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Whetstone Wine Cellars

 


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Michelle Whetstone
 
June 2, 2021 | Michelle Whetstone

Whetstone Endless Summer 2021

Let's get Dad ready for grilling season...

It's summer once again,
which means it's time for Jamey
to swap his Carhartts for his board shorts and
get the grill ready for another round of his famous ribs!
(check out the recipe below)

And nothing pairs better with BBQ ribs
than the perfect Pinot...

To make your backyard BBQ's righteous, check out our special gift packs for that rad dad in your life! 


Father's Day Specials 

Choose any 3-pack special and include
a gift message in your order notes to
make gifting thoughtful and effortless! 


Delicious meals and great bottles
have been keeping our stoke levels high...

Here is Jamey's famous rib recipe to keep you inspired:


CAUTION:
This recipe will cause an uproar amongst the slow-cooked, fall off the bone rib 
folks, and you will be the focus of ridicule and wild speculation as to your 
lack of knowledge on the subject…until they taste it. 

 


 

Cheers to sunsets, grillin' outside,
great wine and gnarly waves! 

Michelle Whetstone
 
February 16, 2021 | Michelle Whetstone

2021 Spring Release!

You make us smile...

Most of you kept your sense of humor and charm through 2020, which helped us keep ours!  If you have requested an appointment through our website, you may or may not have responded to the last question- 'Tell us something fun about you and your guests'. Most of you sent love notes, check-ins and most importantly, shout outs to Ace and the team. Many of you were celebrating anniversaries, reunions of family and friends, birthdays or just wanted a safe space to spend a sunny afternoon.

We thoroughly enjoyed many of your responses, so much we thought it would be fun to share with the rest of your extended Whetstone family.

Here are the top 10 responses from 2020: 
(our reply in parentheses)

Just some girlfriends needing to get some fresh air
after 42 days of homeschooling. (Word!)

The head of the group may always be on the phone.
(As long as it is not on speaker.)

We recently became plant parents.
(Hope you’re are getting enough sleep.)

We're not fun. (We can help you work on that.)

My girlfriend is quite unique be prepared. Her name is Aime.
(We’re a little nervous- how about a private table?)

Maybe I'll come engaged- fingers crossed. :)  
(We will try to act natural.  Is there a code word?!)

I love Chardonnay, my guest doesn’t really drink wine.
(Great, we don’t make chardonnay.)

I love sea otters and surfing. (So do we!)

Just found red wine is good and grapes. I love swimming in nature.
(I think we understand.)

My friends doesn’t like wine—help me change his mind. 
(You are coming to the right place!)


Spring Release...

A message from Jamey -

As I look at a bluebird sitting on our string lights over the Chateau lawn raising hell with the world below, I am reminded how wonderful it will be to welcome all of you back this spring. Days are now longer; we’ve had an extremely mild winter, and we are stoked to enjoy Whetstone wines with you again!

The 2019's are pretty spectacular. I am biased, yes. The 2019 Viognier is exotic, hedonistic, and should have you laughing out loud as you careen into your second glass with some scallops and a squeeze of Meyer lemon. The Pleasant Hill Vineyard seems to taunt me every…freakin’…year… to just try and screw up Russian River Pinot Noir perfection. I did not, btw ;)

So many thanks for all your support. It means a whole lot.

2019 'Catie's Corner' Viognier

Winemaker’s Tasting Notes:
Barrel fermented in neutral French oak and aged for 16 months sur lees. Golden honey in color. Very exotic, perfumy nose full of lychee, apricot, guava and clove. Background aromas of pineapple, peach liqueur, banana runts, and gardenia. Ripe, delicious flavors of pineapple, apricot, and guava. Finishes long and bright with hints of peach liqueur, liquid minerals and
citrus peel.

2019 'Pleasant Hill' Pinot Noir

Winemaker’s Tasting Notes:
Stainless steel fermented, aged for 16 months sur lees in 100% French oak; 25% new oak. Deep ruby in color. Big, expressive nose of Bing cherry cola, chocolate covered oranges and floral jasmine. Secondary aromas of Chinese 5 spice and blueberry pie. Ripe, full-bodied flavors of dark cherry, blueberry and baker’s chocolate. Finishes long with silky tannins and hints of orange peel and ripe plum.

