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Karamoor Estate

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Alecia Jankowski
 
August 28, 2015 | Alecia Jankowski

Bottling, Harvest, and Some Picture Perfect Weather!

How about this weather, huh?  Usually, by this time in the summer, I am ready to head to Canada, Alaska, or the North Pole.  August's in Pennyslvania are usually just the absolute worst.  High 90's with what feels like 100% humidity.  I am not sure what we did to deserve this beautiful weather, but I hope it sticks around for a while.

It turns out that I am not the only one that is loving this weather.  Our grapes seem to be enjoying it too!  Today, we are harvesting an acre of our 2015 Chardonnay.  The Chardonnay being harvested today is from the new portion of the vineyard that was planted in 2013, our more mature Chardonnay vines will be following in ripeness next week.  On Monday, we are going to be harvesting our 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, which will be our first harvest of the variety, Sauvignon Blanc!  So exciting.  On Tuesday, we will be harvesting our Viognier and Pinot Gris, and on Wednesday, we will be harvesting the remaining Chardonnay.  Check our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/KaramoorEstate) for photos during harvest, I will be doing my best to keep those up to date so you guys can feel like you are right here with us while we begin our 2015 winemaking process!

On Tuesday, we got our labels for Karamoor's 2014 Chardonnay (there was a little delay with the label company; if you remember, we were supposed to have received them last week), they turned out great.  Once we had the labels in hand, Kevin and the team was able to complete the bottling of our 2014 Chardonany.  We made a little over 400 cases, which is not too many (2013, was almost 1000 cases), but remember that we lost a good portion of our Chardonnay vines between the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 winters.  Luckily, those 400 cases worth of Chardonnay are delicious.  We will release some tasting notes on this wine when the time is right, until then, just let your imaginations run wild!

I am looking forward to a slower paced and fun weekend.  My brother is coming in from Chicago with his fiance.  I am so excited!  They fly into Philadephia on Saturday and will be heading straight out to Bucks County, to my house, as soon as their flight lands.  We have some great plans for the day, my two cousins who live up in the Hoboken area are going to come to my house too, and then we are heading down to The Mann Music Center to go to a reggae festival!  Did you know that The Mann carries Karamoor wines?  I had never been to The Mann until July of this year.  I have been a Philadelphian since I was about 8 months old (born in Maine), and for some reason, I had never made it to The Mann.  Let me tell you, it is GORGEOUS.  I had a tour during my visit there and I couldn't pick my mouth up off the ground for the duration of the time I was being shown around.  The acoustics are great, it has a lot of charm, and it is probably the cleanest venue I have ever seen.  Also, did I mention that they carry our wine?  I hope that you also have some great plans for one of the final weekends of summer!  Until next time...

Time Posted: Aug 28, 2015 at 4:44 AM
Alecia Jankowski
 
August 21, 2015 | Alecia Jankowski

2013 Merlot Tasting Notes and Recipe Suggestions!

There is a new blog post, so it must be Friday!  I hope everyone has enjoyed their week.  I cannot believe how fast summer is flying by.  I live for these three months because...no schoolbusses.  Next week or the week after (I am not sure exactly, but I know it is right around the corner), I just know that my lower stress summertime commute to work will now be coated in flashing red and yellow lights.  I feel like 2 things have happened since I have occupied a green pleather seat on one of those yellow schoolbusses:  1.  Kids have become A LOT more brazen.  I cannot tell you how many times I have been behind a schoolbus with these little kids making faces and using choice fingers, and I mean, what can you do?  I am an adult.  They are children.  You can't be the adult that makes faces back...  2.  The schoolbusses stop at EVERY house on a road.  There don't seem to be school bus "stops" anymore.  You know, where a bunch of kids stand in a line waiting to get on the bus.  As a kid, our street was probably about a quarter mile (equivalent of walking to school uphill both ways?  maybe), and I remember seeing that yellow bus and having to run, back pack jostling filled with books covered in brown paper grocery bags.  Kids these days...they really have it easy.  Boy, do I sound like Mom.

Anyway, onto wine!  2013 Merlot, to be exact.  I prefer this Merlot to our older vintages, and I will tell you why.  It is very easy drinking.  It doesn't need food, or breathing, or decanting.  You can drink it right out of the bottle...with a glass of course because college is over.  It was bottled in March of 2015, so it is drinking well now, but if you want to lay it down for a while, you can do that too.  It has been very well received by our restaurant accounts, which means it is being well received by their customers (aka the people reading this blog).  Here are the tasting notes that we came up with here:  A generous offering of cherry-pie fruit and toasted vanilla are accompanied by hints of fennel, cinnamon, and clove notes.  Very soft tannins with good acidity and balance invite sip after sip of this supple, medium-bodied Merlot.

I would recommend this wine for cocktail hour.  It would do very well alongside a fabulous platter of Charcuterie, inclusive of a nice pate, toasted breads, and a Beaufort cheese.  If you wanted to pair it with a main dish, I think that I would love to drink it alongside of a grill fired pizza (or wood fired!); for me, it would be Gruyere, pancetta, carmelized onions, with some properly fried mushrooms and a sprig of fresh rosemary.  You can find a similar recipe here:  http://main.colavita.com/caramelized-onion-and-gruyere-pizza-2/.  They leave out some of the things I mention, but you can easily add them!  I would also recommend this wine with a great big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs.  Maybe with a side of garlic bread.  I am pretty lucky because I get homemade tomato sauce from my grandmother via the garden here, but if you are looking for a nice recipe, here is something similar to the one that I make (when grandma's sauce is gone):  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/basic-tomato-sauce-recipe12.html.

