First of all, thank you for your concerns and prayers. Many have reached out to let me know that we have been in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Now that I have had a moment to just breathe and contemplate on what has happened in my community, I thought I would give you an update on Team Passaggio.
I have seen some devasting sites. Heard some devastaing stories from nearby neighbors. This is no doubt, a horiffic tragedy that has struck our communities. It started Sunday evening as I slept. I had no idea what was going on until I woke on Monday morning. I let Phoebe (my Airedale) out about 5;30am to a familiar smell of heavy smoke. I knew right away something was wrong. I turned on the TV. There it was. Devastation. Shock. Disbelief. What was going on? I started getting texts from friends making sure I was ok. I started texting my team to see if they were ok. Thankfully, everyone was fine. Our neighbors to the north were going through hell. The fires began to spread. How could this be? The fires were now everywhere. Napa. Sonoma. Santa Rosa. I hurried to get ready to head to the winery to check on the wines. The winery was fine. I hurried through brix and temps as I tried to keep up with what was going on. I couldn't concentrate. I was trying to find my happy place and I couldn't. I checked the tasting room on my way back home. All was well for now.
Parts of the town of Sonoma were evacutaed on Wednesday night. It was on my mind all night. My friends, their homes, their businesses, my business...the winery. I was able to check the winery on Thursday and all was well. Frank checked the tasting room. It will need some cleaning, but all is well. We are very fortunate.
It's amazing how people rally together in times of despair. People were opening up their homes to others who had lost everything. Some were rallying together to fix food for fire fighters and first responders. Others were putting together things to donate. A freind of mine in Sonoma took it upon herself to put out updates on Twitter and Facebook for those who needed to know what was happening. I am also very thankful to Cal Fire, surrounding areas first responders, and those who came in from other states and areas to assist in this tragedy.
It's now Thursday. Feels like it's been forever since Monday. I know that Hope and Grace abound in this community and that we will rally together to do whatever it takes to rebuild it. I have seen the hashtag going around #SonomaStrong. It's the truth. Believe it.
It's not over yet. The fires are still burning. People are still evacutated and being evacutated from their homes as I write this email. People are hurting. They have been displaced, or have lost everything. They are dealing with smoke inhalations. Road closures. Lost loved ones. Please continue to keep this area in your thoughts and prayers.
We will keep the Passaggio Tasting Room closed untl it's safe for all. We look forward to the day we can re-open and share a glass of wine with you.
For those who are our neighbors, and you have been affected by these fires, and need help, please reach out to us. Or if you know of someone affected and they need help, let us know. We will do whatever we can.
If you want to give to those who have been affected by these horriffic wild fires, there's a link at the bottom of the page that will direct you to several places to donate.
It's not every day that you get someone in the tasting room who makes an awesome video and posts in on social media. I love it when people do that! I think this boomerang video says it all about Passaggio Wines. It's something we do on a daily basis. It's our lifestyle. It's our passion. This is Us. There is a built in romance surround wine...and we want to share it with you. Join us in the tasting room for a glass.
Well...I believe the purpose of wine is far more interesting than we think. There are several reasons the Passaggio Wines are created. First and foremost Passaggio Wines are created for you to enjoy. When you open a bottle of wine you are opening a whole life time of the vines' passion. The terroir where the vine has its deep roots. The aromas and flavors that are connected to that vine. From your first sniff and taste, you can begin to feel the passion put forth from the winemaker and the grapes as they meld together in your glass.
Secondly, Passaggio Wines are made to pair with food. There is nothing better than sitting down to eat a great meal and having an awesome glass of wine that accents the food before you.
Last but not least...Passaggio Wines are made to share with friends and family. There is something to be said about giving a great bottle of wine to someone. It tells them you are one who likes to share. It shows you are someone who takes the time to pick out a nice bottle of wine to please them.
So the next time you purchase a bottle of wine think about its purpose and the passion that brought it from the vine to your table. Enjoy the display of passion when that bottle is poured for your friends and family.
There are many articles on the web about following your passion. Follow Your Passion, Don't Follow Your Passion, Why Follow Your Passion is Bad Advice, Are you Living Your Passion, The Career Tip to Following Your Passion, etc, etc...
I believe in the power of following your passion. We all have different ideas of what that actually means. Some believe that you cannot follow your passion and make a living. But is that what it's really all about? If you are pursuing your passion just to chase the almighty dollar - you may not succeed. I truly believe there is more to it than that.
I often meet people in the tasting room and am able to pour wines they have never heard of or never tasted. I am able to share with other people who have various passions. I have heard some awesome "follow your passion" stories, and am able to share my story as well. I see the strength in passion.
If you are having difficulty in believing in the power of passion, and you feel it is not working for you, consider these Five Ways to Show The Power of Passion:
1) Share your successes or failures - it brings about a sense of community
2) Show others that you really care - listen to them with not only your ears but your eyes and your heart
3) Use your passion to give back - help those around you who may need inspiration or encouragement
4) Spread good news - it's contagious
5) Connect with others - bridge gaps and distances between people
Passion is a driving force. Following your passion is not about the money. It's about finding life's path that is caring, sharing, connecting, loving, and fulfilling. It's inside each of us.
