Telaya had the pleasure of hosting Elaine Schoch of Carpe Travel last month. Find out what she had to say about Idaho's wine industry and her interview with Earl.
"While the wines in Idaho were the draw for my trip, I found the winemakers we met with just as much, if not more intriguing. These men – and a lot of women – are truly pioneers. They’re shaping what this young wine industry will become…and working to put Idaho on the country’s – and the world’s – wine map.
One of the handful of winemakers I had the chance to meet and speak with was Earl Sullivan at Telaya Wine. What struck me with Earl was his corporate background, not to mention hisMourvèdre. He was working as a COO of a global pharmacy company, traveling 280 days a year. His wife, a veterinarian worked similar hours, yet without the travel. They never saw each other, their nanny was raising their two young sons and it wasn’t going to be sustainable for their family… Sound familiar to anyone? It struck home for me, as it was the same reason I stopped running the social media division at the agency I was working at and why The Husband changed his gig. Truly a Carpe Diem moment.
I had really enjoyed hearing Earl’s story – and drinking his wines – I asked if he’d be interested in participating in Carpe Travel’s Interview with a Winemaker series. Lucky for me, he agreed..." READ THE ENTIRE STORY HERE
Take a look at the story behind the Rosé, and why Winemaker Carrie couldn't say no to this outstanding wine. You can also see how we bottle our wine with love.
It's a beautiful day, to make a rose (transcript)
First, the harvested fruit goes onto the shaker table. Then we pull out leaves and other things that should not go into the wine.Then the grapes are shaken on to the elevator, which takes them up to the destemmer. The destemmer separates the stems from the good stuff. Some winemakers "crush" the fruit at this time, but we decided to keep it whole for this rose. Next it's into the press where the juice gets pressed out from the grapes. Now it will go into fermentation!
From our archives-
New vs. Used, French vs. American, and some other tidbits about barrels that you might not have known.
French vs. American Oak
In the wine world, the terms “French oak” and “American oak” are used quite often. These unique types of oak are referring to the barrels in which is aged. Wine barrels are made from white oak trees, most popularly the French oak – Quercus robur – and the American oak – Quecus alba. Both of these are white oaks with very different flavor profiles and grain structure.
When wine is aged in oak, it ‘soaks up’ flavor from the barrels. American oak is known to give off vanilla, caramel, and sometimes coconut. French oak is known to give off more subtle and spicy flavors – our favorite ones give off some bacon and salami aromas in our wines. These differences in flavor and aroma additions may be caused by the difference in grain between the French and American oak or perhaps by the seasoning process.
When a tree is harvested for wine barrels it is cut into staves and then put outside to season for at least a year. Just letting the air and weather hit the wood with all the elements possible. Choosing between French and American oak can be because of the flavor and aroma compounds that are added to the wine, but cost may also be a factor. An American oak barrel generally runs somewhere around $600 while the French oak barrels are around $1300.
The Difference between New and Used Barrels
Many people are surprised to find out barrels can be used through many vintages before they turn into someone’s pot holder or furniture. Why? Think of chewing gum. The first bite of gum produces strong, robust flavors, but each subsequent bite brings less and less flavor until the gum has almost no flavor at all.
The same concept applies to wine barrels, a new oak barrel will deliver a much stronger flavor than a used oak barrel. Because of this, winemakers are continually striving to find the perfect balance of new and used oak, and that ‘perfect balance’ is determined by the winemaker, their style, and the profile they’re going for. It’s not uncommon for a wine to spend half of the time in new oak and half in used oak, or all of its time in one or the other. Ultimately, both new barrels and used barrels are very important to the winemaking process.
New oak or used, French or American, the oak chosen is dependent upon the winemaker’s preference and the profile they want their wine to have. Outstanding wine can be produced in both French oak and American oak Barrels. At Telaya we use 100% French oak because stylistically we want to produce dynamic wines, and French oak enables more fruit flavors to come out in the wine with more of those brooding spice notes to come out in the aromas. We also use a balance of new and used oak to impart the different flavors that will come through by using a combination of new and used oak. Then in the blending process the fruit and spice come together to create great wines.
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