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Fall Cleaning

Blog 11/27/09

With the 2009 harvest in the bag it’s time to start the transition into post harvest life at Castoro.  For the past two and a half months the winery has been operating almost 24 hours a day and often times 7 days a week.  Only those who have worked a harvest on the cellar floor know how intense it can be and also how rewarding it can be.  Once harvest it over there is a brief period of time where it seems like no one really knows what to do because everyone has become so accustomed to being so busy all the time with truck after truck bringing in more and more grapes to be processed.

As you can imagine, in the aftermath of harvest the winery desperately calls out for some TLC and once we have all emerged from the blur that was yet another harvest we begin the process of cleaning, organizing and repairing the winery.  With so much equipment getting so much use in such a short period of time there is bound to be parts that need repairing, pieces that need organizing and plenty of things that need cleaning.  That’s why our current focus out at the winery is cleaning, cleaning, cleaning and of course organizing.  It’s not always the most fun but until every piece of equipment is ready for next year, harvest isn’t officially over.

As usual we enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving feast out at the winery this week with Niels and Bimmer Barbequing three turkeys and the rest of the staff supplying one of their favorite dishes potluck style.  The food was absolutely amazing and everyone went home with full bellies and high spirits.  It really makes a big difference to treat your workforce as family and take the time to show your appreciation for all of the hard work they put in.

Until next time,

Happy Holidays


2009 Harvest is in the Bag!

Blog  – 11/12/09 Topic : Harvest

After a long and challenging couple of months, today marks the last day of the 2009 harvest for Castoro Cellars!!  That’s right I said it, “harvest is over!”  We wrapped up our harvest at Castoro by picking our Whale Rock Carignane and Whale Rock Charbono, two Old Italian workhorse varietals.  As we finished picking the final clusters it began to rain, which is a wonderful sign from Mother Nature that harvest is truly over.

Although harvest is over, there is still plenty of work to be done around the winery.  For the first time we are pretty much 100% out of tank space at Castoro.  We literally have full tanks of wine everywhere and it can be a bit challenging to deal with.  A lot of careful thought needs to go into every movement of wine at a time like this.  Luckily, with no more grapes coming in, we will have plenty of time to figure out what we are going to do with all of this Dam Fine Wine.  We have truly been blessed over the years at Castoro to have had such an amazing crew of dedicated workers on our team.  We really feel that we can take on any challenges that come our way and we continually are able to put more and more thought and care into the wines we make.  Most of this is thanks to our customers and all of the people around the world who enjoy having a glass of Castoro with dinner or a sip of late harvest Zin on the ski slopes to warm the soul!!

On a musical note, we just enjoyed two nights of amazing music at Castoro with Grammy nomintated Canadian favorites The Duhks.  The Duhks performed at Castoro this past Thursday and Friday and both shows were absolutely amazing.  Both nights The Duhks had the crowd on their feet cheering for more.  We were fortunate enough to have the Duhks stay with us for a couple days before the show as well as the two nights they played.  As with most touring acts, any down time is greatly appreciated and staying at Castoro was like a mini vacation from the road for The Duhks.  On Wednesday night they cooked Niels, Bimmer and Chris an amazing meal and ended the night challenging Niels to a long game of darts in the wine cellar.  Life on the road is incredibly tough and The Duhks know all about it.  They have been on the road for about 8 years off and on and about 2 years non-stop.  They play music they love and they play because they love to do it, and it really shows.  If you haven’t had a chance to hear their beautiful music you can check it out at .

Til next time . . .

Stay posted,


Working for the Future

Blog 11/3/09 Topic: Sustainability

In times of increasingly present environmental issues it can be easy, as a company, to be seen as jumping on the “environmental bandwagon” when practicing or promoting environmentally friendly behavior.  The truth of the matter is there are many companies doing just that and it is our responsibility as consumers and producers to be aware of it.  Sustainable practices are something that has been a fundamental part of Castoro Cellars since the beginning and it has been a long and challenging effort.  It is never easy to know what the best option is and what impacts different practices will have.  A big part of what we have done at Castoro Cellars is trial and error along with constant observation.  There is no right answer or golden ticket to sustainability; it is truly an ongoing effort that requires a lot of dedication and patience.  We have been growing vineyards organically at Castoro for quite sometime and like anything else there have always been struggles and challenges we have had to overcome.  Is it more sustainable to grow a vineyard organically if it requires more tractor trips through the vines?  These are the kinds of issues we face on a daily basis and with time we monitor and observe our impacts and from there we are able to make what we feel is the best decision for Castoro Cellars and our close business partner, Mother Earth.

Co-founders Niels and Bimmer Udsen, didn’t start adopting sustainable practices because they saw it as a marketing ploy, they did it because the great outdoors and having a strong connection to nature has always been an important part of their lives.  I can vouch for this as their son and someone who has been inspired to live a similar lifestyle in regards to the surrounding environment.  Attempting to be sustainable is something that should come from desire and not because everyone else is doing it.  Niels and Bimmer have that desire and because of it have been working to lessen the impact Castoro Cellars has on the planet for over 25 years