Michaud Vineyard Updates, Hearty Soups and Chardonnay Wine Pairings

News from Michaud Vineyard

Michaud Vineyard ChardonnayFall 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!


M4 Tasting Room
14598A Big Basin Way
Saratoga, CA 95070


Hearty Soups and Michaud Vineyard ChardonnaysSoup a great family project!

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

Don’t feel like cooking? There are some very good soups available at Trader Joe’s or your local specialty market.

Michaud & Martella Tasting Room Hosts A Saratoga Pop-Up Event

Please Join Us!

Saratoga Pop Up Event at M4 Tasting Room

Michaud & Martella “M4″ Wine Tasting Room
14598A Big Basin Way
Saratoga, CA 95070

Michaud Vineyard Updates and Wine Pairing Recipes for Halloween

News from the Vineyard

Michaud 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

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

M4 Tasting Room

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

Michaud Vineyard Wines

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:

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.

Squash Soup

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup – pair with our 2010 Pinot Blanc or our 2010 Marsanne

Recipe by Antoinette Muto of Los Angeles, California | Photograph by Scott Peterson |


2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 1/4 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 1/4 cups (or more) vegetable broth
1 Gala apple, peeled, cored, diced
1/2 cup apple juice
Light sour cream
Chopped fresh chives


Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and nutmeg; sauté until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add squash, 4 1/4 cups broth, apple, and apple juice. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered until squash and apple are tender, about 30 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring soup to simmer, thinning with more broth if desired. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with sour cream and chives.
Pumpkin-Turkey “Ghoulash” With Caraway Noodles –  pair with our 2004 Chardonnay 
Recipe by Rori Trovato | Photograph by Tina Rupp |

2 large turkey thighs (1 3/4 pounds each), skin removed, meat cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup Hungarian sweet paprika or Hungarian hot paprika (or a mixture of both)
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
2 large russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds total), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
14 1/2 ounces pure pumpkin (1 can)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 large fresh thyme sprig plus 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 1/2 pounds egg noodles
5 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
sour cream

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.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and chill. Rewarm stew over medium heat before serving.
Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain noodles; return to pot. Add butter and caraway seeds to noodles. Toss until butter melts. Divide noodles among bowls; top with stew. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons chopped thyme. Serve, passing sour cream alongside.

World’s Best Grilled Steak – pair with our 2005 Syrah

By Chef Dee.
Photo by Azparzych
4 -5 choice beef steaks
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ketchup
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon pepper
Blend all ingredients, pour over steaks.
Marinate 3 hours, turning frequently.
Grill to your liking.

Grilled Lemon Salmon – pair with our 2006 Pinot noir
By MizzNezz.
Photo by Michelle Figueroa
2 teaspoons fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 lbs salmon fillets
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 chicken bouillon cubes, mixed with
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1 lemons, thinly sliced
2 slices onions, seperated into rings
Sprinkle dill, pepper, salt and garlic powder over salmon.
Place in shallow glass pan.
Mix sugar, chicken boullion, oil, soy sauce, and green onions.
Pour over salmon.
Cover and chill for 1 hour, turn once.
Drain and discard marinade.
Put on grill on med heat, place lemon and onion on top.
Cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until fish is done.
bread and cheese
End your “black and orange” Halloween dinner with Mimolette and Beemster Cheeses, bakery fresh Pumpernickel bread and our 2005 Pinot noir.

Taste Michaud Vineyard Wines At The California Wine Festival, Monterey

Taste Michaud Vineyard Wines Here:

Michaud Vineyard at the California Wine Festival, Monterey Peninsula

Our New Saratoga, CA Tasting Room Grand Opening is August 3, 4 and 5 – Join Us!

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

HOURS: Thursday 3-8, Friday 1-9, Saturday 1-9, Sunday 1-5.
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.