 

SHOP NEW RELEASES!!!

Michelle Whetstone
 
January 5, 2021 | Michelle Whetstone

Reflecting on 2020...

A message from Michelle -

About a week or so after our first shut down in March, I was asked by a friend - "Can you look at this as a blessing?"

At my age, I have learned to not speak the first thing that comes to mind. I thought about the question and my headspace at that time… confused, scared, frustrated, worried- and after a minute, I simply said. ‘Not yet’.

I hadn’t thought about this conversation until I sat down to write this newsletter and to reflect on the year. How do I feel now? Blessed.

For me, like most of you, it is difficult to see so much suffering and struggle and to give myself permission to find and focus on the good. To speak to it sometimes feels tone deaf but we have to be hopeful and appreciate all the positives 2020 has brought us - perseverance, growth and gratitude.

There were definitely some highs and lows, but here are my top 5 blessings from 2020-

5. Making friends out of acquaintances. For those of you who could, you showed up and shared your friends, family, and homemade treats with us. It has been a pleasure getting to know so many of you better this year. Your friendship, conversation, and encouraging support have been such a bright light for me. For those of you farther away, your cards, emails, calls, and virtual visits kept me connected and grounded.

4. A deeper connection and level of support with my community and our friends in the hospitality industry, especially our restaurant partners. It has been inspiring to see their resilience and grace, their love and passion for what they do under these challenging circumstances. Some of the most memorable meals of my lifetime were had this year.

3. A chance to slow down. More home cooked meals. More walks with Ace.

2. A deeper appreciation for the place I call home, our beautiful property and all the gifts, experiences and relationships our business has provided me.

1. Amazing conversations with my kids. There was a lot to talk about and process this past year. I am grateful for the time with them. Watching them develop their own ideas, opinions and beliefs while navigating their way through 2020, using their own compass.

I always love hearing from you all and am always inspired when I do, so if you would like to share any of your blessings, please drop a note . And thank you, Allison for proposing the question.

My best guess is that we will probably need to remain closed through January or at least most of it. And if you are like me, you may have depleted a bit of your wine stash this holiday season. We have extended our holiday bundles and specials through January if you need some replenishing. We are available any day for curbside pick up too! Just shoot us an email if you want to come by or just want to say hi! Wishing you and yours a very welcomed New Year and sending you all love, hope and peace.

- Michelle Whetstone

Michelle Whetstone
 
August 18, 2020 | Michelle Whetstone

Fall 2020 Release!

 

Silver linings...

A message from Michelle -

Dear Friends,

As I write this newsletter, listening to the song "Silver Linings" by First Aid Kit, there are a few lines that standout and are on repeat in my head…
 

Take me some place where there's music and there's laughter
Gotta keep on going, looking straight out on the road
Can't worry 'bout what's behind you or what's coming for you further up the road
I try to keep on keeping on
Be it for reason, be it for love
I won't take the easy road
A song's never just sad
There's hope, there's a silver lining
Show me my silver lining
 

While the path is not always straight and life doesn’t always go according to plan, I believe in perseverance, grace under pressure and realizing that a moment that feels like a rejection from something good is actually redirecting us to something better. 

So, about those silver linings...

With the closure of Whetstone on March 19th,   Jamey and I found ourselves reinventing our business and ourselves once again.  On May 31st, we reopened our doors, just the two of us, pouring wine and hosting our guests. You all showed up, shared your stories and reminded us of why we do what we do. Personal and professional growth seems to be the reoccurring theme within all of our households and businesses over the last few months; an awareness of the need to slow it down, take more time with family, more time for ourselves and each other, more time to reflect and with much more gratitude... silver linings.
 
Jamey and I will celebrate 15 years together this year, a partnership in life, kids, marriage and business.  Three out of four kids left the nest earlier this year. Like many of you know with kids, life became more of a blunt and realistic view into what real adulting looks like for them and the reality that we as parents could not hide or protect them from it any longer.  But they persevered and figured it out on their own; mature, resilient and able to navigate using their own compass. They are changed by what they have seen and experienced this year, but they are inspired and want to be part of something bigger and better… silver linings.