Follow Your Passion
"Since we move in time through a sequence of spaces, we experience a space in relation to where we’ve been to where we anticipate going" ~ Ching
I love this time of the year. New beginnings. New horizons. Old things have passed away.
Walking through the vineyards this time of the year actually brings a soothing to my soul. Walking the narrow rows of young living vines during the early morning hours can be quite peaceful. The sun not opening it's eyes yet as I quietly stroll through the rows of pruned vines. The dew still on the ground and the fog merging with the sweet smells around me. The rows tend to disappear into the fog. The vines are quiet and still, standing at attention as if their commander in chief had just walked by for inspection. All I can hear is the sound of my own breathing. I start to sing. Music soothes my soul.
I begin to think about the vines. What struggles have they gone through...their souls cut back to bare minimum. They are starting over. New beginnings are about to emerge. What is in store for them this year? The vines will soon bud again and new fruit will spring forth.
Much like our own lives, we need new beginnings. We need a new start. Take a walk through the rows of your life and see the new horizons ahead of you...look closely through the fog...it's there. It will emerge. New fruit will soon spring forth...start singing. Be encouraged...
"I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends,
the old and new."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
It's the day after Thanksgiving and all is well. I have been reflecting back on this past year and thinking how thankful I am. Thankful...what exactly does that mean? Being thankful doesn't have to be something we feel, it can also be something we do. We should never run out of things we are thankful or grateful for.
Each day this week, I posted photos of "thankful for us" on Facebook. I am surrounded by loving friends and family. "I am Thankful."
I hope this Thanksgiving as you sat around the table with family and friends, you talked about what you were thankful for to each other.
What am I thankful for? There are not enough days to share it all. One thing I do know...I am thankful for you.
I hope you're ready for holiday cookies!!!
The holidays are right around the corner. I am in the baking mood so I wanted to share a special recipe with you that I posted in 2009...it has since evolved into Passaggio Passionistas Biscotti
Let's get started.
Passaggio Passionistas Biscotti
The Biscotti cookie was traditionally made for dunking in wine. (but you can dunk it in whatever you like)
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup butter (I use lightly salted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons of lemon zest
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons reduced Passaggio Unoaked Chardonnay
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Place almonds in shallow pan - bake until golden brown (usually about 8-10min) Let cool.
Reduce about 1 cup of Passaggio Unoaked Chardonnay - set aside to cool
In mixing bowl cream your butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, almond extract and lemon zest. Add your reduced Passaggio Unoaked Chardonnay. In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Add this to your cream mixture until blended. Cut your almonds into halves or thirds and fold into mixture.
Divide your dough in half and place on greased and floured baking sheet. Using floured hands, shape the dough into logs about 1/2 inch thick, about 1 1/2 inched wide and 12 inches long. Place pan on middle rack and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Take logs and place on rack to cool for about 5 minutes. Using a serrated knife slice diagonally (45 degree angle) about 1/2 inch thick. Lay your cookies flat on the baking pan and place back in the oven for about 10 minutes (watch closely) turning them once. Remove from oven and place on rack to cool.
This recipe usually makes about 3 dozen cookies. I store mine in a cookie tin.
I like dipping mine in a glass of Passaggio Unoaked Chardonnay. You may find them delightful dipped in a cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or even with champagne. Sit back, relax, and share with friends...
As I look back over the course of this remarkable journey of Passaggio Wines, I am amazed at the number of people who have been involved in the making of an awesome wine company. What a journey! Starting in 2007, with just fifty cases of Unoaked Chardonnay, has grown to over 1100 cases in 2015.
I want to give a shout out to all those who have lifted me up in hard times, lent a helping hand when I needed it, listened to me vent and sigh from time to time, and encouraged me. I could not have done this without all of you.
We have done it! We have grown Passaggio Wines into what it is today. We now have our own production facility. Today, we continue that journey with the first fruit being brought in to the new winery. The 2016 Harvest starts off with Pinot Grigio from Sonoma Coast.
So...it is with heartfelt gratitude that I thank you. You have helped make my dream come true.
Happy Harvest 2016!!
Harvest is upon us. I have tucked the 2015 barrels away and got started on cleaning everthing (with the help of my good friend, Linda Yee)
Having my own space has been freeing and exhilarating. And at the same time, exhausting. I can't wait to bring in the 2016 harvest to the Passaggio Winery! What fun this is going to be...
Stay tuned for more!! Hang on to your hats...this is going to be a great ride!!
It all starts with a dream and a belief that you can achieve whatever it is you have set out to do. When I first launched Passaggio Wines in 2007, I had no idea that I would one day have my own winery. Sometimes when you are following your dream, other things come your way as you are on your journey.
I met Steve Law, owner and winemaker of MacLaren Wines, when I moved into the Passaggio Tasting room two years ago. We became great friends and share a common theme. Wine Making. We both have that same passion. We are wine geeks to say the least.
Steve and I decided late last year to join our resources and build our own production facility. We both knew this would be a rough ride but we persevered and now the time has come. We will be in the winery for harvest 2016.
I am delighted and excited to start this new adventure with my friend. This new chapter starts now....stay tuned for more of our journey!