WHAT’S NEW . . . as of 2/17/17

BBC delivery soonorder soon to ensure delivery
Home or office delivery to Puget Sound area and beyond (Bung it in the Boot of your Car)
Sale Wines
Sale: B’s Blend, Sangiovese, Baby Barn Owl Red
Special Events
Red Wine & Chocolate, Vineyard Tours
Words from the Winegrower
White December, January, and February
Wine with Friends
Wine tasting in your home

If the sun seems to be lacking where you live, come to where we live.
Wine is half price if it’s raining when you purchase it in our tasting room.

**** Virtual tour video here ****

BBC delivery soonorder soon to ensure delivery
Home or office delivery to Puget Sound area and beyond (Bung it in the Boot of your Car)

I am going over to Seattle soon for a quick wine run and to see some family and friends. I jump at any opportunity to visit my mum.

No amount of wine is too small or too big to deliver. Ordering instructions and the price list are here.

Not sure when I will be driving over but order soon and it will be Bunged in the Boot of my Car (BBC). Give us a call (509.829.9000)! You will want to know about our sale wines before you order. Read on . . .

Sale Wines
Sale: B’s Blend, Sangiovese, Baby Barn Owl Red

We discovered a couple of cases of the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon in our cased-good storage area. So, if you have been pining for this wine, here is an unexpected chance to pick up a few more bottles. After this is gone, then we are totally out of Cab until the 2013 vintage matures. Grab some now or you will need to wait for a few years. 

Wine Specials
Special price continuation on B’s Blend, Sangiovese, and Baby Barn Owl Red

50% off 12 bottles B’s Blend   $84   ($7/bottle)
50% off 12 bottles Sangiovese   $84   ($7/bottle)
50% off 12 bottles Baby Barn Owl Red   $99   ($8.25/bottle)

And of course, you can do any sort of mix and match and get case prices. We are running low on the Baby Barn Owl Red. There is plenty of the B’s Blend and the Sangiovese (previously called Under 10 Buck Red).

Live Owl Cam
The Owl Cam will be up soon. We think we have a pair of barn owls roosting there. Hopefully we will have another lively parliament, brood, diss, nest, looming, flock, stare, congress, glaring, hooting, bazaar, sagaciousness, or wisdom of baby owls to watch this spring. Whoooooo knew there are so many names for a bunch of owls? Pun intended.

We use ten cents from every bottle of Baby Barn Owl Red that we sell to make more barn owl boxes. So far we have built five and have plans for four more.

Special Events
Red Wine & Chocolate, Vineyard Tours
Red Wine & Chocolate February 18, 19, & 20, 2017 (Saturday – Monday of Presidents’ Day Weekend)
Nine chocolate bites with wine

Plan a romantic getaway and celebrate a late Valentines at Paradisos del Sol. Enjoy our micro-mini Lilliputian ten-course under-50-calories winemaker’s snack, ten tiny nibbles—nine include chocolate: seven savories and two sweets. Below are the details:

Explore your senses and taste our Paradisos Red paired with teeny tiny tacos with chocolate-chipotle molé sauce; Rosé Paradiso with cacaó-mushroom pâté; Oyster White with Brie dusted with cocoa powder; Sève with chocolate-peanut sauce; B’s Blend with an artichoke heart, basil, cacaó pesto sauce; Sangiovese with pepperoni dipped in dark chocolate; and Naked Chick Baby Barn Owl Red with a bean in chocolate-adobo sauce.

We always celebrate with dessert!

Enjoy the sweet succulent combination of Zort wine with Truffles Paradisos, a handcrafted French-style chocolate truffle flavored with grains of paradise and raspberries concocted by our friends Aaron and Karl at Intrigue Chocolate. Top off your experience with a skosh of vegan pumpkin custard dusted with cocoa, a perfect complement to our Angelica MRS.

$10 tasting fee waived with $20 purchase. Rattlesnake Hills Passport holders and Wine Yakima Valley Premier Passholders enjoy wine discounts from 10% to 50%.

And here you are thinking, “I am busy that weekend but I still want to experience this!” We have put together a romantic chocolate dinner idea for you.