Mother Nature is the one constant and still in charge as we are heading into our 18th harvest for Whetstone and our fall release. For most of us, there are more dinners at home and more wine being opened than ever before so without further ado, some words from Jamey about our new releases.


Fall release...

A message from Jamey -

With a sincere sense of gratitude and loss of a vineyard I’ve worked with since 2005, we bring forth the last vintage of the Phoenix Ranch Vineyard Syrah. WARNING: This wine is ridiculous on all fronts and will challenge your ideas of what’s possible in New World Syrah; Audacious, brash, full tilt boogie, in need of some taming… all thoughts coming to mind when enjoying this wine. Tragically, 2017 was the year of the devastating fires here in Napa, Sonoma and many portions of California. We were very lucky to have harvested the Syrah two days before the fires began.

The 2018 Walala Vineyard Pinot Noir is a real nice crossover vehicle between Old & New World Pinot Noir. The vineyard shines through the older it gets and the longer I work with it. The power and finesse of this vineyard and resulting wine should be perfect now, but will still reward with many years of cellaring to come. 



We humbly thank all of you for your many years of patronage and friendship. Your continued support and encouragement inspire us!  We have so much gratitude for the amazing leadership and resilience of our Whetstone team, continuing to define our brand and frankly to just ‘show up for us’ even when it is still anything but business as usual!

Cheers!
Jamey and Michelle Whetstone

 

Jamey Whetstone
 
May 19, 2020 | Jamey Whetstone

In search of the perfect pinot...

 


 

 

L E T ' S  G E T  D A D  R E A D Y  F O R  G R I L L I N G  S E A S O N . . .

 
Delicious meals and great bottles of wine have been keeping our stoke levels high.
 
Here is a great recipe to keep you inspired from one of our favorite dads and chefs in the Napa Valley,
Morgan Robinson of Southside!

 

 


 
And nothing pairs better with tri-tip than the perfect Pinot...

To make your backyard BBQ's righteous check out our special gift packs for that special dad in your life! 

 

PINOT ENTHUSIAST 8 - PACK

(was 710. now 625.)

 

BELLA VIGNA LIBRARY 6 - PACK

(was 570. now 495.)

 



 

So cheers to sunsets, backyard BBQs, great wine and gnarly waves! 

 

PURCHASE THE PERFECT PINOT

JOIN OUR WINE CLUB

 

-  offer valid on all available wines in our shop through 6/10  -

-  no code needed, we will  personally add the surprise bottle(s) to your package  -



We want to see your smiling faces enjoying this wine,

so tag us @whetstonewinecellars on instagram or facebook!

Michelle Whetstone
 
April 21, 2020 | Michelle Whetstone

Whetstone Rosé + Mother's Day



A message from Michelle Whetstone -

As I sit at my dinner table at home with my lap top on a rainy Saturday, our tasting room closed since March 20, contemplating what to write, I thought back to an old spring release letter from 2018.  As I read through it, I thought about how much has changed since then (just in the last fews weeks) and how little has changed at the same time. The latter gave me a lot of comfort and peace so I thought I would share some parts of this again with hope that it also brings you some comfort and joy as well.
 


 
"There isn't much separation for me between work and home life. I treat work as an extension of my home and making friends out of strangers is one of the most wonderful things about being in this business. I love to hear guests say how comfortable they feel when they walk into Whetstone, as if they'd walked into a friend’s living room.

While the path is not always straight, I believe in perseverance, grace under pressure, and providing a space where women can grow, be their best selves, and empower each other. In a male dominated industry, this is one of the many things that makes Whetstone unique. If you've been to Whetstone and met our team, you know the women I'm referring to. My vision would not be possible without the dedication and thoughtfulness they bring each day."

 


 

So this one is dedicated to all the moms out there, to all the friends and family that help us look good and most importantly, the women of Whetstone- Addie, Alli, Jenna, and Lauren who have been more supportive than ever to our family, our business and to the care of all of you, our extended Whetstone family.

