April 2012

April 27 – “Caves”

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by Grape Stomper Todd on April 27, 2012


Hello everyone and today is April 27.  But just to mix things up (because I’m often all mixed up), today’s Wine Word of the Day is actually yesterday, April 26th.  (Boy how time flies!)

So, On this day in 1946, Jim White passed away.  Jim was a cowboy, park ranger, explorer, and guano miner (and you thought you had a bad job).  While it might not be a household name, Jim White was certainly known in underground circles.  In fact, he discovered what is now known as Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico.

Which brings us to our Wine Word of the Day:  Caves

Wine caves have been around almost as long as grapes have been grown, but they seem to be popping up more and more lately.  Well, I guess a cave doesn’t really “pop UP.”  It takes a lot to construct these massive underground facilities.  You’ll need more than just a shovel (in fact, it costs about $150,000 to engineer an entrance to a cave, and by law, there has to be two entries in case of a collapse).  At some of the larger vineyards, these caves not only store wine barrels, but have been rigged out with full kitchens, ballrooms, private tasting rooms, classrooms, and blimp hangers (seriously, you know it’s just a matter of time before Gallo or Charles Shaw has a dirigible for airborne marketing).

But storing wine underground offers big perks to winemakers. Caves are energy efficient, providing high humidity as well as cooler temperatures, which is precisely what wine needs to prevent evaporation and for proper aging.  Plus, a vintner doesn’t have to use up valuable land building a big storage facility that would need heating, air and water.  He can simply burrow under the vineyards and make the most of his property.

I had considered building a wine cave under our tasting room, but I am afraid the landlord did not care for my plan.  Very similar to my wife not agreeing to my plans for a man cave, in my basement at home.  She loved the idea at first, but I should have stopped at a pool table and TV.  Once I mentioned the keg and a stripper pole, my man cave was a no-go.

For transcripts, links and more podcasts, check out moonstonecellars.com/wwd.  If you have any suggestions for more words, historical facts or tips on how I can dig myself out of the big hole I’ve dug for myself, please send emails to, wwd@moonstonecellars.com.

And until next time, cheers to you!


TASTING ROOMORS (Happenings in the Tasting Room)

Michelle Davis

Bruce Thinger
Greg Sellers
Tiim & Karisa Bennett

Krystina Kubran,  5 years
Mike & Joan Trebing,  5 years
Carl Carnahan,  4 years
Ashley Gracey,  4 years (needs to pickup Feb. shipment)
Bill & Linda Murray,  4 years (needs to pickup Feb. shipment)
Karen DeDea,  3 years
Julie Kaufman,  3 years
Zaragozas,  3 years

Joanne & Davon Quon—Tina’s friends came in to visit
Heather and Curtis Bennett: Cribbage Tournament!

Spaces for Papagallo on Friday, May 18,  Saturday is sold out (waiting list only)

MMM Winners
Brenda and Kathy in a coin-toss against Ron,

Wine for PAWS–we raised about $400, can still buy dog stoppers and proceeds go to Woods

Them’s fightin words!
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A study in the UK finds that alcohol ads don’t influence consumption, but does inspire loyalty.
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Meanwhile in Australia, a study shows ads targeted to teens have an impact
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Red wine cuts the fat.  It bears repeating.
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“How many gallons of water required to irrigate an acre of vines?”

Don’t forget to play Moonstone Music Mondays! Every Monday from 11am until Tuesday at 11am

Voice Over Talent – Andrew Dawson (Andrew’s YouTube Channel)
Show Posting and Tagging – Robert Widmer
Utter Nonsense – Jill and Todd


April 20 – “Bud Break”

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by Grape Stomper Todd on April 20, 2012


Hello everybody and today is April 20th.  That’s right you hipsters, it’s 4-20. And for those not so hip, “420” is a drug-lingo for smoking marijuana.

There’s a lot of lore surrounding how this number became associated with the ingestion of cannabis sativa, but it’s mostly wrong.  You can go to snopes.com to get the whole story, but it comes down to a bunch of innocent, pot-somking teenagers in San Rafel, CA  looking for an abandoned marijuana crop. They would meet everyday at 4:20 pm at the Louis Pasteur statue just outside their school to either look for the pot or just smoke some.

That brings us to our Wine Word of the Day: Bud Break

Bud break is arguably the beginning of the grape growing season.  Depending on the vines and the location of the vineyard, bud break occurs throughout spring.  These buds are the first leaves on the previously dormant vine that eventually turn into shoots. The shoots then grow rapidly (as fast as an inch a day).  It’s from these shoots the grapes will hang.

I spoke with one of our growers today who said our Viognier had just budded-out. The only concern now is whether a frost will occur sometime over the next three weeks.  Buds are very sensitive to cold and a freeze could kill the future growth of the shoots.  It happened last year to that vineyard, and they lost 95% of their crop.

In other words, if anybody needed an “herbal remedy” last year, it was our viognier grower!

For medicinal scripts, links, and more potcasts go to moonstonecellars.com/wwd.  If you have any suggestions for more words, historical facts, or tips on smoking spliffs down to the last whiff without roach clips please don’t send them them to wwd@moonstonecellars.com.  Cause that stuff is against the law…well, sort of, in California.

And until next time, cheers to you.

Deb Denney   4 yrs
Larry Dumas   4 yrs
Dr. Robert Fielden    4 yrs
Brian & Donna Haney  5 yrs
Nancy Johnson 5 yrs
Cheryl Seay   5 yrs
Josh Stambaugh   6 yrs

WRAP UP Wine for Paws weekend.

A couple of spaces left for the May 18 & 19 for the Wine Fest Papagallo cruises.

A little weed with your wine?
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What would you pay?
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Drinking on the job?  You’re probably an ad man
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Fattening cocktails?
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But to stay healthy, check this
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Voice Over Talent – Andrew Dawson (Andrew’s YouTube Channel)
Show Posting and Tagging – Robert Widmer
Utter Nonsense – Jill and Todd


April 13 – “Oxygen”

April 13, 2012
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Hello everybody and today is April, Friday the 13th.  And on this day in 1970, NASA got this message from space: “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” That’s right an oxygen tank exploded on the service module on Apollo 13 on it’s way to the moon.  It turns out you can’t call AAA when your vehicle […]

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April 6 – “Non-Alcoholic Wine”

April 6, 2012
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WINE WORD OF THE DAY Hello everybody and today is April 6th. A lot of people say history is dry, right?  Well it’s true. On this day in 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the original church of the Latter Day Saint movement, is organized by Joseph Smith, Jr. and others […]

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