Last day for Breggo Tasting Room is November 25, 2014

In March of this year, the new vintages of former Breggo wines began to be bottled under their new name, FEL Wines.  A tribute to proprietor Cliff Lede’s mother, Florence Elsie Lede, the new name more closely ties the wines to Lede Family Wines and sister brands Cliff Lede Vineyards and Poetry. Winemaker Ryan Hodgins is continuing to make elegant Pinor Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris from  select vineyards in the Anderson Valley and Sonoma Coast, including the estate Savoy Vineyard near the town of Philo.

As we near the end of the Breggo Cellars inventory, we invite you to make one last trip to the Breggo tasting room.  We will be closing our doors on November 25, 2014, and hope to see you by that date to taste some wines, enjoy friendly conversation, and take advantage of exceptional pricing on the remaining vintages, including large format bottles.

As we continue to seek a permanent home for FEL Wines, the new vintages of FEL can be tasted in the Cliff Lede Vineyards tasting room at 1473 Yountville Cross Rd., Yountville, CA 94599.  The wines can also be purchased online at ledefamilywines.com.

 

Friends & Family Offer, December 10-17

In appreciation of your support, we are extending a special offer to our Family & Friends.

Now through December 17, 2013, we invite you to enjoy

50% off the following Breggo wines on a minimum 6-bottle purchase.*

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2011 Breggo Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, 750mL

2012 Breggo Pinot Gris, Anderson Valley, 750mL

2012 Breggo Gewürztraminer, Ferrington Vineyard, Anderson Valley, 750mL

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Use coupon code FAMILY at checkout on LedeFamilyWines.com

*This offer cannot be combined with any other discounts or offers.  Mix and match of these three wines is allowed. Must ship to a reciprocal state or be picked up at Breggo Cellars or Cliff Lede Vineyards before January 1, 2014.

The Savoy Family Grows

PeayWhen Breggo acquired Savoy vineyard in the spring of 2011, we made the decision to seek out one or two more producers of great Pinot Noir to work with the fruit. A chance conversation with Andy Peay led to a vineyard visit with Nick. As a long time fan of Vanessa’s Pinots I was thrilled  to have Peay join the Savoy family. Recently I visited Peay and tasted through the 2012 Savoy barrels and then had the treat of trying their 2011 Savoy which will be released in March. It is fascinating to trace the thread of the vineyard’s personality and distinct flavors and see how a great winemaker like Vanessa Wong allows the vineyard to shine while still imparting the Peay signature to the wine. We hope to hold a public tasting of many of the Savoy producers in the future.

 

Tasting with David Hirsch

One of the most exciting aspects of the 2012 harvest for me was getting to source from the acclaimed Hirsh Vineyard on the true Sonoma Coast. David Hirsch first planted vines on “the extreme” (David’s term) Sonoma Coast in 1980 and has been trail blazer in cool climate viticulture in California. I’ve always loved the wines from Hirsch Vineyard for their crispness and purity, when David offered Breggo three acres of Pinot we leaped at the opportunity! I’m pleased to say that like many of our 2012s, the wines are already showing amazing definition and character, a very rare thing for wines so young as these. It was a pleasure to have David and his vineyard manager, Everardo, visit our cellar yesterday and have them taste Breggo’s 2012 Hirsch from barrel.

Bottling our 2011 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir!

One of the most agonizing and exciting times for a winemaker is during bottling. It’s exciting to put the first of our 2011 Pinot Noirs in bottle (the vineyard designates are bottled in March), and know that in a few more months everyone will be able to enjoy hard work that went into crafting that bottle of wine from the pruning of the vines the winter before harvest to the final racking of the wine from barrel two years later. It’s agonizing, because during bottling the wine is at its most vulnerable, if anything goes wrong the entire vintage can be affected. I’m happy to report that everything went very smoothly and by next summer everyone will be able to enjoy our 2011 Anderson Pinot Noir which is loaded with delicious black cherry!

A Stunning Harvest Winds Down

This week we pressed off our last tank of 2012 Pinot Noir. After the last barrel is filled a winemaker finally can exhale and take a step back from the vintage and begin to put it in perspective. I’m happy to report that by all appearances 2012 may well be the best vintage yet in Breggo’s 8 year history. Not only were the growing conditions nearly ideal (like 2007), the fruit quantity was plentiful but not excessive (like 2006). In addition to the great vineyards we farm and partner with in Anderson Valley, we have now have the opportunity to work with some amazing Pinot Noir fruit from Hirsch Vineyards out on the true Sonoma Coast. Perhaps what excites me the most about our 2012 Pinot Noirs is their incredible concentration, even for vineyards picked at lower sugars, the wines have a remarkable density and weight. I’m already contemplating holding these wines in barrel a few months longer to let them further develop and blossom before bottling next year. Expect to see the first of our 2012 Aromatic white wines in late spring next year and the 2012 Pinot Noirs in 2014.

