Pinot!


8 minutes reading

Groovy harvest….

Dear Friends,

It has been another fabulous week at Brooks! Everything ran smoothly as we brought 90 tons in the door this week. That is approximately 5,800 cases worth of wine. Winemaker Chris has set the mood in the white fermentation room with a disco ball and Abba. He pressed the first Pinot Noir for rose grooving with the disco ball and playing Little Red Corvette while the interns danced. It actually is a ton of work but I am so happy to see some fun included. Happy team, happy wine. More on what is happening in the cellar to follow.

We had our first Beyond Brooks yesterday and it was a smashing success! We are excited about our season and are excited to share more specifics with you about October.

Continuing on with legacy month, I have included a fun article. I am so grateful that I get to lead this legacy and know it has been good for my soul and hopefully for yours too. I would love to know what Brooks means to you! Email me at [email protected] or call/text me at 831-238-4828.

Happy Sunday!

September’s Perfect Pairing

Chef Norma continues to excel at her culinary excellence. I was fortunate to be up there for part of September so I got to try the menu. I love duck but cooking it to perfection is no easy feat! I cannot wait to make this and hope you will try it too!

Pan-seared duck breast with fried eggplant, a cherry demi sauce topped with a fennel and herb sslad. It is paired with the 2018 Red Letter Pinot Noir.

It is a tad crazy that I put the wine we only make once a decade, the Red Letter, on the flight this month but I want everyone to be able to celebrate legacy month! And it is AMAZING with this duck!

Get the Recipe

Get the 2018 Red Letter Pinot Noir

The Three P’s of Pinot Noir 

While we continue to bring fruit into the cellar, our attention to pinot noir is taking up most of the team’s time. As I mentioned last week, once sorted and destemmed, the pinot noir goes into tanks to start the fermentation process. Depending on the vintage, some of our fruit may not be destemmed and it ferments as whole clusters.

As the grapes sit in the tank, the juice falls to the bottom and the skins, seeds, pulp remain on top of the tank and form a “cap”.Cap management is performed with pumpovers (pulling juice from the bottom of the tank to the top) to mix and homogenize the wine in each tank. We have been continuing pumpovers this year until fermentation has kicked off and the cap is fully formed. At that stage, we are switching to punchdowns (using a plunger-type of tool to punch the cap into the juice) on the majority of the tanks. Some will have different treatments like those where we did not destem the grapes which is referred to as “whole cluster”. The whole cluster bins are pigeage strictly. Pigeage is also called foot treading where you gently use your feet to get the grapes and stems wet with juice. You want fermentation to continue in the berry so you have to be more gentle than a pumpover or punchdown.

For all tanks, until we are rapidly fermenting, everything is kept anaerobic via the use of plastic covering and CO2 gas. Once fermentation is fully underway and the wines are producing enough CO2 to protect themselves, we remove the plastic and put on sheets until fermentation slows near completion. Plastic goes back on along with CO2 gas in order to protect the wine until it is pressed. 

The amount of CO2 gas emitted from fermentation can be dangerous if there is not good airflow in the room. Thus, we have a buddy system where no one can enter the winery alone during this time. There is a lot of safety lessons and attention during harvest in the winery.

Beyond Brooks October – The Joy of Cooking

In the fall of 2019, Chris and I did a wine dinner with Chef Naomi Pomeroy. Chef Pomeroy’s meal was all made from the Joy of Cooking cookbook. Enter John Becker and Megan Scott, two of the co-authors of the 2019 edition of Joy of Cooking and THIRD generation of the original authors!

I am super excited to have them as our guests for our October Beyond Brooks. John and Megan recommended some recipes that are unique to the new edition of the book. I made the recipes and then our team searched through our 2018 wines and found the perfect pairings! During Beyond Brooks, we will be tasting the food and wine together.

This bundle includes:

  • 1 bottle of 2018 Brooks Hyland Riesling
  • 1 bottle of 2018 Brooks Crannell Pinot Noir
  • A fully revised and updated 2019 Edition of The Joy of Cooking Cookbook
  • Recipe list of a few snack/appetizer recipes from the cookbook to enjoy during the webinar specifically to pair with the selected wines including grilled halloumi with honey and walnuts, patatas bravas, Muhammara (roasted red pepper dip), and party mix!
  • 1, 1.8 oz jar of Burlap & Barrel Smoked Pimenton Paprika (to use in the recipes!)
  • Webinar with John Becker & Megan Scott, Co-Authors of the 2019 Edition of Joy of Cooking and third generation to the original authors, Janie Heuck, Managing Director of Brooks, and Master of Wine, Bree Stock on Saturday, October 23rd at 1 pm PST/4 pm EST

    The complete bundle is $99 plus shipping and will arrive the week of the event.

    As many of us know, the Joy of Cooking has been a staple in most kitchens since it was first published in 1931. We received a copy at our wedding 31 years ago! It makes the perfect gift and so will this Beyond Brooks!

Go Beyong Brooks with The Joy of Cooking

Food and Wine Pairing 101

As you know, last week we announced 4 new Virtual Tastings. Virtual Tastings are perfect for:

– Wine groups that cannot travel or get together
– Wine loving friends or family spread around the country
– Gatherings of neighbors and friends with your host on your big screen TV
– Colleagues and clients for teambuilding or celebrations.

April, our Director of Business Development and Education or myself, (both of whom are certified Sommeliers) will host your Virtual Event and guide you through the experience. This week we are highlighting Food and Wine Pairing 101!

For bottles of Brooks wines with a food pairing board for our virtual tasting set up.

You’ll receive one bottle each of

  • 2018 Rastaban Pinot Noir
  • 2018 Crannell Pinot Noir
  • 2018 Estate Riesling
  • 2018 La Chenaie Riesling.

Along with your wines, you’ll receive a

  • A Brooks Scout Book for tasting notes
  • Our Brooks flavor and aroma charts
  • A curated selection of 7 food items to help you taste salty, bitter, savory, sour, fatty, sweet, and spicy flavors

Each package can serve up to 4 people.

The price per package is $225 per household plus shipping. There is also an event fee that is waived for Wine Club Members.

The event lasts approximately one hour and can be scheduled at your convenience.

We are so excited to host you! Just fill out the form with your contact information and we will be in touch to work through the details and set a date!

Submit your Request

How the Legacy Continues

Director of Club Happiness, Heather. Winemaker Chris Williams. Operating Manager Janie. All three cheersing a glass of Brooks Rose.
Left to right: Heather Kirk, Director of Wine Club Happiness, 13 years at Brooks. Chris Williams, Winemaker, 22 years at Brooks. Myself, Janie Brooks Heuck, 17 years at Brooks

First and foremost, we would not have a legacy without YOU, our devoted Wine Club Members, customers, and guests. Your support and friendship are what keeps us motivated and working hard to keep this legacy alive.

Secondly is our past and present hardworking team. I had to capture the photo above when I realized that between Chris, Heather, and I, we have over 52 years of service at Brooks. We obviously love what we do and why we do it!

Third, our story is told so often across so many mediums. We are humbled and honored each and every time it gets told. We are so proud that our story is the highlight and the majority of the footage in the movie American Wine Story. It is an excellent way to really get to know our founder, Jimi. Here is a great article by Katherine Cole as to how the movie came about.

Read the Article

Haven’t seen American Wine Story? Watch it on Amazon Prime!

Watch the American Wine Story on Amazon Prime

Thanks for reading! It means the world to me!