Thursday, June 26, 2008

back home - and more wine news!

Just got back home monday from a trip to Caifornia for our good friend's Kevin and Maia's wedding it was a fablouse time I was honored to officiate thier wedding. We got to go down with our good frinds Kim and Scott. Scott got the smoker that he built for our wedding all modified for transport to the wedding and he and Brian smoked all the brisket it was sooo yummy!! The wedding it self was eventful (this is a story for another day) needles to say there loved burns brighter now than ever and all is well... more on that and photos coming soon...

My Friends Courtney and Britney fed all the animals and held down the fort at Big Table.. thanks ladies!!

So on our way down to CA we got a call from The Tasting Room in Carlton they said that they had heard about out rose and wanted to try it!! whooo hooo! so on Tuesday I took in some wine for them to try... so now our wine is available and being poured at The Tasting room in Carlton - Thank You Sara and Jay! it's very exciting!!

A few of you asked about the rose and how to buy some.. for those in Oregon it's now officially for sale and I can deliver it to you if you live close by. We are selling it in 6 bottle allocations only right now and it's $22 a bottle. If you live in CA wine can be shipped to you in the fall as it's just to risky to ship wine in the summer... you can e-mail me at for an order form. I also did leave two cases with our friends Kim and Scott in Napa as there was some immediate interest from a few of you... so if any of you Napa, Marin SF folks MUST have some NOW there's enough for 4 people/orders up in napa ... and that will be first come first serve and you'll have to pick it up.. here are the notes from the tasting sheet I wrote up for the retailer.. Thank you for all your enthusiasm and support as we stick our toes into the water... Cheers!

Laughing Pig Rose – Big Table Farm
Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rose
Johan Vineyard

13.0% Alcohol
3.4 pH
unfined and unfiltered
95 Cases Produced

The Pinot Noir Fruit for the Laughing Pig Rose was picked mid October at 22.5 brix. These grapes are from Johan Vineyard just south of Amity. This wine is 25% whole cluster and fermented on the skins to 20 brix. The wine was then pressed directly into 4 neutral French oak barrels.

This Rose separates itself from most by being barrel fermented to dryness with maloatic fermentation completed by mid May. The wine was then blended and bottled on June 14th.
The barrel fermentation and sur lie aging give underlying complexity, rich fruit on the nose and a well structured wine with a crisp finish. Due to its process being more “old world” in this wine will continue to evolve like a well made white wine.

Big Table Farm is a team effort of Clare Carver and Brian Marcy is the name of our wine and is also our working farm. Brain Marcy is our winemaker. In 1996 Brian worked his first harvest at Sterling vineyards, having studied fermentation science at Davis he took to the process of winemaking easily and loved it. Brian worked in the Napa Valley and learned from many of the most esteemed winemakers and wineries including Turley Wine cellars, Neyers Vineyards, Helen Turley and associates, Blankiet Estate and Marcassin just to name a few. Brian also spent a Harvest working in Australia at Trevor Jones Fine Wines.

We also have a 2006 Syrah to be released in the early fall and the 2007 is very promising as well.

there will be more info coming very soon on our web site

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pig in a bottle!! and new animals on the farm

Pig in a bottle !! Well one down one to go we got the rose bottled and labeled.

VERY SPECIAL Thanks to Matt, Angie, Johanna, Eric and Joseph
for giving up a beautiful Saturday to help us bottle (yes by hand al la clare and brian style) our rose. It was a fun day - a bit long - but we got every last bottle corked foiled an labeled... !!! yippee!!! our first one finished!! - Big Love and Big thanks from Big Table -

hey how many glasses have you had angie... you sure those labels are straight!!

this was clearly "serious" business : )

Big table - Big bootie : )

I'm not going to guess what was going through matt's head as he foiled...

as you can see from this photo one of the volunteer requirements was to be stunning : )

we did enjoy a nice lunch break and celebrated the rose and Johanna b-day : )

Angie labels the LAST ONE!!!

(info on the wine : )

We are excited about this this rose it's delicious! It's made from a super vineyard up here and is made from pinot noir grapes. This last vintage (07) many winery's made rose as a byproduct of making the '07 pinots using a process called saigner (French for "to bleed").. Our rose unlike most of the rose on the market right now was deliberately made to be rose from the beginning.... this wine was the only product from these grapes. The wine was fermented briefly on the skins and then pressed off and barrel fermented and aged sur lie until bottling (by hand).


And not to be out done... the girls arrived Saturday evening a few hours after the last label got stuck on...

introducing Haley and Jem ...

