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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
January 15, 2013 | Vincent Ciolino

Olive Oil Demystified

Just the names alone for olive oil can be confusiing. And what does "extra virgin, cold pressed" mean anyway? And why should you care? Learn all the fundamentals of olive oil enjoyment.  Continue »

Lise Ciolino
December 15, 2012 | Lise Ciolino

What makes a great vintage?

Numerous factors go into a great vintage for wine, typically sun and rain—but at the right time and in the right proportions.  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
June 15, 2012 | Lise Ciolino

All you need to know about Wine Bottles

You may not think about the glass bottle which holds the wine, but it and all the packaging can tell you a lot about the wine.  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 »

Vincent Ciolino
December 15, 2011 | Vincent Ciolino

Pollination is a fragile process easily disrupted by rain

Learn about the timing, difficulties, and statistics behind the pollination of both grapevines and olive trees. It's a much more fragile process than you would think. And it has huge consequences every vintage.  Continue »

Lise Ciolino
September 14, 2011 | Lise Ciolino

Syrah in Hermitage versus Healdsburg

Vincent and I went to the "Mecca" of Syrah and stayed in Tain L'Hermitage to revel in the wines, the vineyards, and the fabulous food. We couldn't help comparing and contrasting our vineyard and winery in Healdsburg with those of Hermitage.  Continue »

Vincent Ciolino
February 15, 2011 | Vincent Ciolino

Cane Pruning in the Vineyard

Every winter while the vines are dormant, Pedro prunes each of our 14,000 vines. He uses a method called cane pruning is complex and time-consuming, but worth the effort!  Continue »

Vincent Ciolino
October 15, 2010 | Vincent Ciolino

Winery Powered by the Sun

We always wanted solar panels for the winery, and now they are responsible for generating over 90% of our winery's energy. The serve double-duty by shading the winery building, which now requires less cooling.  Continue »

Vincent Ciolino
May 15, 2010 | Vincent Ciolino

Farming with Chickens

There is a reason most farms have chickens: they work hard! Chickens are a great addition to Montemaggiore, not only do they provide eggs, but they eat bugs in the vineyard, scratchto keep the native grasses down, and improve soil fertility. We've been trying to integrate more animals into our biodynamic farm, and chickens are the latest step.  Continue »