Wednesday, July 23, 2014

So Cal Vyds Harmata Family Wines

Southern California Vineyards 
&
Harmata Family Wines

I first met Tommy Booth at the Calabasas Malibu Wine Festival in 2012 where he had four wines available for tasting from three wineries: Bridle Trail Wines in Hidden Hills, Calabasas Vineyards, and Tenenbaum Estate Wines—Hidden Hills Vineyards. 
His Southern California Vineyards wine consultation business had been involved with the vineyards of these local wineries and they produced some very good, small production, red wines!
In recent years I’ve noticed more and more grapevines on the hillsides in Westlake Village, so I think an organic grapevine installation company for local homeowners and boutique wineries is a great idea! And after talking with him, it’s obvious to me that Tommy knows what he's doing in the vineyard and as a winemaker. 
I tasted his own 2011 vintage of backyard Cabernet Sauvignon that was grown in Calabasas at the 2013 Calabasas Malibu Wine Festival. No labels were on his bottles yet, but the Cabernet Sauvignon was excellent!

The more I talked with Tommy, the more I was intrigued about planting some grapes at my house, even if it was only one row of grapevines.  I had accumulated a random collection of them from wine festivals and wineries that were growing in pots in the backyard and I concluded that they needed to be organized and properly planted. When my wife and I made plans to re-landscape at the end of 2013 I called Tommy for his suggestions. 
I suppose my nano-vineyard of seven vines was probably the smallest project he’d ever taken on, but he approached it like any other size project and the results were great (just not very big). Now I am the owner the eclectic “Conejo Valley Vineyard.”  
During the spring of 2014 when Tommy worked on my small vineyard project I bought some of his Harmata Family Wines 2012 MemoryMaker Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon—and this vintage even had labels!
In keeping with the theme of making memories I tasted it after the new vineyard was planted. 
I had my first sip of the 2012 MemoryMaker while sitting on my front steps looking at the small line of newly planted grapevines. Even though my nano-vineyard is not intended for production, it’s fun to watch while enjoying a glass of wine and it’s a lot closer than any wine country destinations. 
The Cabernet Sauvignon had a nose of dark berries with blackberry on the palate and an overall richness that I enjoyed thoroughly. It was good in 2014 and I imagine it would improve during the next five years.
Memory Maker's back label with "This wine will always remind me of..." fill in the blank.
At the 2014 Calabasas Malibu Wine Festival I visited Harmata Family Wines again this year. Tommy poured 2012 Memory Maker Rosé Cabernet Sauvignon and 2012 Memory Maker Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Cabernet Sauvignon was still excellent since I’d tasted the bottle I bought in May and my wife said the Rosé Cabernet Sauvignon was very delicious! We’re buying some more of both soon. 
Imagine buying some of the first wines produced by a famous winemaker back when he was just starting out... I think we have, and that’s a real memory makerCheers!

Know about any local wineries just starting out? Share your thoughts with me at ...
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