Farming is a tough business. One minute things are green, growing, and sunshiny, then the next minute, Mother Nature reminds you who is actually in charge. During a growing season, few things are more detrimental than rain during harvest, or, as was the case two weeks ago, a hard frost during spring. We’ve included an article below about this season’s damage. As farmers, we really are at the mercy of the weather around us.
Our family is grateful that, over the years, we’ve had very few events like this. The good news is that our Home Ranch is open and ready to welcome you for a visit, a wine tasting, a picnic, or one of our many events scheduled for the sunnier days ahead!
Warren, Jody, and Ryan Bogle
As a rule of thumb, companies change up the look of their products every few years. After a several-years-long process, we are proud to unveil our newly designed label for our Bogle traditional wines.
In 1996 when we released our “new” label, we hoped it would be well received. Our previous label had been gold and black, very timely for the early 1990s. Our goal was to create a label that looked elegant, classy, and indicative of the quality inside the bottle. We had no idea it would become such a stalwart in the industry.
Fast forward a couple of decades and our family felt it was time to make some subtle changes to the label. Market testing, focus groups, and hundreds of designs ensued over the course of nearly two years! Keeping the label current and classy was key, but we also wanted to update it, more of an evolution than revolution. There were several things that we felt strongly about keeping. First and foremost, we retained the iconic “off-oval” shape that has come to identify Bogle. The romance copy on the front label, as well as the varietal name in script and our beloved pheasants, were existing design elements that we felt created an authentic, family feel to our wines, though we did take this opportunity to update the story on the front label.
Family is taking center stage with the creation and introduction of our new “Bogle Family Vineyards” logo.
“As a 6th generation farming family, it felt very important to design a label that better represents our family values,” says Ryan Bogle. “We are excited about the new look and can’t wait to see it in our Wine Shop, on retail shelves, and on dining tables across the US.”
Other changes include removing some of the background design, simplifying the label, and creating a clean, elegant look. Last, we wanted to share more information about each wine, and have included winemaker notes on the back of each bottle.
“Now folks can learn about each wine they have in front of them, simply by turning the bottle around,” says Ryan.
We are proud to share this new look with you and hope you’ll keep an eye out for it as you shop for wines. Though it will take a few months for the wines to make their way to store shelves, our Wine Shop will be well-stocked with the new wines by mid-May.
As a 6th-generation farming family, we’ve faced plenty of challenges through the years. From failed potato crops to losing our original landholdings during the Great Depression, our family understands that farming, as a rule, is nothing if not a difficult business. This year’s growing season is no exception to that rule, with our vineyards facing the first widespread frost event since 2008.
In the early morning hours of April 12th, Mother Nature reminded us all that it is in charge, surprising farmers across the state with an unexpected cold front. Clarksburg, where the bulk of our estate acres is planted, saw temperatures drop between 28 to 30 degrees. Our Indian Springs Vineyard, in the Sierra Nevada foothills, felt temperatures as low as 25 degrees.
The Clarksburg appellation that we call home was one of the most seriously affected areas in the state. Damage ranged from marginal to severe, depending on the micro-climate of each vineyard. With no frost protection measures in place here, there really isn’t much that can be done to prevent such an unexpected event.
The Sierra Foothills region was also hit hard. The elevation and micro-climates of vineyards there contributed to the frost event, and though our Indian Springs Vineyard has frost protection in the form of micro-sprinklers, at temperatures that low, they couldn’t stave off the damage.
And the cold didn’t discriminate between red or white wine grapes. All varieties were affected, with pinot noir seeing the most widespread damage.
So what now? Vines that have been damaged will push secondary and additional basal buds, though this new growth produces much less fruit.
“An event of this scope is hard to take, but that is farming,” says Warren Bogle, president and vineyard director. “It wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last, so you just have to play the cards you’re dealt. We know we’ll have crop losses, but at this point, we just have to hope for the best.”
In the meantime, Warren and our winegrowing team have been proactively working with our grower partners around the state to secure more fruit for the growing season. With our large network of vineyards grown in various regions, we will be able to make up for what has been lost.
“Bogle Family Vineyards will still produce a great 2022 vintage,” says Warren. “Don’t worry, we haven’t missed one in 54 years.”
When we consider farming, most of us think about crops such as corn, tomatoes, and winegrapes. But how many of us think of caviar?
Tsar Nicoulai Caviar is a pioneer of sustainable, farm-to-table American caviar. While many people associate the delicacy with holiday appetizers or celebratory festivities, the family behind Tsar Nicoulai believes that anyone can enjoy caviar anytime.
President Ali Bolourchi is truly committed to his family business. “Since our humble beginnings in San Francisco in 1984, our family has been handcrafting small-batch American caviar without the use of antibiotics, growth hormones, GMOs or synthetic preservatives, all while upholding the highest standards of sustainability,” says Ali. “It isn’t just a word, sustainability is an action.”
In 1984, UCDavis researchers identified our local California White Sturgeon as a unique species capable of naturally producing high-quality caviar. To take advantage of such a valuable local resource, the family at Tsar Nicoulai manages their own broodstock and spawning, thus controlling their fish lineage and their unique grades of caviar ranging from Classic to Crown Jewel. The farm itself is Eco-Certified, audited by a 3rd party organization annually, with a focus on quality and animal welfare. Located in Wilton, California, the farm is situated just 10 miles from Sacramento Delta waterways, where native White Sturgeon thrive. By simulating native conditions, Tsar Nicoulai is able to harvest high-quality caviar for all to enjoy.
While many may not have ever tried caviar, many more might not know that caviar is rich in Omega-3s and loaded with B12, amino acids, and antioxidants. Long known as a superfood, caviar has high levels of selenium, which is noted to improve the immune system. Steroid-free, antibiotic-free, and full of heart-healthy nutrients, caviar is not only delicious, but it is good for you.
Tsar Nicoulai’s many grades of caviar can be found at their café in San Francisco’s Ferry Building, select retail locations, and for delivery across the country by order. It can also now be enjoyed at our Home Ranch in Clarksburg. Along with several different kinds of caviar, we have crème fraiche and potato chips…everything you need to create a delicate and delicious snack to pair with our Reserve Chardonnay or our sparkling wines.
“I always thought caviar was just a special occasion item,” says Jody Bogle, who had the opportunity to tour the farm and learn firsthand about the production of caviar. “It was such an eye-opening experience to learn about the process and to connect the various kinds of caviar with our range of wines. We look forward to sharing what we have learned with others at a Bogle Adventure.”
Scheduled for June 29th, a small group will be touring the Wilton farm and learning about sustainable “aquaculture.” The tour will be followed by a wine and caviar tasting, and a light luncheon. Watch our website and emails for signup information.
In the meantime, check out the Tsar Nicoulai website and especially their fun video recipes collection. We are proud to partner with another family farm that puts sustainability and integrity first.