Winemaker's Notes


Craig Kritzer, Winemaker

Dear Frogtown Citizen:


For those of our Citizens who have not heard, Nettie has passed away. I think about Nettie today the same as I have since the first time Cydney and I met Nettie when she was a real estate broker; years before Nettie spent hours and hours at Frogtown. Nettie was a gracious Southern lady with a very pleasant reserved “Mona Lisa type smile”, an unending desire to please, and a dedicated friend.

Nettie’s domain was primarily Helen. With Nettie’s passing a void has been created at Frogtown resulting in Cydney and I deciding to close the Helen Tasting Room.

Just Saying

Interesting, I am asked the same question in Dahlonega and Paso Robles. Are you moving to California? I wish I had a clever response. I have tried to think of one. It is a serious and valid question, whether asked in Georgia or California. No, no, and no. To me, such response is definitive, unambiguous, truthful, and clear. I am sure, however, there is someone thinking: “By NO do you mean …………………….”
Frogtown Dahlonega Plateau Vineyard.

Since the February Winemaker Notes the weather patterns at Frogtown Dahlonega should be describes as:

-Rather non-descript winter.

-Severe Frost at the end of March that, but for the dew point staying at least two points below the ambient temperature, could have been devastating. Parts of the vineyard did get down to 28 Degrees. Not knowing Frogtown would beneficially experience the unusual low dew points through the early morning hours, we prepared as if it were a do or die situation, including flying two helicopters and establishing and maintaining probably the most fires ever throughout the evening and into daybreak. Costly? You bet, but what else is new.

– A pleasant, relatively dry spring. Thank you. Thank you. Who (is) (are) you?

OK, Just what is going on in California?

Frogtown’s first vineyard is in the Adelaida Sub-AVA region of the Paso Robles American Viticulture Area (that is why we call this vineyard Frogtown Adelaida) is doing very nicely. The major event has been vine training. I won’t bore you with the technicalities of vine training (did I hear a sigh of relief?), but it is going well. Frogtown will have some fruit this year, Frogtown Adelaide’s third leaf (the term describing the period after the second anniversary of planting when the vineyard’s first harvest usually occurs). In 2014 we planted 30,000 of the 49,500 vines planted at Frogtown Adelaida. What should be done with this third leaf fruit? One of the first questions asked by a potential customer is how much fruit do you have by variety planted? Problem, almost impossible to estimate with any certainty how much fruit will be harvested on third leaf. So, should we sell all the fruit; sell part of the fruit and make Frogtown Adelaida wine with the remaining fruit? I haven’t decided. Stay tuned.

Frogtown’s second vineyard is in the Estrella Sub-AVA region of the Paso Robles AVA. You guess correctly. We call this second vineyard Frogtown Estrella. Wow, turn the clock back to 1999 when Cydney and I planted the first 10,000 vines at Frogtown Dahlonega Plateau. I used a vineyard development company to direct the development of Frogtown Adelaida. I did, of course, make all the planting decisions, but did not direct the installation of the infrastructure; as such, I could have been characterized as an absentee owner at Frogtown’s Adelaida plantings. Not my usual MO.

I decided to be active in directing all the elements of the redevelopment and replanting of Frogtown Estrella. Such plantings should amount to about 13.5 acres totaling more than 30,000 vines. My active involvement is like turning the clock and calendar back to 1999 in Georgia at the Dahlonega vineyard. Good to be in the saddle again, although not as much physical assistance from me this time out. It has been seventeen years since we commenced the Dahlonega planting. Really?
So active is active. I have spent three months in California since January first of this year. It got real OLD staying in a hotel. Also to be fair to my daughter Jordan and her family, I did not want to be a full-time boarder at her house. So how about a residence at Adelaida? Due to the steep inclines and road access to Frogtown Adelaida, permitting a house at this vineyard would be extremely challenging and could take up to two years. This is California, folks. Buy “something” away from the vineyard in Paso Robles? Nah, falling out of bed in the vineyard is too special! So, what to do? I took a page out of our move from Buckhead to Dahlonega. Seventeen years ago, I moved Cydney (aka, “Buckhead Betty”) from, well a big house, to a doublewide trailer (oops, not politically correct, sorry, a manufactured home) at the Frogtown Dahlonega vineyard. OK so we did it before and we can do it again. Put a double wide at Adelaida? Not so fast, as a double wide is a permanent establishment of a residence subject to most of the permits required in San Luis Obispo County, to a custom home. Consequently, doublewide was out of the question; then, how about a RV (trailer?). No permit required; not a permanent establishment under California rules.

