News from the Vineyard!
Did you catch the article “The Hidden Treasures of Monterey” in Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Dec. 2016? Michaud Vineyard was highlighted, and we are proud to share some current wine reviews:
The tasting room at Michaud Vineyard (in the Chalone AVA, next to the Pinnacles National Park), is open by appointment only, until completion. 95% of the remodel construction is complete. The last details of refinishing the floor, painting the interior and pouring a patio slab in the front are in the works. We are pleased with the down-home atmosphere, and rustic experience it will offer.
We have already had two special visitors. Julien Michaud, Director of Finance, Westin Maui (no relation!), and his parents from Savoie, France. Julien’s father, Pierre owns a restaurant and hotel in France, and plans to put Michaud Vineyard wines on his wine list offering.
(Aengus and Heather at the new tasting room.)
Aengus Wagner, Wine Director at Nepente in Big Sur, also visited our new tasting room. He has been a fan of Michaud Vineyard and Chalone wines for a long time. Likewise, Nepente is one of Michael’s favorite spots in Big Sur. Look for us at the Big Sur Wine and Food Festival at Carmel-by-the-sea Nov. 2 – 4, 2017.
Looking for a wonderful afternoon outing? Chalone Vineyard’s tasting room is open again to the public. As many of you know, Michael was the winemaker and general manager at Chalone Vineyard 1979 – 1997. 1997 – present Michael has worked his own vineyard and label. Michael is back consulting at Chalone Vineyard, and working with their outstanding winemaker Gianni Abate.
Take a picnic with you and visit Chalone Vineyard and, down the street, Michaud Vineyard (be sure to call ahead for an appointment: 408-602-1960). It’s a breathtakenly beautiful area, and less than a 2 hour drive from the Bay Area.
Please Save-the-Date for our Wild Flower Walk and Picnic
at the Vineyard on Saturday,
May 20th, 11:00 am to 2:30 pm.
Details coming soon!
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Michael was featured in the latest edition of Wine Enthusiast, December 2016. Here is an excerpt:
Wine & Ratings
The Hidden Treasures of Monterey
Get to know the winemakers and vineyards who are shaping the future of Arroyo Seco, Chalone and Carmel Valley in California’s Central Coast.
By Matt Kettmann
Rugged and Remote
Like the out-of-place volcanic spires of the nearby Pinnacles National Park that shoot toward the sky, the remote, rugged Chalone AVA is an anomaly. Despite scarce water, nearly impervious soil and treacherous chaparral all around, about 300 acres of vineyard survive against all odds. It also produces what just might be the most distinctive wines in California.
The region’s late pioneer, Dick Graff, built the Chalone brand into one of the first globally respected American wineries, thanks to success at the historic Judgment of Paris tasting in 1976. The region’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay remain incredibly ageworthy and reflective of the terroir.
Today, the Chalone AVA is being discovered by a generation of winemakers that is finding success with more obscure varietal grapes like Mourvèdre. After years of relative isolation, due in part to Diageo’s hands-off ownership of the Chalone brand from 2004 until earlier this year, the public is being invited back, with tasting rooms slowly opening in the area.
“There’s a wild element to the wines up here,” says Michael Michaud, who worked with Graff in the 1970s.
Michaud bought his own property in the early 1980s to produce his namesake wines, which can now be tasted on site. He’s also back consulting with Chalone, a move made by Bill Foley when he bought the brand in January from Diageo.
Too Much of a Good Thing?
“The thing you’re fighting is tannin,” Michaud says. “There is so much sunlight that you get the flavors naturally, but you get tannins, too. The wines age beautifully.”
Michaud 2014 Pinot Noir (Chalone)Pressed cranberry, underripe raspberry and white pepper form the alluring aromatic base …Central Coast $40
Michaud 2013 Pinot Noir (Chalone)Dark hibiscus and pomegranate notes meet with black plum, hearty clove, allspice …Central Coast $40 Cellar Selection
Michaud 2013 Chardonnay (Chalone)Deep yellow in color, scents of chamomile, daffodil, yellow lilies, toasted Marcona …Central Coast $39
Michaud 2010 Chardonnay (Chalone)Fairly dark yellow in color, this slightly aged wine offers dried lemon …Central Coast $39
Michaud 2014 Syrah (Chalone)Baked blackberries, baking spice and a gingerbread touch make for a lavish …Central Coast $39
Michaud 2015 Marsanne (Chalone)Clean and light aromas of apples, sharp nectarine, yellow lilies and crushed …Central Coast $39
Michaud 2013 Marsanne (Chalone)Light honey and apple-syrup aromas meet with hints of marzipan and sweet …Central Coast $39
News from Michaud Vineyard
Fall has returned, the vines are heading into dormancy, leaves are falling and the first rain of the season has arrived. In the cellar the wines are fermenting away, bubbling in their barrels. It has gotten a lot cooler, a time of year when a good soup is appreciated. We often think of red wine in the colder seasons, however Chardonnay is often a better accompaniment with vegetable, chicken or sea food soups. In my formative years, just getting introduced to wine, I had the great fortune to taste many great European wines and my favorites were from Burgundy. The wines of Burgundy, Chardonnay and Pinot noir, show at once grace, strength and complexity and a wonderful balance of all components. They also have the ability to age and become something more in the bottle. We often hear the white wines don’t age, well many don’t, but if you have ever had the pleasure of tasting 10, 15, 20 year or older Chardonnay from Burgundy or Chablis, then you know how exciting a bottle aged white wine can be.
