Greetings Valued Club Members;

All of our customers are valued and appreciated. But maybe, just maybe, our club members are appreciated just a tiny bit more. Just a hair. Not much, but enough.

And that’s why I’m going to let you in on the latest development here at Dragon’s Vineyard and Wine Company before anyone else.

Anyone besides me remember 2018? Blissfully COVID19 free, we ran around right next to each other and stood arm-in-arm, sans masks, and picked the nine tons of grapes that the vineyard proudly produced for us, courtesy of none other than Dragon Six.

It was also the year of The Smoke Taint (I, for one, do not believe that Smoke Taint is a real issue. You are, for at least the reds, going to take all that juice and put it into a barrel that has been charred. It is literally supposed to taste that way. I do believe, however, that should I ever form another punk rock band, our name will be The Smoked Taints). This is also the year that a certain winery in California bailed on tens of thousands of tons of contract here in our beautiful state of Oregon, ostensibly because of aforementioned Smoke Taint.

The bottom line is that we ended up with five tons of grapes that we could neither sell, nor had we the licensed facility to make into wine. What we did have was a dear friend on the other side of the hill who has one of those, a licensed facility that is. He also had phyloxxera.

This is the kiss of death for a vineyard. Phyloxxera is a parasite, a nematode to be exact, that attaches to the roots of a vine and slowly destroys it. The only remedy is to pull out the plants, burn them, and replant after leaving your vineyard fallow for a year. Our friend was, in short, not going to have a harvest for 2018. He has, you will be glad to know, since replanted with Super Vines and will be back to making his own wine in a couple of years.

So much like when life gives you lemons you supposedly make limoncello, when life hands you five tons of grapes you make wine. We approached our friend with the following deal; we have five tons of grapes that we could not sell. Let us take two and a half tons and make our wine and we’ll give you two and a half tons so that you can have a 2018 vintage and we will make wine together. He readily agreed.

Now keep in mind that these grapes hung for two weeks longer than the rest of the 2018 crop and that it has been in barrel since. Even when pressing it, we knew it was going to be exceptional. As we were pressing our friend recommended checking the wine at 2 bars (barometric pressure) to ensure that we weren’t getting too much vegetal flavor from any seeds. Some wineries will press until there’s not a drop left. Not us. Anyhow, he got a coffee cup, pull some juice off the press and took a drink. His eyes got round. “What’s wrong?” we asked. “There’s nothing wrong” he said, “this is incredible. It shouldn’t be this drinkable right off the press.”

And it was. By the time the end of the day came around the 2 bar checks were poured into bigger and bigger vessels and the crew was happily pressing away and eyed with some regret when we got to the end of the grapes. A good time was had by all.

Dragon Six decided to name it Dragon’s Revenge, mostly to poke a finger in the eye of California and their silly Smoke Taint fixation. It has been in the barrel since pressing, almost two years. We bottled it two weeks ago. It is big, it is bold, it is dense. As many of you know from personal interaction with me, I have no palate to speak of. But this wine is incredible. For all our customers who would like a red a little more full bodied I truly believe that you will really enjoy this wine.

So herself is going to release it in early November. I look forward to it and you should as well.

Cheers and thanks for you patronage.

Pete Salerno

Tasting Room Satrap and Certified Wine Slinger