The wild flowers are in
bloom, spring is just around the corner, and everything on the ranch is
coming back to life. Birds are flying around with straw in their mouths
looking for nesting sites. Even though the trees don’t yet have leaves these
‘early birds’ are anxious to get started. New growth is popping out
everywhere in the oak trees, gardens, and in the vineyard too. Walking in the
vineyards we see newly formed little nibs of green signaling that the grape
leaves will be emerging soon. Signs that another seasonal cycle is beginning.
So far we have had over 24" of rain this winter
which bodes well for our upcoming crop.
Dan and our vineyard manager Sebastian have been
preparing to plant more Pinot Noir vines by clearing some of the apple trees
from the northern part of our property. This is an ongoing project which
began with removing the apple trees which we use as firewood. The tree roots
will be removed later in the spring when the ground is dry enough to prevent
soil erosion. After the new vines are planted they will require 3-4 years
before the grapes are of high enough quality to produce world class wine.
Our event season is beginning soon and we look
forward to another busy year. Mark your calendars for our Spring Celebration
pick up party on Sunday, April 29. The rains should be over by then so plan
on a beautiful sunny day in the backyard. We hope you can make it! As always,
this event will be free to our wine club members and one guest ($45.00/per
person otherwise). We will send out invitations soon after we finalize our
plans. In the next few weeks we will be barrel tasting our 2017 Pinot Noir
vintage and we will give you an advance tasting at the party.
We have a new offer to extend to our wine club
members: any member who brings in a new wine club member will receive a
bottle of one of our wines as our gift. Tell your friends and family about
us! Bring ‘em in!
Finally, we have included a classic French fish
recipe for you. It’s an easy go-to recipe and works well for entertaining,
too. We hope you like it.
Till we see you again, Happy Spring!
Dan and Jan O’Connell
and everyone at O’Connell Vineyards
This recipe is perfect for an early Spring luncheon or dinner. Serve with a
crisp salad on the side
and our O’Connell Vineyards Chardonnay.
Sole Belle Meunière
• 4-6 whole cleaned petrale or rex sole, or 2 lbs sole fillets
• salt and pepper
• all purpose flour
• olive oil
• 2 T butter, melted
• minced parsley
• lemon wedges
Sprinkle fish lightly with salt and pepper. Dust with flour, shaking off
In a wide frying pan heat about 1/4 inch of oil over medium high
heat. Without crowding add fish and cook, turning once, until fish is
golden on each side and flakes easily when prodded in thickest portion with
Allow 1 ½ to 2 minutes per side for whole fish, 1 to 1 ½ minutes per side
Lift from pan, drain briefly on paper towels, and keep warm until all are
cooked. Arrange on a serving platter, drizzle butter over fish, sprinkle
with parsley and serve with lemon.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.