Love, Chocolate, Wine—Food of the Gods.

Thinking of chocolate only as candy is too limiting (though a glass of Zort and a dark chocolate truffle IS a mystical experience). Chocolate candy represents less than 200 years of the thousands of years of culinary chocolate. In antiquity people of Central America used cacao (thxoatl, chocolate) as a spice and a beverage more akin to espresso. Milk and sugar were not in the recipes.

When we prepare our plate for Red Wine and Chocolate on Presidents’ Day Weekend we use chocolate as spice, sauce, and candy.

Ya wanna impress your sweet baboo at Valentines? Don’t make a reservation at an overbooked restaurant. Prepare a five-course, all chocolate meal. Here is the menu that we will be having on the 14th .

            * Brie lightly dusted with cocoa powder. We serve with Rosé Paradiso.
            * Smoked Salmon with Cacao Nibs to continue the prelude with the Rosé.
            * Chicken in Molé de Cacao, served with Paradisos Red.
            * Spring Greens, Apple, Toasted Nuts, Cacao Nibs with Paradisos Red.
            * Truffles are at the end. May we recommend Truffle Paradiso from Intrigue Chocolate with our Zort ?

1) Brie: Slice about 1 ounce of Brie per person onto a plain white plate. Sprinkle cacao powder lightly over to dust cheese and plate. Practice on empty plate to get cool fractal design patterns. Enjoy with a glass of Rosé and a kiss. We like crackers or good bread with the cheese. Not too much, there are courses to go and gorged stomachs interfere with love.

2) Salmon: Cacao nibs are whole cacao beans roasted and crushed to particles about rock salt size. Not likely to be at the grocers. Intrigue Chocolate can supply.

Press the smoked fish onto the nibs that are spread in a layer, a very light dusting of powdered Chipotle if y’all like a little heat. Chocolate and chili are a very ancient combo. Keep it light so it doesn’t overpower the Rosé. Kevin’s Jelly Bean Store can provide powdered chipotle; order from us.

3) Chicken: Thighs are best, brown them, then into the crockpot. Buy a jar of molé, reconstitute with wine, add some cocoa powder, pour over chicken. After an hour or so taste. Add more cocoa powder if desired, maybe a pinch of chipotle. Simmer another hour, adjust again. Four hours in the pot is good, six may be better. Start in the morning or even the day before.

Remove chicken from pot, debone, and return meat to sauce.

Make some tortillas when it’s time to serve, tortillas are easy to make from masa. Or warm some up.

Roll the sauced chicken in a tortilla, take a bite, lick your fingers, sip some wine, laugh. Repeat.

Click here for a tortilla-making video; it is really very simple to do.

4) Salad: Toss greens with vinegar, then olive oil. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and cacao nibs, add some sliced apple, have another glass of Paradisos Red. Giggle a bit, kiss your sweetie.

5) Truffles: Hey this is the easy part. A romantic comedy, some good truffles, and a bit of Zort.

The rest is up to you!

Vineyard Tours
Paul offers vineyard tours every Sunday morning at 9. It’s only $20 per person and includes our wine tasting at the end. He visits four different vineyards and talks about what is going on right now. They are very educational and fun. I learn something new every time I tag along. The vineyard tour takes about two hours and then another chunk of time for the wine tasting. Click here to reserve your spot: Book Vineyard Tour

Words from the Winegrower
White December, January, and February

Cold. It is the Hallmark of this winter, so far. We have had snow on the ground since December 9th, quite the exceptional winter.

The grapes of 2016 were wonderful. This is because of the many hands that helped in the vineyard this season. My intern Raquel sweated away the summer while learning our philosophy. WWOOFERs, from Une of Norway, to Carol of Seattle, and René from China, contributed many hours of vineyard toil to make it possible to avoid pesticides for the fourth consecutive year. ZERO PESTICIDES for four years! We now have nine varieties in production that have never been sprayed with a pesticide.

Toshi, Madison, Joy, Xuanhao, Yusheng, Kristina, René, Garret, Elise, Shelby, Olivia, CJ, Ali, Emmi, Kevin, son Kevin, and Paris all added to the season’s fertility with their sweat, blisters, and occasional drop of blood.

