Antinori + Kids: Old and Young

If you know Matt at all, you know his connection to the Antinori Family. Making wine for Antica Napa Valley from 2010-2011, he grew to learn and love the famous Italian winemaking family and their traditions. I mean, they have been making wine for 638 years. Yes, before North American was even FOUND! Nuts. Best part about it, now you can visit them next time you’re in Italy! So cool!

Speaking to the parent readers: Kids. We all were them and some of us have them! But, do they stop you from heading to Napa or Sonoma to taste some wine?! THEY SHOUDN’T! This one is for the parents!

-MSix

“ Success has a great tendency to conceal and throw a veil over the evil of men. ”

— Demosthenes

Flawed?

Your wine doesn’t taste as good as it did last time. Why? Ever wonder if the bottle is “bad”? If so, ever feel insecure to say something because you weren’t confident in your opinion? This is the article for you!

Master the ability to detect flawed wine! No need to drink bad wine when there is so much good stuff out there!

-MSix

PS. Matt is killing it in Australia. All we have heard is raves about his wines! We’re jealous! Come home already, Matt! We want you to make more wine!!!

AUSTRALIA!

Well, I am back (in Australia)! Arriving on Tuesday, the last couple days have been a whirlwind! Picked fruit Wednesday night around 1:00 am, pressed racked over the last 24 hours and now we are set to ferment! Here is a picture of the SB that I will be producing as my OZ first wines for Nakedwines.com… so clean:

Sauvignon Blanc from Margaret River, Australia!

Sauvignon Blanc from Margaret River, Australia!

For those who don’t know, I am currently living in Margaret River making wine for Nakedwines.com. These wines are not the same as brick & mortar but allow me the opportunity to travel around the world and get better at making wine! Win, win situation.

Life back on the home front for MSix is slowly picking up. We have finalized all bottling materials and now have a couple more months of work before we bottle our first wine! So exciting!

-MSix

“If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride – and never quit, you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards.” -Paul Bryant

IPOB + OZ

Well, it was a geekin’ out couple of weeks for Matt! First, he attended the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium last week, a massive trade show for anything and everything wine in Sacramento. Here, he met with purveyors of everything from corks and bottles, to winery engineers and harvesting equipment. It goes without saying: many handshakes exchanged and a few beers enjoyed!

Matt also attended the IPOB Conference in San Francisco this week. For those who are unfamiliar with IPOB, it stands for In Pursuit of Balance. It is a conference solely focused on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and their context and relevance in California! Yeah… it was a Matt-kind-of-conference! The main topics this year were California Chardonnay and its “place” in the world, as well as whole-cluster fermentation for Pinot Noir. As you can remember, we did whole cluster trials on the 2011 brick & mortar PN! Don’t be surprised if it makes a return in 2013 if the conditions are right! I don’t think Matt has stopped talking about all the fun things he has up his sleeve for 2013!

MATT IS LEAVING FOR AUSTRALIA NEXT SUNDAY! AH! He will be gone for about ten weeks making wines for Nakedwines.com, returning in the early days of May, just in time to get our first bottling of brick & mortar ready! We wish him safe travels and fast, clean fermentations while in Australia! Tan, rested, Matt returns ready to launch brick & mortar! SO exciting!

As aforementioned, bottling for the inaugural release of brick & mortar is RIGHT around the corner. We have been working feverishly to procure our bottles, corks, labels, and WAX (!!!) so we are all set for our July bottling. By the time it hits the bottle, the 2011 Pinot Noir will have been in barrel for 20 months and the 2012 Chardonnay for nine months! We can express how excited we are for this upcoming year!

We have a little something something in the works regarding a pre-bottling tasting event where people will have the opportunity to purchase the first bottles of our 2011 Pinot Noir and 2012 Chardonnay for brick & mortar. At the event, you will be able to taste, ask questions and purchase the wines for an October 1st release date. Jordan is racking his brain for the perfect date and location! More details to follow!

Happy sipping this weekend!

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

Finally! It’s about f***ing time: We’re back!

After a (much too) long hiatus, MSix Wine Group is back on the blogging circuit!

We have decided to reformat the blog:

More pictures. More stories. More posts. Less static.

To wrap up 2012, all we can say is: potential. More from this in the coming weeks.

Matt, our DOW (Director of Winemaking), is heading to Australia for his new project with Naked Wines. These are wines Matt crafts specifically for Naked Wines and are sold solely through Nakedwines.com. Matt leaves late-February for his 8-10 week expedition, returning in time to bottle the first wines for brick & mortar, set to release October 1st.

Ever wonder what Napa is like in January? Well, it’s “ok”…

January, 2013.

January, 2013.

-MSix

“No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you.”

Knee Deep

Oh man, there are grapes EVERYWHERE! Matt has considered plotting his hours of sleep versus his coffee intake as this harvest has progressed. He came to realize it would need to logarithmic; too small of until of sleep and large quantities of coffee for a normal scale!

Quick note from Saturday:

Report from Matt:

Our Dijon clone PN has been pressed, barreled down and inoculated with Malo bugs. 4-6 weeks out from commencing the aging process.

Our Pommard clone PN is near the end of fermentation with less than 2% sugar remaining. AH-mazing color. Big and supple wine! We should be pressing within the next week, barreling down within ten days!

