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Food & Wine — Patty Lyn Tweten

The Life of a Cellar Rat

Posted by Plume Ridge Bottle Shop on

The Life of a Cellar Rat

  Cellar workers, or cellar rats, are often romantically portrayed in movie fiction wearing pristine Carhartts and working in immaculate barrel rooms. The reality couldn’t be more different. Most work in the cellar involves liquid and plenty of it. Grape juice, grape must, wine, cleaning solutions, sterilizing solutions, and mass quantities of clean water are the cellar rat’s constant companion. This leads to soggy boots, damp pants and a Jackson Pollock-like display of stains on all clothing. It also involves noise—from a rattling bottle line whizzing by your ear to the endless BEEP-BEEP-BEEP of a forklift in reverse. Most of...

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Postcard from Wine Country: The 2020 Harvest Heartbreak

Posted by Plume Ridge Bottle Shop on

Postcard from Wine Country: The 2020 Harvest Heartbreak

As the world has been turned upside down by pandemic, the grape harvest in Napa and Sonoma has been further threatened by a series of destructive wildfires. Catastrophic events have impacted every segment of the wine industry, from vineyard workers to winery owners.  In early Summer, it was thought that coronavirus would pose the biggest threat to the 2020 harvest. That has not been the case. The August LNU Complex Fire—a series of fires resulting from a rare lightning storm—brought weeks of acrid smoke to most of Napa and Sonoma counties. Then, in late September, the fast-moving Glass Fire ripped...

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Zinfandel: An Immigrant Story

Posted by Plume Ridge Bottle Shop on

Zinfandel: An Immigrant Story

  The history of the Zinfandel grape has all the elements of a great novel: the drama and intrigue of an immigrant’s journey and the ups and downs of fame and fortune, all culminating in a popular resurgence that led to a 21st century search for the grape’s origin. GOLD FEVER: The Zinfandel grape hitched a ride with migrants travelling to California in search of wealth during the Gold Rush of 1849 and was met with almost immediate success. It grew vigorously in the semi-arid foothills, yielding large, tightly-clustered fruit. The vines did not require stakes or trellises and were...

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