Lastly, I must give a nod to my husband for finally making this beautiful rose.  The timing could not be better to celebrate spring and to toast all the mothers out there!

the women of Whetstone- Addie, Alli, Jenna, and Lauren who have been more supportive than ever to our family, our business and to the care of all of you, our extended Whetstone family.

Lastly, I must give a nod to my husband for finally making this beautiful rose.  The timing could not be better to celebrate spring and to toast all the mothers out there!

Michelle Whetstone
 
February 18, 2020 | Michelle Whetstone

Spring 2020 Release!

T H E   H I S T O R Y . . .

After moving to California in 1998, Jamey was handed the large task of planting, farming, and harvesting hundreds of acres of organic vineyards all up and down the California Coast for Turley Wine Cellars. He was proudly part of the pioneering team that developed their Paso Robles property. By 2002 Jamey was the assistant winemaker at Turley and into his 5th year of wine making.

“It was one of the most exciting times in my life and easily some of the most humbling lessons I would learn where farming and winemaking were concerned. I have yet to experience the level of intense learning I was shoved into for those seminal years. I was so lucky to be there, it was so effing cool, and it was the epicenter of my world."

 

N E W   B E G I N N I N G S . . .

The year 2002 also brought the first vintage of Whetstone Wine Cellars; It was the year Jamey snuck in an opportunity to start choosing his own vineyards and making his own wine. With the help from mentors and friends alike he solidified the vision and style that became Whetstone wines and that still is today.

"I didn't realize back then but I know now that the level of vineyard and winemaking education in my first years in the valley would be impossible to garner in todays Napa. I've said many times that this is a humbling business. What may have started out as an ambitious endeavor to see my own name on a label, quickly became a lesson in perseverance and patience. Someone once said the impossible becomes the possible when your back is against the wall. Larry Turley tried to talk me out of starting my own label, 'Do we really have to do this now?' This was one of the many times over the years Larry would offer his wisdom. After showing him my fledgling business plan with lots of begging and promises he reluctantly said 'Yes'."

That same year Jamey was introduced to Maxime Graillot, son of famed Rhone Valley producer Alain Graillot, and was tasked with keeping him busy and well-fed during the harvest season at Turley. It didn't take long for Jamey to realize this was an incredible opportunity to further develop and broaden his winemaking education in addition to forging a friendship. Maxime accompanied Jamey to his first pick of Whetstone Viognier at the “Catie’s Corner” vineyard and, after listening to Jamey’s rant of how he wanted to do it, Maxime gave Jamey the “keys to Condrieu” which he has used to this day.

 

T H E   P R E S E N T . . .

Fast forward 18 years, it is 2020 and we at Whetstone are still people;  real, transparent, not a corporation. We’ve adapted and evolved, but never changed course.

We are a little older, wiser, and living in the present moment by being aware of the here and now. Appreciative and thankful for the life this business has given us. 

We honor each experience and are grateful to every person who has been a part of our growth - be it helping with punchdowns or tasting our wines in the bed of the beloved pick up truck - you are the backbone of our brand.

To our wine club members who are really more like family, and to each and every person who walks through our doors on a daily basis - thank YOU for your stoke and enthusiasm, it is for you that we will continue to make great wines!

Whatever your past may be, we are grateful to be a part of your future with our 18th vintage of Catie's Corner Viognier and Pleasant Hill Pinot...

S H O P  N E W  R E L E A S E S  N O W!

Many thanks for your continued support and friendship,
The Whetstone Team

- Michelle, Jamey, Addie, Alli & Jenna

Michelle Whetstone
 
November 4, 2019 | Michelle Whetstone

A Look Back at 2019!

As we close out 2019, here is a look back at a few of our favorite moments with you:

 

Thank you for sharing your photos, memories & time with us!

Michelle Whetstone
 
August 7, 2019 | Michelle Whetstone

Fall 2019 Release in High Fidelity!

 

Did you know that going to see or simply listening to music can reduce stress and add years to your life?!

 

Attending music gigs is one way to relieve stress and be social. In fact, studies show that just 20 minutes can result in a 21% increase in feelings of well-being! Furthermore, the research found a direct link between live music and a lifespan increase of 9+ years.

