I feel like I’ve been gone forever from writing on my blog. I have been quite busy trying to get this new venture of mine going!!!
What a journey this has been. I started Passaggio Wines in 2007 with the release of my first 50 cases of Unoaked Chardonnay. I was on top of the world…and here I am today producing nearly 500 cases last year and ramping up for almost double that for harvest 2014. None of this would have been possible without the support from those who believed in me and drank lots of my wine 😉
Here’s a glimpse of what I have been working on…Coming Soon to the Sonoma Square – Passaggio Wines Tasting Room!! I can’t wait to see you there!
I couldn’t walk away from him. I asked if I could take him out of his cage. The attendant took him out and we became best buds almost instantly. He was the one…
When going through the adoption process at the front desk they asked “where the cat was going to sleep?” I looked at the girl behind the counter and said “anywhere he wants…”
When I got him home he needed a name of course. I have no clue why, but the shelter named him Larry. He had the longest whiskers on a cat I had ever seen (could it have been because he weighed 20 pounds?) so I decided to name him Whiskers. He immediately settled in and began running the house.
Whiskers became my best friend. He followed me around like a little puppy dog. He protected me from sock monsters and loved to sit by the stove when I was baking Salmon. (of course he would get a small bite) We had a fenced in back yard and he loved going out and just sitting in the grass. Our evening ritual was the same; he loved sitting next to me while I was on my computer and oftentimes helped me type. He woke me up every morning at 6am. We had our routine down. Or I should say I had his routine down…
It wasn’t long after Whiskers that Mattie was brought into the house. Mattie is an Airedale. She was 8 weeks old when I got her and of course Whiskers explained to her who was the boss. They became friends but Mattie knew who was in charge.
Whiskers soon developed some eye problems and had to have surgery on his left eye. Over the years he lost sight in that eye. He later developed diabetes. I gave him two insulin shots a day for the rest of his life. He had to have his blood sugar checked every now and then and his insulin adjusted. His immune system became weak and he was not able to go outside anymore. His back legs didn’t work that well and he kind of shuffled as he walked. It was amazing that he could sense when a vet visit was upon him…as soon as I went to get the crate, he would go under the bed just out of reach.
Over the years Whiskers earned the right to be called “Mr. Whiskers.” He remained my loyal friend.
At the beginning of the year, Mr. Whisker’s health began to deteriorate. We made several visits to the vet and were faced with having to put him under to pull some teeth. We soon realized that he was a little older than we had first thought. The vet said that Mr Whiskers was about 19 years old.
While Mr. Whiskers rallied a bit, he was tired and weak. He began not eating and not drinking. He soon had to have fluids given to him. Since he would not eat, I wasn’t able to give him his insulin shots. He began to deteriorate very fast. I had to call the Vet and was told to bring him in that next day. I was going to have to make some hard, hard choices.
It was about 3am. Mr Whiskers decided it was his time. I picked him up and held him in my arms for a couple of hours. He breathed his last breath at 6am that morning. My heart stopped for just a moment.
It’s been over a year now…
I miss him terribly – that day eight years ago when the shelter placed him in my arms, he claimed his space in my heart…and he will always remain there.
Passaggio Pinot Noir was harvested on 9/16/2013. Warnecke Ranch on the Russian River in Alexander Valley is a beautiful property in the historic Chalk Hill district. I am looking forward to making this wine and what it will bring to your table…
Follow Your Passion
An old phrase you might hear around the winery is “rack to bottling” – which means get the wine ready for bottling by racking it to a tank.
Yesterday I racked the 2012 Passaggio UNMARKED Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir to tank. These grapes came from the Petaluma Gap area of the Sonoma Coast. The Sonoma Coast extends from San Pablo Bay to Mendocino County. The Petaluma Gap area extends from the Pacific Ocean to San Pablo Bay. This area produces some of the best Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah. Wind and fog are its trademark and the word “Gap” got its name from the actual gap in the mountain that stretches from the Pacific to the town of Petaluma. The early morning fog, intense heat in the afternoon, and very cool evenings are a great growing climate for Pinot Noir.
The 2012 Passaggio UNMARKED Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ready for bottling on August 16th, 2013.
Stay tuned for more!!!!
- Shine On, Sonoma Coast (courtneycochran.com)
It was a beautiful day in Napa last Saturday. I attended the 25th Year Anniversary release of the 2010 Flora Springs Trilogy. Upon my arrival they handed me a wonderful glass of Chardonnay. I walked through their beautiful caves which opened up to a breathtaking view of the vineyard. What a fabulous event! There were food stations set up where you could taste from Farmstead, Grapevine Catering, ZuZu, Morimoto’s Restaurant, and TraVigne.
I saw one of the largest paella’s I have ever seen. 🙂 The live band was fabulous and of course the 2010 Trilogy was outstanding.
One of my favorite stations was the making of homemade mozzarella…
Thank you Flora Springs for a wonderful event – can’t wait for the next one…
- Napa: Iron Chef Morimoto’s Four Rules for Eating Sushi (Like You Know What You’re Doing) (jaunted.com)
I need your help to receive 250 eligibility votes for a $250,000 grant from Chase Bank. Just click on the photo. Sign in…type in Passaggio Wines – Sonoma, California and cast your vote… It’s that simple…
This is my mission. My business is my passion. I launched Passaggio Wines in 2008 following my 15 year law enforcement career. I moved to California to follow my passion to pursue a life making quality, food-friendly wines. I left Virginia in 2004 and launched Passaggio Wines with my 2007 vintage. Passaggio’s flagship wine is a unoaked Chardonnay. I love to bring great wines, awesome food, and wonderful friends together. Sharing is all part of the Passaggio story.
Passaggio’s success was built on it’s loyal customers and friends made along this wonderful journey. I have had the chance to meet some of the greatest people during this pilgrimage. They have made my success.
Passaggio Wines unique quality is created from passion. Built on a shoestring budget, I was able to launch my dream. The unoaked Chardonnay’s of today are getting great press and I am proud to have been on the cutting edge.