Thoughts on the 2012 harvest thus far…

We are midway through harvest and while waiting for a press load of Donnelly Creek Pinot Gris to finish pressing I thought I’d share a few first impressions of 2012. To put it bluntly, it looks like an amazing year! The quality of fruit from our own Savoy Vineyard and all of our grower partners has been absolutely top notch, the great intensity of flavor and aromatics has lain to rest any concern that the ample crop we experienced throughout the North Coast would result in dilute wines this year. Sugars have been right on target to produce balanced wines of elegance, acids are up and the tannins and color are as concentrated as any year I’ve seen. We had a bit of hot spell last week, which helped push our later ripening blocks of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Riesling along. We should finishing picking the week of October 15th and are just now beginning to press off our first few tanks of Pinot Noir. We will continue pressing off tanks a few days after they finish their fermentation and are total dry, which will take us through the end of October. Hopefully you have been following our Twitter and Facebook feeds, we’ve been posting a lot of great shots of the Breggo harvest in action. Here’ a picture of the pomace being raked out of a wooden fermenter of our first lot of Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir.

Happy Harvest!

The first day of Breggo’s 2012 harvest is in the books! Yesterday we brought in almost 10 tons of Ferrington Vineyard Gewurztraminer. Ferrington is just outside of Boonville in the warmer end of Anderson Valley and is always the first vineyard we pick.  Here’s a picture of our first press load of 5 tons of whole cluster fruit. Gewurztraminer’s aromatics really start to pop after the clusters turn from yellowish green to rosy pink, look how great the color is! The juice tastes great, the lychee flavors are already showing and the acidity is up this year. We will ferment about 1/3 of the juice in neutral barrels and the rest in tank.

Next week we begin our Pinot Noir Harvest, on Monday we will pick Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir. On Tuesday we are picking Pinot Noir from our newest grower – Hirsch Vineyard out on the Sonoma Coast. Hirsch is one of the most famous Pinot vineyards in California and I’m thrilled to get to work with the fruit. Towards the end of the week I expect to start picking a little Savoy Vineyard Pinot as well.

Happy harvest!

The First Day of Sampling

We started the harvest ritual of sampling grapes in the vineyard this morning, the earliest date to start sampling in Breggo’s history! To sample a vineyard I typically walk down a couple of vineyard rows per block and grab three or four berries from every fourth or fifth vine. Two of the berries go into a large ziplock bag and one goes in my mouth.

When sampling in the vineyard, I taste for flavor, seed maturity (judged by the browning of the seed and its “crunchiness”), and pulp texture – all useful indicators of when the grapes are ready. The berries in the bag are crushed and taken back to the winery. At the winery we strain the juice, taste it once again, and measure the sugar concentration. We typically pick Pinot Noir around 24 degrees Brix, but the decision of when to pick is much more based on berry flavor and seed maturity (which plays a big role in the resulting wine’s mouthfeel). Our first sample of Ferrington Pinot Noir came in at 21 Brix! We will sample several more times through the next week and likely pick in about 10 days.

Blending Chardonnay

Breggo bottles two Chardonnays from six different vineyard blocks. Our Savoy Vineyard Chardonnay is a blend of Wente and Prosser clones, while our Anderson Valley Chardonnay is typically composed of Clone 8 grown at Savoy plus three more clones (Dijon 76, Robert Young, and Wente) grown at Ferrington Vineyard, plus any barrels of Savoy Wente and Prosser that do not fit into our designate blend. Each summer we spend several months putting together different blends from all of these lots to craft our two final wines. This means tasting countless samples of Chardonnay! For our Savoy Vineyard designate, I am looking for a wine with a certain richness and concentration that captures the site’s character. We ferment the Savoy in a higher percentage of new oak barrels which add to the wine’s texture and complexity. The Anderson Valley blend is barrel fermented and tends to be a bit leaner, with more minerality.  We age much of the Ferrington Chardonnay in our 900 gallon oak oval which imparts a more subtle touch of wood to the wine. I’m happy to report that both of our 2011 Chardonnays are tasting great! We will bottle the Anderson Valley blend just before harvest and let the Savoy continue to develop in barrel until March.

Breggo Cellars to become FEL Wines, March 1, 2014

It is with great excitement that Lede Family Wines announces the pending name change of Breggo Cellars to FEL Wines.  Under the new name we will maintain the same vineyard sources for our fruit. Ryan Hodgins will continue to make Pinot Noir and aromatic white wines, including a unique portfolio of vineyard designates, highlighting Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from our own Savoy Vineyard.

FEL is a tribute to Proprietor Cliff Lede’s mother, Florence Elsie Lede, a woman of strength and elegance.  The sentimental name change strengthens the relationship with Lede Family Wines.  It was Florence who, in the basement of their home, gave her teenage son his first glimpse of winemaking by enlisting his help in the process.  Growing up in Alberta, Canada, Cliff remembers the tulip as signifying the end of winter, bringing with it a freshness and excitement of warmer days ahead.  The FEL label, featuring an illustration of an opening tulip, honors Florence’s passion for gardening.

On March 1, 2014, the 2012 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir and the 2012 Anderson Valley Chardonnay will be the first of our wines released under the FEL label; both will be available for tasting and purchase in the Cliff Lede Vineyards tasting room in Napa Valley’s Stags Leap District, as well as for purchase online at LedeFamilyWines.com.  Current and prior vintage Breggo Cellars’ wines, as well as the new release FEL wines, may be tasted and purchased in our Boonville tasting room. Visit the new website at www.FELwines.com

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