The Spring was early and kind, lovely dry conditions to start vines off well. The abundant moisture from winter gave the entire root system access to the soil’s richness. Summer was warm without blistering heat and we got our nice September cooling trend to give us nice ripening conditions.

I’m glad things ripened before the fall rains that hit. It was warm, humid, showery weather in the latter part of October. The few clusters we missed during picking quickly developed molds. It was the first vintage in my career that rain was a factor in harvest scheduling. We picked our last varieties a few days earlier than we might have otherwise, due to a forecast of a week of rainy, humid, warm conditions. The soil mycorrhizae responded by producing mushrooms from over a dozen species in the vineyard, very unusual and a great indicator of soil health. The worms were also extremely pleased.

Statewide it was a big vintage; many vineyards didn’t bring in all the fruit because wineries ran out of space. So in theory any lower quality fruit didn’t get used.

Thank you, National Weather Service folks, for your good forecasting.

I start most days by getting my highly localized (my little farm has two zones!) weather forecast. High today 18 (wrote this on January 4th), low tonight 0. Brrrrrrrr. But hey the sun is shining. Which is actually NOT the ideal for the vines (daytime trunk warming), but nice for us mammals.

Weather forecast has stopped me pruning twice this winter with predictions of zero degrees. Pruning temporarily reduces the vine’s ability to endure cold. It takes five days or so for a vine to reestablish cold hardiness.

Zero Fahrenheit is where it starts to get dicey from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day. Usually the vines are fully acclimated and suffer no damage till the temperature goes below zero. Significant damage starts in the minus 5-10 range. Below that it starts into major damage conditions.

So far no problems. But I’m going stir crazy without my daily fix of time in the vineyard!

The Wines
Those of you in the Seattle area may start to see Paradisos del Sol on the occasional shelf or wine list. We now have Randy Wehl doing outside sales for us. We are doing test marketing with Alaska airlines with a private label. We have flown (so to speak) on charter flights with the Seahawks, Huskies, and Cougars. Pete Carroll loves our wine!

We of course, still deliver to your door at special Wine Club prices. If you wish to see us at your favorite wine supplier, let us know.

Barbara continues to road trip every other week or so delivering to most of the State’s population. If you need some bottled sunshine we have some that has been in a cool dark room for years and yearns to be Set Free!

Call us, text us, email us to have wine brought to your doorstep at our best prices.

Having lived below the Federal Poverty Level for many, many years we are very concerned about pricing. We have kept at least two of our wines below $10 at full retail since 2004. Unfortunately this thing called inflation makes it difficult to sustain. For instance, bottle costs have nearly doubled, bottles are the third largest expense we have in producing wine for you. Packaging alone has raised the cost of a bottle over 40¢.

You can still buy wine for Under 10 Bucks. Direct purchase, case quantities, which means some combination that is 12 or more bottles. A case of wine on your door step for less than $100. Wine grown without pesticides, wine with ingredient labeling, wine guaranteed to be yummy.

Coming Soon
We have a couple of small, one-time-only things in the pipeline. Both are dessert wines, a Muscatel and a cacao- and coffee-infused tawny based on Cabernet Sauvignon. Mocha wine? Mocha (P) Ort?

These are experiments we think worked out well. Barbara wanted a mocha dessert wine and likes tawny ports. I like Barbara, you see how it goes.

The Muscatel is tiny production, less than 100 bottles. Muscatel? Classic fortified wine for 800+ plus years, sweet wine from Muscat varieties of many iterations. Perhaps a one-time offer.

The Mort (?) is a bigger production, I got carried away. I started with 4 barrels of 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon that I thought was good, but not great. CS is a good variety for port type wines and Barbara had expressed a desire for Tawny Port. Then in 2012 we started playing with it. Adding coffee beans, vanilla, and cacao nibs, among other things to small test batches (think 375-ml bottle). Some worked, some not so much.

In 2015 I took a deep breath and added ground coffee I bought from a family in Nicaragua and roasted at home, cacao nibs via friend Aaron the Chocolatier, raw organic sugar, and vanilla pods. To all four barrels. For us that’s a big batch of wine.