These girls are from Moo'n river Farms Moon River has been raising Dexter cows for about 15 years and is doing all grass feed and finished beef. The Dexters are a small breed that that is more of a "traditional" cow in size - cows are 0nly in the last 50 years bread to the size we see now they are much bigger now so that they are efficient in feed lots being feed grain not grass...

news flash - cows are rumens they are supposed to eat GRASS hence the multiple stomachs .. if you feed them grain they get sick and will die so you have to give them antibiotics till they get slaughtered... it's not good for the cows and it's not good for us!!! corn feed cows are fattier and sicker! I could go on and on about omega 3's in grass feed animals but I'll save it... ok enough preaching... if you want to know more I'll happily send you a summer must -read list... : )

These girls will not be dinner they are the start of our herd they will be our mamas (aka breeding stock) we do have one more baby cow coming as soon as she is weened in August she will be our first beef cow.. Haley and Jem will be bred in the late spring of next year when they are fully grown...

Letterpress beauty

This is Inge, her studio is texturaprinting she is a very talented printmaker. Inge has printed our very first vintage of Syrah labels and I'm so ferggin excited to get them on bottles and onto peoples tables.... These labels are special because they are not stickers like most wine labels each one is letterpress printed on printmaking paper and then hand cut by Inge, they are just beautiful. Gluing them each one by hand on the bottles will be next! yikes : ) I'm sure will be another interesting process. We wanted our labels to have a feel as special as we believe this wine is and me being crazy wanted to try something "new" well actually quite old .. and brian being game to do anything that is overly labor intensive and hands on personal etc. was game too... so here's the front of our syrah bottle... yes you are right it doesn't say anything... it's just a piece of art developed with Inga's help. We kept the front as a piece of fine art and the name of the wine "big table farm" and all the other info you need is on the back...

this is inge's beautiful studio everything thing in there was clean precise and by it's nature artfully - I hate to even use this word - "vintage" at the same time.

these beauties are from Joseph who is back in Oregon : ) it's been great to have him home...

note: the other title for this post is "Some of Porter's Passions - that I have been inspired by"

Thursday, June 12, 2008

name that grass

So every time I have someone out to the farm that "farms" I say hey what kind of grass is this or what weed is that.. ... I've been doing that for a while and have managed to only remember about 4 of our grasses... So in an effort to really learn I made a visual aid.. my sisters who teach and have children will love this one... I even put it on the bathroom door in the kitchen isn't there some rule about stuff like this being where you can see it everyday... : )

I also took my chart (as dorky as I'm sure they thought I was) to my very first Oregon Draft Horse Breeders’ Association meeting at Duane's house last Sunday... I figured a bunch of horse farmers better know their grass.. They where great sports in helping to fill out my ID chart although there seemed to be some disagreement on a few of them ...

I do love learning all about this place and learning from my friends and neighbors around me... I also was loaned a book from our friends the Boyers called Weeds of the West it's a GREAT book super for id'ing plants I've ID's a vast number of "weeds" or shall I say wild plants on my place with that book it's just super... (they may not see it for a while : ) ...I'm like a geeky birder (forgive me kate) but with weeds...
My friend Wendy pointed out Poison hemlock to me the other day and we discussed best way to buy bulk vinegar for suppression....and I recently learned I have creeping buttercup in my front yard which is pretty but toxic to cows --who knew those little cuties where bad little guys.. so if any of you reading this know your weeds and grasses and you want a nice dinner for some consulting consider your self well feed : )ok back to work... big love from big table

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

pigs on pasture round 3

So Peter, Paul and Marcy are growing fast and the mobile pig house aka the "winnapigo" is working great for them another brian marcy design what can I say : ) ... we moved their pasture the other day which is great but whew what a project!! let me tell you moving pigs is NOT as easy as moving goats pigs are skittish and kind of big babies despite their size and strength... you have to push coax and cajole and there is no bulling them or they run the other way... I need to find a really tasty treat for the next time we move them.. I tried fresh eggs which is what they seem to love best but moving out of their last pasture to the fresh one made them so nervous that no amount of fresh eggs seemed to get them to move onto the new grass.. so long story short we eventually got them to come over to the new location and hang around the winnapigo.

I'm really hoping the next time we move them is way easier....

Just so happened that the day when we moved the pigs Brian had gone into the winery and done our final blend for the Laughing Pig Rose (which we will bottle this weekend) ... and had brought home our final blend so it seemed appropriate that we sit there with the pigs and bask in our completed farm work the pigs and our wine..

I'm very excited about this rose it's delicious! It's made from a super vineyard up here and is made from pinot noir grapes. This last vintage (07) many winery's made rose as a byproduct of making the '07 pinots using a process called saigner (French for "to bleed").. Our rose unlike most of the rose on the market right now was deliberately made to be rose from the beginning.... this wine was the only product from these grapes. The wine was fermented briefly on the skins and then pressed off and barrel fermented and aged sur lie until bottling.

(we will be releasing it soon and you bet I will post about it.. and gasp hopefully get it up on the big table farm web site)

On a horsey note Chief went to his new owner yesterday it was hard to be sad he loves his new owner and she is over the moon for him.. he's going to be spoiled to death and treated like a king. The new owner had this amazing love at first sight with him and I have to say I think the feeling was mutual... it was kind of like breaking up with somebody to find they found someone new the very next day kind of hard to feel bad for them... This is his new home.