One of the aspects of the white wines from the Chalone AVA is that they can age and develop for 10 – 20 years and not only retain fruit and acidity but develop subtle nuances and become a rewarding experience for those with patience. During my years as Chalone Vineyard’s winemaker, I had the opportunity to taste older Chardonnay, Chenin blanc and Pinot blanc. Some had hit their 20 year anniversary. They had become more interesting in many cases, than they were when they were first bottled.
Being mostly a one man band and quite busy with the farming and winemaking, I produced a bit more Chardonnay than I was able to sell. No worries, I knew it would just get better in the bottle!
Right now the 2002, 2003 and 2004 Michaud Chardonnay are in a superb state. We pour these in our Saratoga Tasting Room and people love them, especially those folks that say they don’t like Chardonnay! We also have a newsletter-only special offer so sign up for our newsletter today.
M4 Tasting Room News
We have a new website. Please check it out – and don’t forget to bookmark it! M4TastingRoom.com
COME VISIT US!
M4 Tasting Room
14598A Big Basin Way
Saratoga, CA 95070
Carrot soup, Minestrone, Corn Chowder, Cream of Mushroom, Onion soup Gratinée, Pumpkin Soup, Vegetable soup, Tomato Cream soup, Leek and Potato soup, Stracciatella alla Fiorentina, Classic Deli Matzo Ball Soup, Japanese Miso Ramen with Sliced Pork and Egg, Greek Chicken and Lemon soup with Orzo, Steamed Clams in Garlic Seafood Broth, Cream of Shrimp, Consommé with Grilled Seafood, New England Clam Chowder, Provençal Fish Soup, Sherried Crab Bisque, Scallops å la Nage and Oyster Cream soup are some of the possibilities. I found recipes for these in Williams Sonoma’s Soups book or online at http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/soups/vegetable-soups/?page=viewall
Don’t feel like cooking? There are some very good soups available at Trader Joe’s or your local specialty market.
Please Join Us!
Michaud & Martella “M4″ Wine Tasting Room
14598A Big Basin Way
Saratoga, CA 95070
News from the Vineyard
2012 was a small harvest for us with grapes of unusual concentration. After a long dry season, we are looking forward to the forecast rain, this week. The vines are thirsty!
A recent review from Enobytes.com:
Wine Review: 2010 Michaud Vineyard Chalone California Marsanne
A well made Rhone varietal produced in the famous Chalone AVA. This wine is 100% Marsanne and showcases the textbook honeysuckle and almond aromas that this varietal is associated with—the flavor profile indicates Marsanne qualities … orange zest, apricot and honey flavors …. Culinary pairings are broad and the flavors of the wine will work well with complex dishes. 158 cases produced. Rating: Very Good | 14.2% ABV
M4 Tasting Room News
Our M4 Tasting Room is newly opened and already getting some rave reviews on Yelp! Please check ’em out then come visit us and post your own glowing review. This is a glorious time of year to enjoy the lovely Autumn sun on our patio. Our wines are waiting for you!
Our new website will be up and running within the next few weeks. We’ll be posting our upcoming events there as well as tasting room specials you’ll definitely want to take advantage of.
M4 Tasting Room
14598A Big Basin Way
Click here for Google Maps directions
Special Offer on Michaud Vineyard Wines
2010 Marsanne, 2004 Chardonnay and 2005 Pinot noir, 1 bottle each, just $99.01 includes $.01 shipping!!!
Call to order (650) 529-0973 or visit our website: www.michaudvineyard.com
Our “Black and Orange” Themed Halloween Dinner Menu and Wine Pairings (recipes are below):
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup – pair with our 2010 Marsanne
Pumpkin-Turkey “Ghoulash” With Caraway Noodles – pair with our 2004 Chardonnay
Salmon & Steak – pair with our 2005 Pinot noir
Mimolette and Beemster cheeses with pumpernickel bread – pair with our 2005 Pinot noir
Not a member of our Wine Club yet? Please click here to join.
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup – pair with our 2010 Pinot Blanc or our 2010 Marsanne
Recipe by Rori Trovato | Photograph by Tina Rupp |http://www.bonappetit.com/
Place turkey, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in large resealable plastic bag. Seal bag; shake. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Remove turkey from spice mixture (reserve spice mixture in bag). Add turkey to pot; cook 5 minutes. Place onions and potatoes in bag with spice mixture. Seal bag; shake to coat. Add vegetables to pot; cook 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Add broth, pumpkin, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme sprig; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until potatoes begin to fall apart, about 1 hour.
