Posts tagged Domaine de Manion vineyard
DDM Harvest & Bottling 2013

DSC_0691 Here at Domaine de Manion we are especially grateful for the family and friends who help us harvest the grapes from the vines, sort the grapes before crushing, and share a delightful dish. This year, we had a bit of a heat wave right before our intended harvest, and so had to scramble and bring the grapes in a week earlier. We had a record yield of 860 pounds of beautiful fruit clusters which reached a desired 25.5 brix, or sugar percentage.


The fruit looked beautiful, dark, and inky as syrah should be. We quickly look at the luscious grape clusters on a sorting table before they are scooped up, destined for our grape auger which gently squeezes and destems them before putting them on dry ice for about two days to extract their skin color. The grapes are then brought back to room temperature, a pre-determined yeast is carefully added, and the fermentation process begins.


A week later, we invited everyone for bottling and more celebration. Situated under our huge Torrey Pine tree providing shade, we had a huge assembly line of able and willing helpers, filling the bottles, corking, labeling, and boxing all of last year's vintage which had been carefully aged in kegs the entire previous year. We had a total of 37 cases, when we finished and broke for a huge "Bottling Potluck" and a little Domaine de Manion wine.


Thanks again everyone, for all of your help and enthusiasm!

Pat Welsh Paints Our Vineyard

Pat Welsh Delivering Our Painting Most of you know Pat Welsh for her incredibly well-written garden books, and the fact that she is a writer, speaker, and garden guru. Did you know, however, she is also a very gifted and talented painter. Her painting is a passion. My husband and I absolutely adore Pat, and adore her painting style.

A few years back we approached Pat about painting "our little hamlet" here at Domaine de Manion, our home and backyard vineyard. Fortunately, she was very interested in our proposed subject, and soon Pat's painting of our home and vineyard took on a life of its own. Pat did on site visits, sketches, and borrowed photos we had taken to begin her vision of the painting. Despite her very busy schedule, she persevered and enjoyed time for painting.

Her proposed composition was exactly what we were hoping for, a beautiful, yet simple depiction of our first grape harvest in 2008. Pat focused her painting of our vineyard from our lower south west corner of our property. Her painting sweeps upward over our beautiful syrah vineyard to our home on top of the hill.  She was able to capture our enthusiastic friends helping in the harvest, J.Lo our beloved chicken and chicken coop, and the whole essence and excitement of our first harvest. My husband, John, and I, are depicted center-front, holding on to this moment.

We wanted something very special to remember and commemorate our first harvest, and all of our hard work which brought us to this point in time. We feel so fortunate and honored to have Pat Welsh's beautiful painting to capture our memories. Many thanks Pat, your painting is incredible.

Please comment on little celebrations in your life that have big meaning. Please share  if you have had a chance to delve into Pat Welsh's new book.

Thank You for Visiting VGG Sponsors!

San Diego Horticultural Society announces its Spring Garden Tour, Saturday March 13, 2010. Tickets are $15/members, $20/non-members. To purchase tickets and more detailed information, please go to

Blue Ribbon At The Fair

I would encourage all of you to visit your local, regional, or state fair this summer. Fairs are a slice of Americana, a part of our American culture. School is out, and the summer lifestyle has switched into gear. If you have a passion for something, like our wine-making, enter it in the fair, you might be surprised.

There is judging on flowers, garden displays, woodworking, artwork, chickens, cows, pigs, sheep, baked goods, jams, you name it. It is a great way to connect with others in your community with the same passion, and also to stay in touch with what others are doing in your particular area in the community.

Our local fair is the San Diego County Fair, always mid-June through the Fourth of July. There are rides, outrageous fair food, exhibits, judging of all kinds of categories, concerts, in other words something for everyone.

The wine judging contest at the San Diego County Fair is popular, and has a wide range of categories from Cabernet Sauvignon to Fruit Wines. There is also judging on wine labels, and the coveted "Best of Show".

This year we entered three wines in three different categories. We won a "Blue Ribbon" First Prize, for our "Le Vin de Garage" Syrah 2007, in the "Syrah Category", on Sunday, June 21, 2009, Father's Day. It was a total surprise, and a little surreal when our names were announced. Needless to say, it was a special treat for our dads.

These grapes are not from our own syrah vineyard quite yet, but grapes that we purchased from the pristine Guadalupe Valley in Baja, Mexico to practice making wine, until our vineyard was three years old. Many thanks to our friends and family who helped us bottle this wine last fall, and for your ongoing enthusiasm.

Sunset Celebration In Our Vineyard, Domaine de Manion

Do you have a wonderful summer fair near you? Do you have a "Blue Ribbon" story to share? What are you passionate about that you could enter in the fair next year?