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Harvest 2014 is here!

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It’s official, harvest 2014 is underway and once again it is early, early, early! Like last year, 2014 has been one of the warmest growing seasons on record, which has resulted in one of the earliest harvest seasons on record. Coupled with one of the worst droughts we have ever seen, it has been a challenging year to say the least. Luckily, as farmers, we’ve got thick skin and we adapt and make the most of what Mother Nature gives us, no matter how challenging it may be.

We get lots of questions about the drought and I can tell you right now, it is very real. With the lack of water, our vines have been under more stress than a “normal” year and the result is smaller clusters and less fruit per vine than average years. With that said, the quality of the fruit is quite good with smaller, more concentrated berries. As Niels put it, “It looks like fall, it is super dry. A big challenge is keeping the canopy alive until we are ready to harvest.”

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At the end of the day all we can do is make the most of what we are given and luckily without rain or frost our fruit hasn’t been jeopardized outside of the drought. I think we are going to see very concentrated and flavorful wines come out of the 2014 harvest, and that alone will make 2014 a year to remember!

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Next week we will be harvesting “third leaf” (third year) Syrah, Tannat, Merlot, and Primitivo, all of which are looking to produce very high quality fruit. Once the reds start coming in, harvest is the real deal and you know our team is working tirelessly to produce the best wines around!

Stay tuned for more harvest 2014 updates! Don’t forget to join us for Beaverstock!!

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Q&A With Allen Stone and Sean Hayes!

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Two of my favorite artists in our lineup this year are Allen Stone and Sean Hayes. Both of these artists have inspired me, moved me and entertained me endlessly. Luckily, they were both kind enough to answer some questions for us and I’m sure glad they did!

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Q&A Allen Stone:
-We are very excited to have you at Beaverstock this year and in particular we are looking forward to exposing your music to a new audience. This will likely be the first time many of our attendees see a live Allen Stone show, what should they expect? Is there a certain excitement you get from playing in a new venue/area?

Whenever I get the opportunity to play my music it is my desire for everyone to leave feeling as happy and fulfilled as possible. My attempt is always to create moments with music.

-I know you grew up in the small town of Chewelah Washington, and I can relate, having grown up here in Templeton, which was roughly population 5,000 when I was a kid. Is it different playing in smaller communities as opposed to playing in bigger cities?

I enjoy playing all sizes of communities. There is always different colors of energy in different sections of the globe but I’ve yet to experience any truly indifferent crowds.

-It’s my understanding you are currently working on a new album that has been recorded at your family cabin in Washington and also in Sweden. What can you tell us about the new album and the approach you took to creating it?

I have been searching for my signature sound for the last few years. I was so entrenched in old soul revue in my last records approach its been a journey attempting to find a sound to call my own.

-Having played Letterman, Conan, Live at Daryl’s House, Bonaroo and more it has been very exciting to watch your career take off. At what point did it hit you that music was something you could do for a living and that your music in particular was being noticed in a big way?

It’s an ongoing realization at this point. It’s all gone by so fast that its hard to realize and define. Meeting and connecting with Quincy Jones was a big moment for me.

-I have read that you are not the biggest fan of music made with computers and I would have to say I agree with you. What is it about real musicians playing instruments in real time that is so special to you and what you do?

Art is art. It is pointless to debate who’s is more proper than others. If it makes you happy then it makes you happy. However, I do believe that computers and technology have become a crutch for a good percentage of the artistic community.

-Our festival this year is a benefit for TEF, the Templeton Education Foundation, which works to improve our local school district, the same one my brother and I both attended. I’m sure you have played many benefits over the years; do you notice a difference with benefit concerts as opposed to traditional shows?

Every show is its own entity. Its own energy. It’s impossible to compare the two. As long as the folks performing on stage do so with an open and grateful heart the shows will go well.

-What comes to mind for you when you think of playing at a winery? I know you have played lots of breweries over the years (lagunitas etc). Is the wine drinking crowd different?

I love a good party. You can usually find them at breweries and winery’s.

-Allen, thank you so much for your time, on a final note are you and the band wine drinkers? Do you have a favorite wine? We sure hope so!

I am no expert on wine but I do love a good merlot.

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Q&A Sean Hayes

-I have been a big fan of your music for years and have seen you play in Chico and San Francisco and have always been blown away by the sincerity in your live performance. For the vast majority of people at this festival who will be seeing you for the first time, what should they expect?

Some song singing, some guitar playing, some drum banging. Folk into Soul music!

-Both times I have seen you play have been in small intimate venues, how does the feeling change for you when you play an outdoor festival venue? Do you take a different approach?

I think small venues are more about the lyric. Big spaces tend to be about the beat.

-Your last album “Before We Turn to Dust” is one of my favorites you have done and is quite different from your other releases. Can you describe the album and the feel you were going for? Have you started working on another album?

I worked with the piano for the first time writing a bunch of those songs. Also had my first son on the way and then born while writing and making that record. That changes everything!

-You have been performing for over 20 years now, what does the future have in store for Sean Hayes? Do you feel pretty rooted in San Francisco or could you see yourself moving to the country someday?

I moved north to Petaluma over a year ago. Heading to the country.

-Recently you were on tour with Beats Antique, opening as a solo act, what was that experience like? I know they have a pretty elaborate stage presence, was it a good fit?

I enjoyed a chance to get in front of crowd of people who have never heard the music I play. I was a strange cocktail before the main course.

-Last but not least, as you know we are a winery, are you a wine drinker?

I do drink wine. One of the best parts of playing music is getting invited to so many great spots. Wine and music! Looking forward to coming down!

We are very excited to have you play this year and can’t wait to see what you have in store for our community!


Disc Golf Tournament Recap!

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As I mentioned in my last blog, our newest addition to Castoro Cellars is a premier 18-hole Disc Golf course in our beautiful Whale Rock Vineyard and this past weekend we kicked it off in style with a tournament! We really didn’t know what to expect going into it and we were blown away by the success of this event. Not only did we have 62 registered golfers in the tournament, players came from hours away to participate. There were participants from Lodi, Taft, Santa Barbara, Monterey, and even Stockton! The most amazing part of it all is that most of them found out about it through the online Disc Golf community, in their forums, social media etc.

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Once we had all the players registered it was time to send them off to separate tee pads, in groups of four, for a shotgun start. That means everyone starts at the same time from different holes so we can all play simultaneously and maximize time. All together the tournament lasted around two hours and I could hear players cheering and hollering the whole time as they christened the new course. Since Disc Golf is a newer sport, players are very responsive to and excited for new courses to play, especially in their back yard.

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After the last team finished their round and all scorecards had been turned in, it was time to tally up the scores and see who would be taking home prizes. The best score of the tournament and of the course to date was -6 (6 under par) shot by Jaimal! That is just crazy, I shot +1, which was my best yet and I couldn’t believe he shot 6 under.

Before handing out prizes we headed back up to the Tasting Room for a lunch reception with wine tasting and craft beer poured by Toro Creek Brewing Company and The Libertine Pub. As I walked around I could hear players tell stories of their favorite holes, close putts and most important how beautiful the course is. It is safe to say everyone had a great time and will be coming back.

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Once we had all eaten and refreshed ourselves with local wine and brews it was time for the awards ceremony. My brother Max did a great job describing the journey of building the course and thanking everyone for making it come alive. He then presented prize baskets to the top three men and women on the course. To check out pictures and scores from the tournament click HERE.

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We hope to see you out on the course soon! For more info visit