I added the ingredients in small increments over nine months. You can add more but it’s hard to take something out.

Some people like it a bit sweeter, feel free to add a little simple syrup if that’s your style. You can add more but it’s hard to take out as it applies to sweetness as well as cacao.

So now I’m working on a name and label. 10 Year Tawny Mort? 10 Year Tawny Mocha Ort? Le Petite Mort? What do you think?

Steps in a Bottle

We pay a lot of attention to our carbon footprint, our environmental footprint.

This past week out pruning in the snow has me pondering. How many footprints in the vineyard for a bottle of wine? Not steps, because as you see, we aren’t usually marching down the row. It looks more like those painted on pavement dance steps. Something diagrammed as a weird choreography.

image1Here are some of the numbers.

Pruning:                  7 footprints per meter of cordon
2nd pass:                2
Catch wire:             4
Disbudding:            6
Shoot thinning:      7
2nd pass:                5
3rd pass:                 4
Weed whacking:     2
2nd time:                2
Irrigation:                2
Harvest:                  7
Total:                    49 footprints per meter of cordon

This is being sort of conservative, I walk hundreds of meters on 300+ days a year in monitoring pocket gopher and other activity in the vineyard. I think there are probably at least another 10 footprints per meter. But we will use 50 as our number.

Riesling in 2016 yielded 1.74 kilograms per meter. Middle of our pack, so I’ll use it for this exercise:
28.7 footprints per kg.
1.2 kg for one bottle
Let’s call it 35 footprints for each bottle. That makes 7 footprints to grow a glass of our wine.

Some large scale producers have fewer than 5 human footprints. They have more tire prints. But I’m trying to figure out how to avoid tractors in the vineyard. We don’t use a sprayer, instead we do a lot of shoot thinning. It makes an environment unfavorable to pests and improves fruit qualities.

Wine with Friends
Wine tasting in your home

Having a few people over? Want to do something fun before a book club meeting? Don’t know what to do with your house full of relatives? Want to do an employee-morale event? Want to make Barbara happy?

We have a program that we think you will really enjoy. It is called Wine with Friends. This is where we bring our tasting room experience to your home. We do all the work, you have all the fun (well, we have lots of fun also). We have several under our belt now and we are hoping that many more of you sign up to do one.

Here are a couple of many possibilities:

1.  Our Regular Tasting

Wine for tasting
Little food plates (35-calorie micro-mini Lilliputian winemaker dinner)
$10/person, waived with $30 purchase each (on average)
Minimum six people
Host gets 15% off 1-11 bottles or 30% off 12+
     (Or special pricing, whichever is better)
Leftover wine is removed at end

2.  A Wine Party for You

Full bottle of each wine (at 50% off retail)
Minimum of five wines up to all that we produce (your choice)
Little food plates (35-calorie micro-mini Lilliputian winemaker dinner)
$5/person, waived with $20 purchase each (on average)
Minimum six people
Host gets 15% off 1-11 bottles or 30% off 12+
     (Or special pricing, whichever is better)
You get to keep opened wine
You provide any extra food for the party

At the end of the event, we are thrilled if you and your friends want to order wine (and pay for it). It will be delivered the next trip over. Either event involves our usual kind of educational and fun wine tasting (Sip Sip Bite Sip) that we do in our tasting room, but it saves you the drive over to Zillah (think of all that gasoline and money you would save).

The Wine Party option would be great to do in conjunction with a book club. We usually even read the book!

We can drive almost anywhere. Contact us via phone or email and see what we can put together. We can’t wait to meet your friends and have wine with them: Wine with Friends!

By the by, we have checked out the pricing of other people doing these wine parties at private homes and ours seem to be the least expensive by far. Plus you get our decades of experience and the fun of a Paradisos del Sol party right in your living room. Give it a try!

Futures to build our future
Build a Building Futures

Inspired by the experiences of family and friends with Kickstarter and similar “crowd sourced” experiences, we are offering a change to get wine in the future at a big discount for money today. Time is to money sort of like energy is to matter. Join the patrons who have started the ball rolling.