Our Napa Valley Chardonnay has begun its native fermentation. Slowly but surely… Great acid on this wine, great tropical notes. Really (REALLY) looking forward to following its progress!

Labels! So much work has been done on our labels. We’re close. Very close.

-MSix

“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.”

-Francis Bacon

Website. Harvesting. 9/11.

Just in case you missed it, we launched our new website yesterday! We would love to hear your feedback!

Every mid-80’s day that goes by, is another day closer to harvest. Ever wonder how I can predict when we will pick our fruit? Well, as soon as we get close to harvesting time (to put that into number, about 22 Brix – 22% sugar by volume), I can estimate the grapes will take about 4 days of maturation per Brix accumulated (at a given temperature close to what we are experiencing now – mid-80’s). So, if we were about 21.5-22 Brix late last week and I want to pick at 24-24.5 Brix, it will take the grapes approximately 10-15 days to fully ripen; this explains why winemakers are so in tune with the weather. Hotter days, things ripen quick. Cooler days, slower. We have to track everything and forecast possible hiccups of rain or cold spells, taking everything into account for our harvesting decisions.

To cut to the chase, I think we will be harvesting our Dijon clone Pinot Noir around next Monday, September 18th. Chardonnay and the Pommard clone Pinot Noir will follow soon after! LET THE FUN BEGIN!

Also, today marks the eleventh anniversary of 9/11. Not a year has gone by that I haven’t gotten a bit emotional on this day. I would just like to thank every single policeman, firefighter, doctor, nurse, volunteer who gave the ultimate sacrifice on that day in 2001. Thank you for your courage and sacrifice. To this day, we still strive to fulfill our promise to you: we will not forget.

-MSix

Even on the most exalted throne in the world we are only sitting on our own bottom.   –Michel de Montaigne

Round 2 – An Emphasis on a Lack of Complacency

Harvest number two for MSix Wine Group is nearing and as a company we are very pleased with our first 12 months of production. The wine is right where is needs to be for our projected quality:price ratio. That being said, we have inserted our chips on their respective shoulders again. In our minds, we are back to square one: having something to prove. I cannot describe the pride and joy we have while tasting the 2011 Pinot Noir, as we think we hit it out of the park. Having a good inaugural wine is fantastic. But, creating a tradition on great wines is our vision. Year in, year out. Great wines. Zero complacency. The only acceptable path in our eyes.

Production progress – So, we are adding a Chardonnay this year, expanding Pinot Noir and sparkling wine production (perhaps three-fold for sparkling!). The growing season has been fantastic. Mild temperatures most of the summer, this has turned into a great year for Pinot. Barrels are being shipped in from Marcassin Vineyards. Our Pinot is around 22 Brix, thus we should be picking around September 15th for our Dijon clones and perhaps around the 25th for the Pommard clone. Chardonnay may be picked between the two Pinot clones. It is the time of the year Matt sleeps too little and drinks coffee far too much. Purple hands will ensue.

Label design – A. Never-ending. Endeavor. Honestly, we are SO close to finalizing our label design. The whole label design process has been such a great experience. It has allowed all of us to get our creative juices flowing again and come up with something original, while not going TOO far outside the box. Being outside the box is all fine and dandy and quite frankly, the goal, right up to the point where the box doesn’t recognize you.

Website 2.0 – When we designed our first website, we knew it was a placeholder until we could take the time to design something more permanent. That being said, we have been designing a new website that will launch next Monday, September, 10th. Moving towards our Fall 2013 release date of Brick & Mortar, we will be tweaking everything left and right until we create the exact image we want moving forward. We have made immense strides over the last six months towards our final platform; things are not “perfect” yet. We’re close.

I am happy to be back behind the keyboard and definitely looking forward to writing more come Monday. Have a great weekend!

-MSix

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.
-Abraham Lincoln

Brick & Mortar

Finally, a wine name!

Our first wines will be named Brick & Mortar. We will have a Pinot Noir and a Chardonnay. Brick & Mortar has long been thought of as the heart and soul of many developing cities, nations and empires; the foundation of the Greeks and Romans stretching back to 6000 B.C., coincidentally the same time wine was first discovered. We wanted to find a name that would symbolize our goal of a swift but smart development of MSix Wine Group. Nothing better symbolizes the strategic positioning of MSix Wine Group than Brick & Mortar.

If you’re asking yourself, “Hey, what about the sparkling?!” Yeah, my goal is for you to forget about that so I can spring it on you in four or five years. It’s like buying a Christmas present for someone in January!

Ps. We named our premium wines too. I can’t tell you what it is yet. Hint: Thirteen. That’s all.

-MSix

Belief in oneself is one of the most important bricks in building any successful venture.       -Lydia M. Childs

Month Recap

The month in recap:

Champagne & Fried Chicken was a huge success! We raised $5,400 for Wine to Water and had a great time doing it! Next year’s event is already on the drawing board. Location change? Perhaps, SAN FRANCISCO! Details will obviously follow.

Wine: We had leakage in our sparkling wine due to faulty capsules and a bit of human error. All signs seem to be pointing towards stability and moving forward with the aging process with 175 bottles remaining. The Pinot has recently been review by a winemaker of a big, famous winery as: “The nose on your Pinot is sexy as f***.” G-rated, family-oriented website here, but you get the gist: we are excited for a great Pinot Noir!

-MSix

Jamming to Mayer Hawthorne right now. Old school retro funk meets hipsters. Love it.