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Montemaggiore Blog

We are winegrowers not professional writers, thus this blog will probably only be updated a few times a year.  In fact most of these posts either have appeared or will appear in our quarterly newsletter. Having said that, we hope you enjoy our insights on winemaking and winegrowing on a boutique level.  We welcome your opinions and questions—and even your suggestions on future topics. 

Vincent Ciolino
November 4, 2017 | Vincent Ciolino

Wildfire effects on 2017 wines

The October wildfires in Napa and Sonoma counties did not impact much of the vintage because most grapes were already picked. But for those that weren't , the fires' affect on the wine may not be initially apparent.  Continue »

Time Posted: Nov 4, 2017 at 1:35 PM Permalink to Wildfire effects on 2017 wines Permalink Comments for Wildfire effects on 2017 wines Comments (1)
Lise Ciolino
September 13, 2016 | Lise Ciolino

Steve Jobs taught me everything I know...

Early in my career, I worked for Steve Jobs, who taught me three very important but unconventional lessons about the wine business. The experience molded me into who I am today, and made Montemaggiore wines what they are.  Continue »

Time Posted: Sep 13, 2016 at 7:20 AM Permalink to Steve Jobs taught me everything I know... Permalink Comments for Steve Jobs taught me everything I know... Comments (7)
Lise Ciolino
January 22, 2016 | Lise Ciolino

Vintage Chart for Paolo's Vineyard Syrah

We recently tasted every single vintage of Paolo’s Vineyard Syrah that we’ve ever produced—an exciting and enlightening event given that we don't often taste all these wines side-by-side. The resulting vintage chart will help you decide whether to open that special bottle of Montemaggiore Syrah now or hang on to it.  Continue »

Lise Ciolino
November 8, 2015 | Lise Ciolino

Lise's Top 20 Books on Wine

Have you read any great wine books lately? Perhaps Lise's favorites will provide some inspiration!  Continue »

Time Posted: Nov 8, 2015 at 12:52 PM Permalink to Lise's Top 20 Books on Wine Permalink Comments for Lise's Top 20 Books on Wine Comments (6)
Lise Ciolino
August 28, 2014 | Lise Ciolino

Berry Sensory Analysis: this winemaker's favorite harvest tool

How does a winemaker precisely assess ripeness in grapes? And do flavors in the grapes translate into flavors in the wine? The answers to these questions lend insight into how Montemaggiore chooses when to harvest the grapes.  Continue »

Lise Ciolino
May 1, 2014 | Lise Ciolino

Blending Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier into 3Divas

White Rhône blends are a great alternative to the ubiquitous Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Each of the three main varietals have wonderful aromas, which adds layers of complexity&which is why Montemaggiore decided to add 3Divas to the portfolio.  Continue »

Lise Ciolino
September 15, 2013 | Lise Ciolino

Fermentation: the key to unlocking Flavor

Fermentation is a miracle. The yeasts are not only creating alcohol, but more importantly, unlocking all the interesting flavor potential from a basically uni-dimensional grape.  Continue »

Lise Ciolino
May 15, 2013 | Lise Ciolino

Not all Rosés are created equal

Montemaggiore makes an intentional rosé with pure red fruit flavors and lower alcohol—but some rosé is just a by-product of making red wine. Learn about the differences, and why you should care.  Continue »

Lise Ciolino
September 15, 2012 | Lise Ciolino

Crush = Excitement + Anxiety + Thrill

The harvest season, fondly known as "Crush", is a thrilling time here in Wine Country. It's exciting, nerve-wracking and satisfying all at the same time. Learn about a typical harvest day at Montemaggiore and the cardio-vascular workout that Lise gets.  Continue »

Lise Ciolino
January 15, 2012 | Lise Ciolino

Oak barrels have profound influences

Oak barrels have a long history of helping winemakers produce a better wine. They are, however, really expensive and winemakers weigh many factors in deciding on the perfect barrels.  Continue »