Enjoy your weekend.  The weather looks like it is going to be pretty glorious, perfect for some backyard enjoyment...which coincidentally goes very well with our 2013 Merlot!  Next week, I will be bringing you another vineyard and winery update.  There will be plenty to tell as we get closer and closer to our first harvest of the 2015 season.  As always, remember that shipping is free on purchases of 3 bottles or more!  Until next time...

Alecia Jankowski
 
August 14, 2015 | Alecia Jankowski

Winery and Vineyard Update Time!

Hi everyone!  Did you have a good week?  The weather has been delightful, that is for sure.  I am sure that you are all wondering how my dinner party turned out last Saturday.  Well, it turned out great!  I would say that the highlight (besides the nectarine, raspberry margaritas) was the tuna tartare that I made using corn from our CSA share (if you live in Bucks County, check out Blooming Glen Farm, AMAZING produce) and tuna from my favorite seafood shop in Bucks County.  If you are ever driving through Buckingham, you need to go to Buckingham Seafood on 413.  It looks very unassuming from the outside, so unassuming that it took me 3 years of living in Bucks County to stop in.  But, now I don't buy my fish (or any other seafood for that matter) from anywhere else.

SO!  On Monday of next week, I will be making the short drive over to our label provider (they are in Lafayette Hill!) to go through the pre-press for our...2014 Chardonnay!  It is that time again.  We will be bottling on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week!  The vintage from 2014 will be much smaller than 2013, only a bit over 400 cases will be produced.  I think that the 2014 Chardonnay will be very well received, so be sure to stay tuned for an anticipated release date.

Did you know that we bottle all of our wines ourselves?  We have our own bottling and labeling machine!  We really do try to control every aspect of our wines from start to finish.  We grow all of our own grapes (sourcing from nowhere), we pick our fruit by hand, we process our own fruit, we make all of our wines at our winery, and then we bottle, label, and store!  The first time you have a sip of Karamoor Estate wine is the first time (unless you have snuck onto the property!) that the grapes have left our property in any way, shape, or form!  I think that is the coolest thing.  What a great representation of Fort Washington, PA and what is possible here.

Speaking of growing our own grapes, Kevin told me that he believes that we will be harvesting a few acres at the end of August.  Guess what grapes?  Nope, not Chardonnay!  You are probably thinking, "But Ali, the only white grape that you guys grow is Chardonnay and it is too early to pick any of the reds!"  To which I would say, "You are wrong!  And you are right about the reds ;)."  2015 will be a historical year for us; we will be harvesting our first crop of Sauvignon Blanc!  Along with a tiny bit of Viognier and Pinot Gris.  We planted Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Viognier in 2013.  I know that the whole team here is pretty excited about this, but probably no one is more excited than me.  I LOVE Sauvignon Blanc.  It is my favorite.  I wish that it was already bottled so that I could take it with me to our favorite Indian restaurant tonight, but I guess I will have to wait until April or May of 2016 for that.  

I hope that you have some awesome plans for this weekend and that those plans include some Karamoor Estate wine!!  Did you know that shipping is free with a purchase of 3 bottles or more and that we can ship to anywhere in PA, NJ or about 37 other states?  I can't remember if I mentioned that or not in any previous blog posts....  You should also check out our wine club options, there are some pretty great discounts that are associated with them!  Until next time....

Time Posted: Aug 14, 2015 at 10:58 AM
Alecia Jankowski
 
August 7, 2015 | Alecia Jankowski

2012 Meritage Tasting Notes and Recipe Suggestions!

Another Friday, another blog post!  I have felt like it was supposed to be Friday since waking up on Wednesday morning.  Anyone else having a week like that?  I wonder why that happens.  Anyway...

This week, I am talking about our 2012 Meritage.  Since our 2008 vintage, where our Meritage took the Governor's Cup at the Pennsylvania Farm Show (naming it best wine in the state), it has been our flagship wine.  Meritage is a name that is commonly used in the United States for a red Bordeaux-style blend, encompassing the grapes found in Bordeaux wines (some combination of two of the following varieties:  Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec).  You actually pay the Meritage Alliance a yearly fee to use the name Meritage.  Quick little story:  Before we won the Governor's Cup, we were going to change the name of our Meritage so that we didn't have to be part of the Meritage Alliance, but once that wine won that award, we couldn't just change the name.  It probably ended up being a bit of a blessing because we couldn't come to an agreement on what would replace that name.  There were a bunch floating around, some better than others...

SO!  Our 2012 Meritage is a blend of 60% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot.  It was aged for 12 months in 50% French Oak, 25% American Oak, and 25% Hungarian Oak (a total of 30% new oak).  It is soft, yet bold.  Julie Albin from Drink Me Magazine described this wine perfectly:  This wine offers an ambiance of bright red cherry, mint leaf, leather, and a bit of dusty wood.  Incredibly supple tannins hold together the wine's soft texture, bright fruit, and bold cinnamon spice finish.  

I think that I would like to drink this wine with something like Boeuf Bourguignon.  What better recipe for you to follow than Julia Child's?  If you don't want to buy the cookbook (I recommend that you buy it if you enjoy cooking, it is excellent), I have found it for you here:  http://www.oprah.com/food/Boeuf-Bourguignon.  I would also say that some great alternative pairings for this wine would be lamb chops, steaks, prime rib, and most game.  It also goes well with goats milk cheeses....nothing like a good goats milk cheese board!

Our 2012 Meritage retails for $32 plus tax.  Shipping is free with a purchase of 3 bottles or more!  I hope that you have a fun filled weekend, I know I plan to!  I'm having a dinner party tomorrow night, tequila themed...I mean...Mexican food themed...  Until next time!

Time Posted: Aug 7, 2015 at 9:07 AM