We need more space to make more wine. We are maxed out and the vines are still not at full production. All of this is making Paul a bit anxious.

Borrowing money is bloody expensive! Bankers keep talking 10% to us. That means after seven years you pay the bank double. You have to sell a lot of wine to make enough money to pay them back.

So! How about we borrow from you for one to three years and pay you double or more in wine?

Our vineyard has finally grown too big for our facilities and we need a bigger building to grow to our goal of 3,000 cases a year (about three times our size now).

So! Instead of paying bankers a bunch, we would rather give a bunch of our customers a bunch of wine deals so we can have homes for our bunches of grapes that will eventually go to bunches of our customers. A new 2,400-square-foot, all-steel, well-insulated, above-ground “wine cave” is about $80,000. Plus we need some more tanks and barrels.

This is like a Kickstarter or Indiegogo project, the difference being we are not using a third-party aggregator to facilitate the transactions, i.e. we are doing it ourselves with no middle person taking a cut.

Here are a variety of options for you if you wish to participate:

1. Pay $50 now
•          In 2018 get 3 bottles
•          Buyers choice, Retail = up to $126

2. Pay $100 now
•          In 2018 get 6 bottles (2 each of 3 wines)
•          Buyers choice, Retail = up to $252

3. Pay $200 now
•          In 2018 get 12 bottles (3 each of 4 wines)
•          Buyers choice, Retail = up to $504

4. Pay $250 now
•          In 2017 get 12 bottles (3 each of 4 wines)
•          Buyers choice, Retail = up to $504

5. Pay $500 now
•          In 2018 get 12 bottles (3 each of 4 wines)
•          In 2019 get 12 bottles (3 each of 4 wines)
•          In 2020 get 12 bottles (3 each of 4 wines)
•          Buyers choice, Retail = up to $1512

6. Pay $750 now
•          In 2017 get 12 bottles (3 each of 4 wines)
•          In 2018 get 12 bottles (3 each of 4 wines)
•          In 2019 get 12 bottles (3 each of 4 wines)
•          In 2020 get 12 bottles (3 each of 4 wines)
•          Buyers choice, Retail = up to $2016

7. Pay $1000 now
•          Get twice as much as option #5 OR
•          Half price on all wine for 5 years
•          Buyers choice, Retail = skies the limit!

8. Pay $2000 now
•          Get twice as much as option #5 OR
•          Half price on all wine for 10 years
•          Buyers choice, Retail = skies the limit!

(Plus sales tax, delivery may be extra.)

Like all wine purchases at Paradisos, you can mix and match or get creative!

In our 16 years of business we have offered specific wine futures twice, but on a much smaller scale.

We would love to have you commit as soon as possible. We need to get this building raised and ready.

Cash, Dwolla, checks, or charge—we will take it any way you want to give it to us, any amount. If you want to discuss an amount not listed, just give us a call.

Dwolla or Checks are preferable to charge cards (just so we get all of the money without giving the banks any of it), but please do what is easiest for you. If we can add to your airline miles to get our building built then we both win.

You give us money, we give you wine (later), what could be easier?

Historically in America, business was done by a handshake. We are embracing this business model for growing our business and all of our futures.

Please contact us however you want - email, phone call, text, in person, or carrier owl.

Thank you for your continued support of our winery!

For our regular readers, this is where we pitch the plea to help us grow our business and review us on Yelp or Facebook or TripAdvisor. We really appreciate all of you who have giving us reviews. Please note: Yelp has a policy of not posting reviews unless the person reviews at least three or four other businesses. Crazy, huh? So we encourage you to review away! Us, our neighbors, your barber, your local.

Thank you for continuing to buy wine from us! Give us a call if you don’t want to deal with the order form, we are happy to do whatever it takes to continue to get our wine to you. If you didn’t keep drinking our wine, we couldn’t keep doing what we love (which also includes drinking our wine). So, we raise our glasses to you!

Paul & Barbara


Paradisos del Sol Winery
3230 Highland Drive
Zillah, WA 98953


Updated 2017-02-17