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Welcome to the Ranch Subscription

Welcome to the Ranch Subscription | By Florencia Palmaz | May 3, 2018

Many friends in both Napa and Genesee Valley have been asking what are the Palmazes going to do with all those fancy Wagyu cows on their ranch in Plumas County? At last I can share with you all what we’ve been cooking up, literally…

This last year I have learned more about ranching in the High Sierras than I ever thought possible. Thanks to Michele and the whole team at GVR, we have developed an animal welfare program that is producing incredibly luxurious Wagyu Beef in the most humane and environmentally responsible manner. Additionally, I learned how to butcher a whole animal from Plumas County legend Denny Wright and Wesley Neer. And finally, I honed my culinary skills on the task of how to prepare every cut of beef on an animal. 

Rosemary Shortbread and Meyer Lemon Cookies

Rosemary Shortbread and Meyer Lemon Cookies

By Florencia Palmaz | Pairing:  Florencia Muscat | At the Table and Around the Fire

Rosemary grows in the planters around the winery. We are literally surrounded by the aroma of rosemary all year long. In mid-February, the rosemary blooms little purple flowers and the Meyer lemons ripen when there is little color in the garden. I couldn’t resist the temptation to bring these two lovely flavors together.

MAKES 40 TO 50

Wondering Between the Vines

Wondering Between the Vines

An Update on VIGOR By Christian Palmaz

One of the first memories I have in the Napa Valley was as a child, sitting in the backseat of my parents car as they drove up and down the Valley visiting wineries.  As my parents likely quibbled about some historical detail regarding the next winery we were visiting, I remember staring out the window mesmerized by the rows of vines zipping by.  Almost like a farmers kaleidoscope, the perfect rhythm of alternating row colors drew my attention not to the vines themselves but to the spaces in-between.  I wondered, what was so special about those “weeds” growing in-between the vines and why does every vineyard seem to be different.

Mandarin Sorbet with Candied Meyer  Lemons and Pistachio Chocolate Bark

Mandarin Sorbet with Candied Meyer Lemons and Pistachio Chocolate Bark

By Florencia Palmaz | Pairing:  Florencia Muscat | At the Table and Around the Fire

Few things grow in our garden during the winter months except lemons and mandarins. They are such welcome, fresh flavors during cooler weather, and this dessert perfectly cap- tures that freshness. To help this sorbet pair with the wine, I like to include a little of the Muscat I’ll serve that evening into the recipe. Do not, however, try to add a late-harvest ice wine to the sorbet or it will be difficult to freeze.

Trinity University: From Water to Wine

From Water to Wine

trinity university | by Molly Mohr Bruni | January 30, 2018 | Original Article

Christian Palmaz ’07 builds intelligence technology that save his family’s vineyards during Napa Valley wildfires.  

CNET: Wine’s newest bouquet has hints of berries — and data

Wine’s newest bouquet has hints of berries — and data

CNET | By Erin Carson | WINTER 2017 | Original Article

You might not be able to detect notes of tech in your glass, but California winemakers are embracing cutting-edge techniques to create world-class vintages.

BusinessWeek: The Computer That Saved a Vineyard

The computer that Saved a Vineyard

Bloomberg BusinessWeek | By Larissa Zimberoff | December 6th, 2017 | ORIGINAL ARTICLE

As helicopters rescued people and their pets off Atlas Peak, in Napa, Calif., one night in October, Christian Palmaz was nearby battling his own flames. His task: to save his family’s winery, Palmaz Vineyards.

Thoughts on Sediment in Wine

Thoughts on Sediment in Wine | Nov 26, 2017 | By Christian Palmaz

Have you ever wondered why there is what looks like sediment or crystals on the bottom of your cork or on the inside of the bottle?  Or why some wines seem to have more than others?  You certainly aren’t alone.  We receive a handful of emails every year asking these exact questions.  Let’s deep dive into the interesting world of why wines form crystals.

First of all, the crystals, or precipitated tartrates (KHT Potassium Bitartrates) as they’re formally called, are completely normal.  In fact they are considered by many a sign of balanced winemaking.  Even though most high-end wines are filtered to less than a micron just prior to bottling, solids form when potassium and tartaric acid, both naturally occurring components in grapes, bind together to form a crystal.  The crystal tends to prefer growth on rough vs smooth surfaces hence it’s deposition on the cork’s bottom.  This sea-salt like substance is completely harmless and natural.  They do tend to form somewhat faster in wines cellared at colder temperatures (below 40F).

Forbes: One Vintner’s Tale Of Peril In California’s Napa Valley

Fire On The Mountain: One Vintner’s Tale Of Peril In California’s Napa Valley

Forbes | By John McCarthy | Nov 1, 2017 | Original Article

Sunday, October 8, 11:00 pm: Napa Valley winery owner Christian Palmaz received a text from a buddy with news that a fire was spreading through Atlas Peak, about two ridgelines away. Christian thought little of it. He had no inkling he would soon be facing the first of seven fires ignited that night, the beginning of what became a raging inferno, raining hell on Sonoma, Santa Rosa, and Napa—claiming 42 lives, decimating over 6,000 homes and businesses, and damaging or destroying 27 wineries. As I am writing this, fires in Santa Rosa are contained, but not out.

12:00 am: “I could see the glow on the top of the mountain,” says Christian Palmaz, owner and operator of Palmaz Vineyard in Napa, California.  “No news agencies were reporting this; it was the first fire, the beginning. The power started flickering, and that was the first sign that this was something big, but there were no evacuation orders, nothing like that. We ended up losing power, so I drove to the winery to make sure the generators transferred over. When I came out at 1:00 am, the fire was near the property line. It moved half a mile in a matter of what felt like minutes. I couldn’t believe it.”

2017 Harvest Report

2017 Harvest Report | By Christian Palmaz

As of Oct 28th, 2017

Reading my last post as of Sep 30th, it’s clear none of us ever imagined just 8 days later Napa and Sonoma would experience one of the worst urban fires in California history.  Although the property burned extensively, fortunately we and our staff were safe and only minorly affected by the fires.  Sadly the few parcels still hanging fruit could not avoid the proximity of smoke and ash.  We sent the fruit for extensive analysis and determined that while we could have harvested, it would be not have been towards a wine we’d be proud of.  Therefore we decided to drop the remaining fruit.  We are extremely fortunate that prior to the fire we had brought in almost 90% of the harvest.  While 2017 will be infamously remembered for generations, I am extremely optimistic that the wine will be one to remember fondly.  Our hearts and prays go out to those who weren’t as fortunate.