Dear Friends of Fidelitas,
We had some great milestones this year, planting in our estate vineyard and releasing an estate wine. It's truly been a dream come true. Coming in the next year we have some amazing wines for you coming from our favorite vineyards on Red Mountain.
This year was the release of our first ever Estate Vineyard wine from our initial 3 acre planting from 2009: our 2012 Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Starting my career in 1988, I could hardly imagine not only having a family-owned Vineyard on Red Mountain, but also being fortunate enough to produce a wine from those vines. This has been a long time coming…perhaps the biggest milestone in my career to date. This wine is a representation of the premium Estate wine you can expect from Fidelitas. From hand selecting the perfect clones and using only the very best barrels, we made sure to pull out all the stops to create this beautiful wine. With only 50 cases remaining, you’ll want to be sure that you have this special bottle in your cellar before it’s gone.
The process to get water for irrigation to Red Mountain has been in the works for at least twenty years. This past spring, water became available through KID, and we were able to go forward with planting the remainder of our Estate Vineyard. My dream of owning an Estate Vineyard on Red Mountain is finally complete. We’ve been anxiously awaiting this since we initially purchased our home on Red Mountain back in 2007. Dick Boushey and his skilled crew worked hard to prepare the estate for the arrival of water. Dick and I obsessed over which Bordeaux varietals would excel in the Fidelitas Estate Vineyard and hand selected a variety of grapes and clones which we know and love, along with others that we are excited to experiment with in the years to come. In total we have about twelve acres in vine just outside our back door on Red Mountain. Our first release of this new planting should come from the 2017 vintage and we can’t wait to share these premium Estate wines with you.
Looking forward, we couldn’t be more excited about the 2013 wines to be released in the year ahead. Just this last week I tasted through each one of the wines which we will release in 2016 and I am very excited about how they are coming along. You’ll be seeing more wines from some of our favorite vineyards such as Quintessence and Ciel du Cheval and new to the line up: The Canyons Vineyard. I think the upcoming 2013 vintage is as good, if not better than the 2012 vintage. Each year that we work with these vineyards on Red Mountain we gain more knowledge about them and are able improve our winemaking techniques. I believe the best could be yet to come from Fidelitas.
Fidelitas exists as a winery because of our faithful customers. To each and every one of you, thank you for your continued support. Many of you have been around since the start of our wine club, others have joined in the more recent years or months, and the loyalty from each one of you is invaluable. We look forward to sharing many more milestones with you. Thank you and happy New Year.
Charlie Hoppes, Fidelitas Owner + Winemaker
During my workout this morning, the class instructor announced that she had some (a bottle) of champagne the night before. While I admired her for being so honest with us, it also made me realize that the indulgences of the holidays really do get to all of us (even those who teach fitness classes for a living rather than peddling wine, like me).
I love food. I love looking at pictures of it, dreaming about making the most complex of dishes, planning the menus, pairing the wines, and even going to the grocery store. While the food magazines and websites will tell us that this is the time of year to pull out all the stops, it’s not. They are wrong.
This is the time of year to slow it down. Pick simple, comforting, and beautiful dishes that are easy to execute, because we all know that at the same time we are wrapping gifts, wrangling sugar/gift crazed children, and zipping between holiday parties.
Here is a round up of things that caught my eye to make between now and 2016:
Renee Erickson’s Sauteed Dates (via Food 52, even though Renee’s a hometown here)
Baked Camembert with Pepper Jelly: just throw a little wheel in a cast iron, bake it, add some hot pepper jam (this one is amazing) on it towards the end and serve with baguette…so easy!
Smitten Kitchen’s Baked Orzo with Eggplant
Harissa Stew for something hearty yet not so rich
Finally, I cannot bake to save my life by these Ambrosia Macaroons are soooo easy (my 2-year old pretty much made them), were fan favorites at the Holiday Party, and are exceptional with Late Harvest Semillon.
I think we can all agree that 2015 went in the blink of an eye. But, there is a positive to the year coming to an end and that’s the Holiday Shopping Party!
The time of year when our twinkle lights get strung in the tasting room and everyone is in the holiday spirit is always one of my favorites here. The only way to celebrate is by having a festive gathering with catered food, Christmas cookies (prepared by your wonderful Fidelitas staff), door prizes, and gift wrapping. Although we did make delicious meatballs last year, we thought this year we would take it up on a notch and use the fabulous Bis On Main as our caterer. And here is what they had to share with us…
Lamb Crostini with White Bean Puree
Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
Arancini (Risotto Balls) with Marinara Sauce
Duck Confit on a Potato Crisp Topped with an Amarena Cherry
Then we move to the Cookie Bar…
Peppermint Brownie Cookies
Ginger Molasses Cookies
Just 361 more days until our Holiday Shopping Party 2016 edition! We hope those who weren’t able to attend this year are able to experience all of the fun next holiday season.
Happy Holiday’s from Team Fidelitas!
‘Tis the Season of last minute gift grabbing: heading to someone’s house, a party, or an appointment, and wanting to give something better than a regift from last year. Keep a case of easy drinkers and pretty tissue handy all season long so you never show up empty handed.*
Perhaps the most obvious, but for a reason! People work hard to throw a party at their home and always appreciate the acknowledgement of a gift. And – if you call it a hostess gift instead of a bar contribution, they feel like they get to keep that special bottle to themselves.
…are always better with a little wine. Don’t trust Uncle Jack to have enough supply to keep everyone going through the course of a family get together. Bring a bottle of your own to make sure there is enough for the duration!
I was getting my hair done 2 weeks before Christmas last year and someone popped in to give my stylist a bottle of wine. There I was, a winery employee, and totally empty handed. A nice bottle can go a long way for the people with whom you have a great relationship, but maybe didn’t make the major mall shopping list.
*Note: in no way am I suggesting that these wines should be consumed in your car, which is illegal. If you think you might be tempted, keep the corkscrew at home. Also, be careful about the weather! Wines left outside overnight when the temps drop could freeze, and that is really sad.