Discard thyme sprig. Stir in 1 tablespoon chopped thyme. Season stew with salt and pepper.
World’s Best Grilled Steak – pair with our 2005 Syrah
Photo by Azparzych
Taste Michaud Vineyard Wines Here:
Our New Saratoga, CA Tasting Room Grand Opening is August 3, 4 and 5. Come on by!!
Michaud/Martella “M4″ Tasting Room
14598A Big Basin Way
Saratoga, CA 95070
Occasionally for local special events, M-W, 4-8.We have WiFi!
What’s so special about the Michaud Ranch and the Chalone Appellation Or Why do I continue this crazy commute?
by Michael Michaud
I was taken with this place the moment I saw it back in 1979. It was wild, unspoiled; it said HOME. I was a redwood forest person at heart, having lived in several Marin communities and having taken many wonderful day hikes on Mount Tamalpais. This little 10-acre parcel and a shack were located in the midst of a Chapparal wilderness adjacent to the Pinnacles National Monument. Tall chamise bushes, ceanothus, buckbrush, coast live oaks and deciduous blue oaks along with hundreds of different wild flowers are the main representatives of the plant world. Instead of redwoods and ferns, the area was more akin to the brushland ecology of Griffith Park, which bordered my backyard as a child, growing up in the Hollywood Hills. I spent many happy days hiking there as a kid.
From the quaintly decrepit cabin (that Carol hopes will be struck by lightning so we can build a new one) you can see few structures and hear few sounds. It is only the sound of birds, animals and the breeze in the trees and bushes that keep you company. At this 1500’ elevation in the Gabilan Mountains, the air is clear and fresh from nearby Monterey Bay. Water is scarce, the sunlight is intense, the wildlife is plentiful. From hummingbirds and roadrunners to Golden eagles and wild turkeys, horned toads and rattlesnakes to bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes and wild boar.
For me the most amazing aspect of this place is its peace and serenity.
Formed some 28 million years ago, the Pinnacles, sitting astride the San Andreas Fault, dominate the eastern skyline. Earthquakes are a common occurrence (we’re about 40 miles north of Parkfield, earthquake capital of California) and it’s so quiet that you can hear them before, during and after they rumble through. This is a land of extremes, daily temperature fluctuations of 60°F in a day, 100°F (17°F-117°F) in a year. Dessicating, low summer humidity of 20- 30% gives way to night fogs. Annual rainfall averages only 8- 10,” but occasionally “wet” winters with slightly more than 20″ turn the baby powder dry soil into treacherous tractor eating swamps disguised as solid ground by a meager 1-2″ crust of ground cover.
Incredible sunsets are an almost daily event and the nighttime sky is filled with the Milky Way and so many stars that constellations are challenging to find. Our son Jamie is learning to identify the constellations here. He is amazed at how much more visible the stars are here than in the Bay area.
The soil here, which imparts a wonderful mineral quality to the wine, is made from the decomposition of its granite foundation and limestone left from its many million year underwater trip from Hawaii. It is seasoned with odd minerals and rocks, which spewed out from Mount Chalone, when it erupted millions of years ago.
All these things combine to make this rare place of fewer than one inhabitant per 10 square miles, two hours south from our Woodside home, a special place to grow grapes and make wine. The wines are full of character and elegant with layers of flavors and characteristics truly reminiscent of Burgundy. Indeed this small appellation has a grape growing history that goes back over a hundred years. Because of the golden color of the hills in summer and fall and the wonderful and unique wines that come from this appellation, it could be called California’s “Cote D’Or”.
This is an incredibly difficult place in which to operate. When we first bought the ranch, there were no electricity, phones or other infrastructure upon which we all depend, until we built our own. Daily electricity outages were commonplace. The Post Office declined repeated requests to deliver the mail. The phone line , which I hung on a barbed wire fence in 1986, consisted of a wire with about a hundred splices and is a mile and a half long. It went out at least once every couple of months. I got to choose between a radiotelephone with a three minute limit (“50-04 you’re way over your limit,” the Parrot lady (night operator) used to say) and a public telephone hung on the wall of the ranger station at the Pinnacles. On the one hand everyone in the Salinas Valley was privy to your conversation. On the other, your car might get hijacked by a band of raccoons while you’re standing in the rain talking on the only phone for 15 or 20 miles. Supplies have to be hauled from Soledad, 12 miles away, Salinas, 30 miles or the Bay area.
But it’s all been worth it. Each year’s new crop, begins as buds break, thrives under daily care and is harvested in the fall. It takes with it a memory of the place and the seasons it grew in. These memories become the vintage variations in flavor. We hope that we can share a little of this with you.