Strey Cellars

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A Day in the Life of a Winemaker: Racking
I used to imagine a winemakers life was so glamorous. Sauntering through the neatly kept isles of vines, plucking sun-kissed grapes, as shadows stretch across the soil. Pulling samples of wine from barrels, tasting the fruits of their labor, breathing in the rich aromas. Waling into the winery during harvest to be greeted with that scent of yeasts and fruit… How exciting it must be to walk through the doors of the tasting room, being congratulated on a lovely vintage by wine club members and customers, basking in their creations. And then I worked my first harvest. Four years ago I was so giddy with the thought of helping to make wine, I am not sure what I expected, maybe a combination of Lucy stomping grapes, and an assembly line of endless bottles that couldn’t be corked fast enough so I would just have to drink them? First of all,
Nice Package
When you take your first steps into the wine world, it can be extremely overwhelming. Especially if you have not had much experience with wine in your life. There is this daunting energy that can be put off based on movies where wealthy people order obscenely expensive bottles of wine that are 200 years old, from an ancient winery in the South of France. I see a lot of wine misrepresentation in movies, and it frustrates me a little bit, because it’s sends this message that good wine has to be expensive and old. I don’t want to burst your bubble, but I am going to do you a favor, stop pining over ancient wines… and stop “laying down” your bottles of California wine. That $1,100 bottle of wine is not even drinkable, while yes, there was a time that wine was made to be laid down for years and
Nerd Alert
There are two types of wine lovers: (A) the type that loves to drink wine, go wine tasting, talk about wine, and eat food with wine. Basically the type that just enjoys the fun, delicious nuances of wine. (B) the type of wine lover that probably does all of the above, and then gets geeky. These are the type of people who apprentice with winemakers, and maybe even try their hand at wine making themselves. They are the ones who are not put off by the mind boggling amount of science involved in wine making. I proudly fit into the first category. In the first few years of my love affair with wine, I absolutely fantasized about making wine, and devoured books about wine, but ultimately, I am not a science person… or a physical labor person for that matter. In 2014 I started volunteering in Ventura County and eventually
Moon Farming
Our world is filled with cycles and seasons, ruled by what exactly? Ancient mythology tells stories of gods who’s jealousy, love lives, and personal drama have affected the Earth. Giving power to goddesses like Demeter, the goddess of  harvest, crops, grains, and fertility. Before her heart was broken when Hades kidnapped her daughter, Persephone, everything was always fertile, luscious and hearty. In Demeter’s grief, she allowed all of the crops and plant life to die. This upset the balance of the Earth. Thanks to contributions from several other gods and goddesses, Persephone was rescued from Hades and reunited with her mother. While Persephone had been in the Underworld, she had fallen in love with her captor, and felt conflicted. Then there was this pomegranate situation and Zeus ruled that Persephone would spend six months in the Underworld and six months on Earth with her mother; but not because he cared
Wine Trends
So, I was thinking about wine… I’m almost always thinking about wine, obviously. In this case, I was thinking about some trends I have noticed, and even a few I predicted. You’re welcome for all the delicious Rosé at Strey Cellars. 5 years ago Rosé wasn’t nearly as popular as it is now, but I used my spidey senses (AKA Housewife Life) and really supported the Rosé idea… every year… While “Rosé Season” has been a thing for a while, Rosé totally outgrew it’s summer only status. We are allowed to drink it all day every day, now. I personally think we can thank moms for breaking that particular stigma. Our 5 o’clock comes much earlier than yours, and Rosé pairs nicely with goldfish crackers. Dads started jumping on our Rosé all day bandwagon, too, particularly as they became drier. There is absolutely no shame in drinking pink, especially if
Carnivores and Herbivores and Winosaurs, Oh My!
There are a few conversations I have had on repeat for the last four plus years in our Ventura County tasting room; I can’t imagine it’s different anywhere else. One of which is “What food would you pair with this wine, steak, barbecue?” And I usually laugh and say, “I’ll take your word for it, I’m vegetarian.” It’s funny how people assume that when we pair wine, we should be pairing it with a protein. I’m not going to get into the major annoyance of people asking me where I get my protein, instead I want to share with you the beauty of wine pairing, regardless of your food restrictions, preferences or diets. Even though this conversation sometimes leads to, “Well what would you pair it with?” and I laugh off the question by saying, “I like to drink my calories!” The honest answer is that the same rules apply
Bye Bye Birdie
There is a lot of magic in the wine community, (no, not my kind of magic *wink*), there is this camaraderie that is developed between wine makers. I have had the pleasure of wine tasting alongside Scott at several local wineries, here in Ventura County, and one thing I love is the way the winemaker’s eyes light up when they see Scott walk through the door. Winemakers have a repertoire that is familiar to them, and only truly understandable to other winemakers. There is an ease in the way they communicate, their body language, and this association that goes beyond the initial “nice to meet you’s” and transcends the unease of the unknown, opening a world of conversation that most wine drinkers would have trouble following! (Not me though, I totally get everything, obviously….) It’s like seeing them in their element… Winemakers in the wild! (Sorry I’ve been watching Shark
Harvest 2019
They say, the only constant is change, Strey Cellars is changing it up for you! Every harvest Strey has brought in tons of red grapes, and occasional white (green) grapes, but our focus has always been single red varietals. We have been known to surprise you all with blends here and there. (I’m sure your mouth just started watering at the reminder of Slanted and Cynder… mine is!) We have also graced you with a few Rosé and whites throughout the years, but our favorites are red wines. Because we have leaned so heavily towards reds, we have… a lot. We do not fear running low on red wines any time soon, so this harvest we will only be bringing in white grapes. This will surely please all the sweet grandmas who come into the tasting room looking for white wine and are low-key horrified that our only white wine
Honey, I’m Home
It’s been a week since my life-changing, mind-blowing, life-altering trip to the Middle East. When I sleep, I dream of Israel. Homecoming was bittersweet, I missed the familiarity of home, the regularity of having a schedule, and the ability to read things like menus and street signs. I never imagined how much I would appreciate seat covers in public restrooms, and soft toilet paper for that matter! It took me what felt like weeks, but may have only been 5 days to figure out why I was continuously run over by Israelis, and no, it’s not because I’m short, it turns out that in Israel people are not bothered by the shoulder bump that can cause a fist fight in America. Space is different there. The entire country is the size of New Jersey. Everything is overlapping. Well, not EVERYTHING…  The wine world in Israel stands on its own. While
Dog Days of Summer
While we at Strey Cellars may not be farmers, we deeply appreciate the viticulturists who so lovingly nurture the vines that produce the beautiful grapes which we look forward to smashing in a few months. Vineyard life is far removed from our contemporary Ventura County winery and tasting room, but still an important piece to the Strey Cellars puzzle. We look forward to the few and far between trips to wine country. Being mesmerized by rows and rows of grape vines, feeling the warm summer sun, and to our surprise, meeting a few four legged friends along the way. Many vineyard owners have been shying away from the use of chemicals for weed and pest problems. Some have chosen to use nature’s weed killers and pest control. The most common “natural” weed killer on a vineyard is sheep! Sheep (and llamas) graze the grass and weeds, and are especially helpful