Author: Nickie

What does it mean to “hand bottle” wine?

Abbassi Vineyard Chardonnay that has been hand-bottled in our off-grid winery

The Terragena team often talks about our handmade wines, and that is something we’re serious about – our grapes are harvested by hand, and our winemaker is involved in every step of the process, including bottling.  What does “hand bottling” wine look like?  Well, we’ve tried the funnel-and-hose method before, but we have to say we’ve found a strategy that’s a bit more reliable and involves minimal mechanics so as to be off-grid friendly and gentle on the wine.

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An Unexpected Postscript to our Harvest Story

Terragena Nebbiolo at Lost Coast

Nebbiolo Grapes at Lost Coast Vineyard

We thought we were done with grape harvest for the year.  We had made it through the long days, equipment failures, and other adventures that popped up at our off-grid winery, and we were ready to cozy up with some warm beverages in front of the fire.

It was totally unexpected when our friends at Lost Coast Vineyard offered us the opportunity to harvest some beautiful nebbiolo grapes.  Talk about an offer we couldn’t refuse…

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Going Beyond the Wall

Abiqua Wind Vineyard, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Recently Chris took a roadtrip up the coast of California, through Oregon and Washington, and all the way to Victoria BC. It was a fantastic time traveling, visiting friends, and hiking all over the place. We also stopped in a bunch of wineries in the Willamette  and Rogue River Valleys in Oregon. Oregon has become well known for its excellent pinot noir, but what really blew us away was the pinot gris we tasted there.

And – it occurred to us – Oregon really isn’t that far away from the Terragena winery. Could we get some of those delicious grapes and make an Oregon wine in a California winery?

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Harvest 2016


Harvest prep: trucking barrels to the winery

The 2016 winemaking season has been particularly exciting for the Terragena team because this has been the first year we were able to make all of our wine at our off-grid Humboldt County, CA winery.  As luck (and the weather) would have it, the grapes across Northern California were ready a bit early this year, which left us a rather short timeline for preparing the winery space for winemaking.  Major thanks go out to Michael and Maria for their organizational and cleaning skills; they took the space from cluttered/disorganized to spotless-and-winemaking-ready in record time.

We harvested our first fruit of the season from the Abbassi family vineyard in the early morning hours of August 19. Our winemaker/truckdriver/proprietor Chris was on site at 3am to pick up the grapes and bring them from the vineyard in the Sonoma Carneros region all the way up to our Humboldt winery.  Everything was on schedule and Chris and the chardonnay grapes were headed northward when, at about 7am around Healdsburg, things got interesting.

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If you’ve gotten your hands on a bottle of Terragena wine, you may have noticed that we number each bottle by hand on the back label. But, you’ll never receive a bottle with a number less than 43. Not unless we like you a whole lot.

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You’ve been jammed

What’s up with the Terragena Jam?

If you’ve ever stayed at Terragena Vineyard through AirBnB, you’ve probably received a jar of our homemade black raspberry jam. What’s up with that?

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Eastern European Adventure


Our friend got married in this palace in Hungary. Not bad, huh?

A friend of Chris’s family got married recently in Hungary. She had a lovely wedding near Lake Balaton, and Chris and I had a blast. Did you know that Hungarian wedding receptions last all night? Neither did we. Do you know what Pálinka is? We didn’t either, but we sure do now.

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