Saturday, August 9, 2014


By December 2013, Eric -- in consultation with our winemaking consultant Etienne Cowper -- decided it was time to bottle our own crush of Cinsault from the 2012 family harvest. For more than one year, it had been aging in at our Tucalota winery (a temperature-controlled converted garage) on site. 

Here we see the wine transfer -- from one large oak barrel, and several glass carboys, the wine was transferred to kegs on Etienne's truck, and then to Maurice Carrie -- a local winery -- for bottling. The original one-half ton of grapes produced 23 cases of wine...

Just in time -- the first tasting, for Selma's 95th birthday celebration on December 22, 2013, at Ponte Vineyard.

Selma's brother, Elliot Liff, lifts a glass -- L'Chaim -- to Selma's health and passion for life.

Selma -- in the glow of mid-winter sun -- surrounded by immediate family, (l. to r.): daughters Nora Laiken and Margaret Bach, son Eric, sons-in-law Danilo Bach and Stuart Laiken, brother Elliot Liff and niece Jan Liff. Son Robert and family -- from their home in Germany -- sent greetings!


The 2013 harvest in October yielded a bounty....38.349 tons, to be exact!

Tucalota's varietals are much in demand, purchased by local wineries -- such as Leoness Cellars, Lytton Winery and Vinavanti Winery. The harvest, handled by Stage Ranch Farm Management, takes place at night. Illuminated by portable flood lights, the workers pick the ripe grape clusters by hand. Grapes are weighed on site, and then transported to their various destinations -- the first step in the transformation from grape to wine....

Friday, September 20, 2013

September in the Vineyard

A late summer heat wave helps boost the brix on the ripening grapes. Looking forward to a plentiful and successful grape harvest a bit later this fall. Tucalota Vineyard grapes -- the Cinsault, Mourvedre, Grenache and Salvador -- all highly sought-after by local wineries for the 2013 crush.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Barn Owl Release, October 22, 2012

Two barn owls, a male and female, released just after sunset on October 22, 2012, in the Little Woods at Tucalota Vineyard, Temecula, California. Thanks to the efforts of South Bay Wildlife Refuge, the owls were rescued as orphans early this summer. Kept in a 100' x 40' flight cage -- where they learned to fly and to hunt -- they were ready for release. The ample natural habitat -- oak and willows -- plus the proximity to the owl boxes at the vineyard, make Tucolata Vineyard a fine new home for these owls. We transported them in a small pet carrier box -- as they slept during the day -- and released them just after sunset. They were awake and ready to go, as you can see. Thanks to Kevin Metzger, a visitor at the ranch, who was on hand to video the exciting moment of the release.

Family Harvest, October 7, 2012

It's harvest time. A beautiful morning in Tucalota Vineyard. There were about 15 of us in all throughout the day, from near and far. The Cinsault was ready for picking, with brix readings at around 22. Together, we picked an entire row of Cinsault -- equaling nearly a half ton, or 939 lbs., to be exact. We then moved on to the row of Salvador, a smaller, darker grape – adding color to the mix. Grapes are loaded into the white bins – each of which holds around 45 lbs. – and then transported, thanks to the 'Gator, to the winery for crushing.  We picked nearly 1100 lbs in all -- 939 lbs of Cinsault, and 101 of Salvador. It was a great day. Thanks to Selma, and her Tucalota Vineyard, and to Eric, our winemaker extraordinaire.


Monday, March 14, 2011

wine online!

...well not actual wine. And you can't order any wine from our site (though see the links to our customer wineries' websites). But we thought our vineyard and estate winery needed a corner of the 'net to call home, and here we are.  A place for family and friends to share the Tucalota experience from home (or wherever you're logging in from), hopefully with a glass of Tucalota-grown wine at your side.  Cheers!

- Selma (and Anna & Andy, and the rest of the Tucalota family)