If you have a passion for wine, then you’d agree that being a winemaker for a day is a special treat. On Sunday, 8/25, I had the opportunity to attend Pulchella Winery’s Winemaker For A Day event at their super-secret winery here in Santa Clarita. I attended the event with a few of my very good friends, Eve Bushman, Jill Friedman and Melissa Pietrosanti. To say that we had a blast doesn’t do the afternoon justice.
Upon arrival, winery co-owner Nate Hasper greeted us, handed us a wine glass and explained the order of events for the afternoon. He then opened the doors to the Pulchella Winery where we were treated with 4 walls lined with wine barrels, tables for the guests and a quaint little spread of munchables. His partner, Steve Lemley, took over at that point and explained that the 5-gallon bucket was our “dump bucket” and the bottles of wine surrounding it were bottles of Cabernet, Field Blend (a blend of Petite Sirah and Tempranillo) , Syrah and Zinfandel that will be used for blending. The four stainless steel tanks at the end of the room held the same wines from which we were could sample the wines to be blended.
Ok, now for blending time. The term “blending” alone is a little intimidating, so Steve explained that we should start with one of the wines from the stainless steel tanks and add other wines to try and make it better. So to break it down, basically, you get a little of this wine, add a little of that wine, maybe through in a drop of the other wine and voilà – you have a blended wine! I quickly realized, however, that the art is in trying to figure out exactly how much of this and how much of that to add. Oh, and write everything down, because after about 10 attempts at blending, you will absolutely forget which blend you enjoyed the most.
Once you concocted your “ultimate” blend, you handed the numbers over to Nate and Steve where they proceeded to bottle your blend for you. My blend of choice was 50% Cabernet and 50% Field blend. The winning blend of the day, however, was 40% Cabernet, 5% Syrah, 5% Field Blend and 50% Zinfandel bottled by “The Winning” team. Congratulations, I look forward to tasting your blend at the Pulchella Tasting room in the near future.
If you have the opportunity, join Pulchella for one of their blending afternoons, I guarantee that you will laugh, drink, eat and enjoy everything about it. Thanks Nate, Steve and Eve for a memorable afternoon!