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Winegrower's Blog

Brian Talley, Vintner
April 25, 2014 | Brian Talley, Vintner

My Girls

I have two teenage daughters and one of the questions people ask me all the time is, “do either of your girls want to take over the winery?” or something along those lines.  My honest answer is that I don’t know.  My hope is that my girls follow their passion, get a good education and do what makes them happy.

Elizabeth & Olivia, 2005   Olivia & Elizabeth, 2014

We just spent three wonderful days in Southern California looking at potential universities for Olivia.  She is leaning toward UC Berkeley and would become the fourth generation in our family to attend that school, but she also really likes Boston College and UCLA.  Elizabeth has been accepted to Cal Poly (following in her mother’s footsteps) and will start next fall in the Agricultural Communications Department.   The girls have come to enjoy and appreciate certain aspects of the business, especially the part that involves travel and dining in restaurants like Spago in Beverly Hills or Gordon Ramsay in New York.  They’ve become very adept at helping us entertain and can do everything from setting the table, assisting in the kitchen, baking dessert and serving the meal to cleaning up at the end.  Elizabeth has extensive knowledge of social media and photography and gives me tips about how to better engage our customers.  Olivia is currently working as an intern for our local Assemblyman where she’s learning the finer details of constituent service.  They both sound like absolute naturals for this business….

We have an understanding in the family that anyone in the fourth generation (between my cousins and me, we have a total of 10 kids) who wants to work for either Talley Farms or Talley Vineyards in a leadership position will need an undergraduate degree and at least two years of experience working outside of our businesses.  I would be thrilled if my girls decide to work in this business, but ultimately, I want them to have passion for what they do because that’s the way I feel about my work.  After all, what can be better than loving to come to work every day?  Cheers! BT
Eric Johnson, Winemaker
April 18, 2014 | Eric Johnson, Winemaker

Winery Tour

This week Winemaker Eric Johnson gives you a video tour of the Talley Vineyard winery.

Travis Monk, Vineyard Manager

April Showers Bring...

So the saying goes "April showers bring May flowers", and that's typically what we see out here at Talley Vineyards. But we'll have to change the saying around a bit this year as we are already starting to see bloom in the vineyard. Overall it seems like the vines are about two weeks ahead of schedule compared to their normal growth pattern. Bud break was a bit early, but growth has been rapid over the past few weeks. We finally received a decent amount of rainfall, spread out over the past couple weeks, which was followed by some much warmer than normal temperatures. This weather pattern gave the vines all the energy they were needing, and they quickly began to grow.


With bloom kicking off in many of our pinot and chardonnay blocks, it won't be long until the vines begin to set this year's clusters. In a few more weeks we'll get our first real look at this year's vintage. Some of the local growers are making jokes about a July harvest, and although things seem to be ahead of schedule, there's still a lot of growing season left. Our hope here at Talley Vineyards is that we get some warm spring weather over the next few weeks. Warmer temperatures seem to help speed up the bloom process and ensure a good crop for this year.              

In the vineyard, we're still busy shoot thinning. The women's crew is wrapping up the shoot thinning while the men's crew has begun lifting wire and organizing the canopy. Tractor drivers are busy spraying and cultivating the mid rows. We've also been busy ripping out some blocks that we've decided to replant and have begun planning and designing the layouts for some new blocks we will plant next year. It's a busy time of year out here, but things are looking great. 

Christina Bailey, Marketing & Sales

Our Solar Project in the Rincon Vineyard

If you've visited Talley Vineyards then you are sure to know that it is almost always beautifully sunny around the winery and tasting room. We are about 7 miles inland from the coast and regularly experience the luxury of a coastal breeze with warm, sun filled days. We have recently decided to put our excess rays to work and make the most of our sunshine with the help of San Luis Obispo County's solar experts, SolarPonics. This local company has been serving the Central Coast since 1975 specializing in wineries as well as serving residential and commercial properties. The installation of the solar panels has been an ongoing process that officially began in March of this year. Through planning and discussion, we've decided to mount the panels on the roof of our winery and barrel room as well as along a hillside in the East Rincon Vineyard. This project is estimated to offset 80% of our power usage!

We are excited to share the progress of our solar installation with you. Projects like this make me proud to be working for a company that maintains a constant concern for their effect on the environmental. Although the banging on the roof may have not been my favorite part of this project, I am looking forward to seeing all the panels in place and knowing Talley Vineyards will be energy efficient for years to come. 


The start of the Rincon hillside preparation. Rincon Vineyard hillside prepartion continued.
Just finishing up the last panels on the Rincon Vineyard hillside. Pat taking a look up-close of the solar panels.
The solar panels on the roof of the winery. Solar panels on top of the barrel room.