October 20, 2010

Tassel Ridge Winery Events

Saturday, October 23—Fall Art Exhibition at Tassel Ridge Winery

12:00–4:00 p.m.
Join us for our Fall Art Exhibition at Tassel Ridge Winery. Meet the artists, watch them work, and learn how their works grow and develop. Completed artwork will be available
for purchase.

Friday, October 29—Wine Dinner & Murder Mystery


Saturday, November 6—Holiday Cooking Demonstration

1:00–3:00 p.m.
Price: $10 per person, plus tax
Harvest Club Member & 1 Guest Price: $5 per person, plus tax
Price includes samples of wine & food pairings and take-home recipe cards

Join students from the Indian Hills Community College Culinary Arts Program for a holiday cooking demonstration at Tassel Ridge Winery. We’ll be sharing some great holiday appetizers paired with specially selected Tassel Ridge wines. Space is limited, so make your reservations early! Advanced reservations required by Thursday, November 4. Contact the Winery at 641.672.WINE to make your reservations.

2008 St. Croix Wins Enthusiastic Fans

We recently released our 2008 Iowa St. Croix, a dry red wine. This wine is earning enthusiastic praise from red wine lovers. The most frequent comment is, “This is an Iowa wine?”  It sure is! All the grapes were grown in our Mahaska County vineyards.

2008 Iowa St. Croix is a big wine with purple-red color, dark cherry and berry fruit notes, nice mouth feel, and complex hints of leather and minerals. It has characteristics that remind me of wines I’ve enjoyed from the Southern Rhone in France. The 2008 Iowa St. Croix was aged with French oak beans in stainless steel tanks. It was bottled about six months ago.

I’ve enjoyed the 2008 Iowa St. Croix with nicely seasoned chicken breasts, pasta with a spicy red sauce, and steak with a green peppercorn brandy sauce. It would pair well with grilled meats. I could drink this wine every night of the week!

This wine is best if it has been aerated with either a Vinturi (for sale in the Winery) or in a decanter. Right out of the bottle, the wine comes across like many fine wines as tight and acidic but, with some air contact, it changes and is outstanding.

2008 Iowa St. Croix—$20.00 for a 750 ml bottle—Buy now

—Bob Wersen

New Tassel Ridge Wines for Fall 2010

Our cellar team has been hard at work creating some new wines that will be released over the next two months.

2010 Cranberry Wine is a seasonal favorite. This is a sweet, fruity cranberry that sold out fast last year. It is the perfect wine for holiday dinners featuring turkey, dressing, and all of the trimmings. Although we made more Cranberry Wine this year than we did last year, we expect that it will sell out fast. It goes on sale in the tasting room on October 29. We will sell it at a few of our retailers soon thereafter.

2010 Iowa Nouveau is the first wine of each season. It is a very fruity, dry red wine and when young, it may be slightly spritzy. This wine is another great wine for holiday dinners. It has enough body to hold its own with full flavored meats while being light and fruity enough that it won’t overpower side dishes. Besides, it is just fun! It goes on sale during the weekend of November 20–21 right before Thanksgiving. This wine will appear in retailers the following week. 

2010 Cranberry Wine and Star Spangled White™ in special Christmas Tree shaped bottles will be released on Black Friday, November 26. We have a very limited supply of this wine and it will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Members of our Harvest Club will have an opportunity to purchase these wines during the week before Thanksgiving. These wines will make a very special holiday gift.

2010/2011 Tassel Ridge Winery Catalog Was Mailed about Ten Days Ago

Did you receive your copy of the 2010/2011 Tassel Ridge Winery catalog? It is 32 pages in full color and includes all of our wines. If you didn’t receive a copy, please do two things: click here to add yourself to our mail list. Be sure to provide both your e-mail and postal mail address. Then, call us at 641.672.WINE (9463) and ask us to send you a copy.

Tassel Ridge Wine and Food Pairing Wheel Makes it Easy to Pair Wines and Food

The new Tassel Ridge Wine and food pairing wheel makes it easy to select the appropriate Tassel Ridge wine for consumption with fourteen different foods and food groups. For example, dial the wheel to poultry and in the window you will see four different Tassel Ridge wine recommendations for different chicken preparations from chicken salad to teriyaki chicken. On the reverse side of the wheel, eleven different cold climate grape varieties are described and the Tassel Ridge wines in which each is used are listed.

Price—$7.95 plus tax at the Winery

2011 Tassel Ridge Winery Calendar Is Now Available in the Gift Shop

The 2011 Tassel Ridge Winery picture calendar is now available in the Gift Shop. Pick one up on your next visit.

Free to Tassel Ridge Customers

What Is Going On in the Vineyard?

We are now cleaning up our vineyards and getting them ready for winter. We’ve already experienced two nights of light frost and the vines are taking the hint that winter is coming. They are shutting down and the leaves are turning brown.

We are focusing on weed control, post replacement (our harvester gets pretty rough with some of the posts), getting replacement vines ordered, and getting new vineyard signs installed. We will also be pounding posts in a three acre expansion of our new Maple Woods vineyard.

What Is Going On in the Cellar?

Last week we processed frozen fruit for our 2010 Iowa Prairie Snow. We let this fruit thaw slightly and then put it in our basket press and squeezed hard and fast. Because the fruit is still at least half frozen, we only get juice from the outer parts of the grape flesh. But, this juice has concentrated fruit flavors and very high sugar levels. The juice is delicious this year!

We had about two tons of fruit and normally, we’d get about 320 gallons of juice. Because this fruit was still partially thawed, we only got about 100 gallons of juice. This is enough to make about 80 cases of 375 ml bottles, but oh, what a wine! The finished wine still has about 10% residual sugar, and it is so fruity and flavorful! It pairs beautifully with apple pie and fruit tartes.

We will press out our 2010 Marquette and rack our 2010 St. Croix. We are getting ready to finish new batches of Tickled Pink and Oskyfizzante® Pink and then get them bottled. We are finishing the blending and fining of more Red Zinfandel that has been aging in French Oak for several months. We will be bottling that soon. And, we began fining the 2009 Brianna that just came out of a French Oak barrel last month.

—Bob Wersen
Tassel Ridge Winery