Here at Whetstone, we support this theory, especially if it includes a glass of wine! (and we have all read about the benefits of red wine)

So if you have yet to attend one of our music events, let this be the motivator to get tickets to our annual harvest party now:

PAST PERFORMANCES @ WHETSTONE


 

At Whetstone Headquarters, we've done our own research and found that listening to your favorite vinyl while sipping on aglass of Whetstone can and will increase levels of happiness! 

 

So without further ado, we present:

2017 Walala Pinot Noir

Floral nose of rose petal, plum, and anise. Full-bodied flavors of ripe bing cherry... (read more)

2016 Phoenix Ranch Syrah

Really (really) big nose full of ripe cassis, black licorice, violets and white pepper... (read more)
 

Ground shipping included for purchases of 12+ bottles now thru August 31st

Discount code: HIGHFIDELITY

(shipment dates are weather dependent)


 

Jamey and Michelle along with our Dream Team would also like to offer some album suggestions to pair with your Whetstone experience at home:

MICHELLE'S PICK: This band takes me back to a simpler time (before kids and a winery) and so stoked I can listen to it on vinyl finally! The Very Very Best Of Crowded House’s long-awaited vinyl was released on July 12 in a glorious gatefold sleeve including notes & printed inner bagsand compiled & cut from original analogue master tapes recorded at Abbey Road Studios to Heavyweight Black vinyl LPs. 

 

JAMEY'S PICK: Live with me on Let It Bleed by The Rolling Stones. 2016 Phoenix Ranch Syrah. The song is a gritty, stripped down, smelly version of what the Stones do best when their Delta Blues side slams into Rock n Roll. The Syrah is a racy concoction of violets and cassis and pig on the grill over a peppery fire w some tobacco tossed in for good measure; a smidge of some of my favorite flavors.

 

ADDIE'S PICK: To me Troubadour is a lowkey laidback album solely about livin' and lovin' which is what I am all about! It’s melodies are pretty but simple and the Tulsa Blues keep the rhythm rollin’ and rockin’! It’s the perfect soundtrack for enjoying the breeze with my husband, swayin’ in our hammock, spending time in our garden, sipping special with our chickens, playing fetch with our two golden fur babes, and cooking for our family and friends! 

ALLI'S PICK: Bon Iver's self-titled album instantly takes me back to when I first moved to Napa and began dating my husband, where we spent many late nights drinking wine and getting to know one another. It sets the perfect tone for dreaming big and drinking well. When the harvest season approaches I find myself putting it on repeat and reaching for a wine key as its moody tone and the call to get outside yourself inspires me to slow down and be present. 

JENNA'S PICK: No matter what the mood or occasion, Stevie fits the bill. ‘Don’t you worry bout a thing’ is my JAM. I have on many occasions blasted that song in my car while cruising down the highway, and you better believe I am singing along at the top of my little lungs. (You can also find me at home, having a dance party with my Weiner dog, no big deal.) This album has so many classics and many of my faves. Stressed out? Stevie. Super Happy & Dance-y?? Stevie. Feelin’ blue? Definitely Stevie.

LAUREN'S PICK: Whether savoring my cup of coffee in the early morning hours or sipping on a glass of vino whenever I feel so moved, Here Comes the Sun does the trick! Nina's sultry voice covering some of the true classics (in my humble opinion) helps me lean into the joyful soulful sweetness of the sunshine. I just can't help but sway to the rhythms and let those ivories tickle my soul. Also a perfect way to set the tone for a summer dinner soiree - paired with a bottle of Whetstone, obvi ;) 

So crack a bottle...put the needle on the record...sit back and relax!

 


P.S. Remember, tickets are still available for our upcoming Harvest Party + stay tuned for upcoming salon sessions!


 

Jamey Whetstone
 
August 1, 2019 | Jamey Whetstone

Notes from the vineyards!

 

Growing Season Update:

The 2019 growing season started with lots of rain that continued well into May. Spring was long and cool with a 2-week lag time behind a normal vineyard trajectory.

Once we got to set though, we had a run of heat in the low 90s to low 100s for a solid week that seems to have made up some ground heading into veraison. Set was fantastic by the way, and yields look (at least to me) as healthy as last year if not more so.

So another year of lots of top work in the vines!