Cydney has not seen the RV “in place” at Frogtown Adelaida. How is living in the RV? Next.

I am anxious to get back to Dahlonega; yes, yes, and yes, meaning real anxious. This time out it has exceeded a month away. I am blessed with good folks at Frogtown Dahlonega, allowing me to be absent for so long.

A Citizen took the time to inform me that at Mother’s Day brunch, Cydney said she is “getting used to me being away”. Ouch! Wonder if Cydney can make wine? Stay tuned!!!

Discussing Frogtown’s vintage 2013 red wines

Frogtown 2013 vintage reds have exceeded my expectations. Not as much as the 2010 Vintage after these wines were bottled, but I am delighted with the 2013 vintage. I expected 2011 to be an exceptional vintage. To have such a good vintage (2013) following the 2011 vintage is SPECIAL.

2013 is the first vintage with three; yes 3, Reserve Wines. In this shipment you will receive the first of such Reserve Wines, the 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, a 100% Cabernet bottling. Cydney, Jordan, and Justin made the collective decision which of the three Reserve Wines to send in this shipment. The vote was unanimous that the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon was the most developed in the bottle; so our Citizens will have to wait to the next shipment to receive either the 2013 Reserve Petit Verdot or the 2013 Reserve Tannat. It has been more than 3 months since I tasted these Reserve wines. Each of the Reserves are big, really big wines with supple tannins (remember round not angular, which is a Frogtown red wine characteristic).
The Shotgun, Fourth Reload and the Applause, Third Standing Ovation, are composed of a significant amount of 2013 vintages wines.

After I get home and taste these wines, I will compose tasting notes on these Reserve Wines.

What is in this Shipment?

Citizens receiving three bottles of red wines will receive a bottle of 2013 Kritzer Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($48.99), a bottle of Frogtown Applause Third Standing Ovation ($29.99), and a bottle of Shotgun Fourth Reload ($29.99).

Citizens receiving these red wines enjoy a discount of 20% to reduce the Citizen cost for pick-up to $93.28, which includes sales tax, and the addition of $12.84 shipping results in a cost for these wines shipped of $106.12.

Citizens receiving two bottles of Red wine and one bottle of White wine are receiving a bottle 2013 Kritzer Family Reserve

Cabernet Sauvignon ($48.99), a bottle of Frogtown Applause Third Standing Ovation ($29.99), and a bottle of 2014 Frogtown White Rosé ($18.99)

Citizens receiving these red and white wines enjoy a discount of 20% to reduce the Citizen cost for pick-up to $83.87, which includes sales tax, and the addition of $12.84 shipping results in a cost for these wines shipped of $96.71.

Citizens receiving three bottles of white wines are receiving a bottle of the 2014 Frogtown Marsanne ($30.99), a bottle of the 2014 Frogtown Inclination ($27.99), and a bottle of the 2014 Frogtown White Rosé ($18.99).

Citizens receiving these three white wines enjoy a discount of 20% to reduce the Citizen cost of these wines to $66.74, which includes sales tax, and the addition of $12.84 shipping results in a cost of these wines shipped of $79.58.

Wishing you all a fabulous summer, where the grapes grow and the wines flow.

Cali Craig (Cydney’s idea)

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