Feel Goode Wines by Murphy-Goode

With November coming to an end, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the wonderful memories, moments of gratitude, and share some wine highlights with you. We saw an increase in the amount of wine we consumed this month with the holidays in full swing. But hey, that’s what The Social Grapes is all about – sharing fantastic wines with close friends and family – even if that means popping a few extra corks. This sentiment aligns with that of Murphy-Goode Wines, which is why I’m beyond excited to dive into their wonderful lineup of wines and share more about their #GoodeFriendsgiving campaign. This acclaimed winery launched it’s first #GoodeFriendsgiving sweepstakes across the nation this month. Every week in November, the brand has encouraged fans to share their favorite memories using the hashtag for a chance to win a hosting kit that includes all the wine goodies one could need! Every week a new winner was announced on their social media page. This campaign was the perfect way to share their mantra with wine lovers from all over the country which is this: Murphy-Goode wines were made to be enjoyed alongside friends. If you’re reading this before the end of November, there’s still time to play and I highly recommend you do because the grand prize is rather… well… grand! One final (and very lucky) winner will get their next hometown Friendsgiving hosted by winemaker David Ready Jr. I always say the best way to learn about wine is to go to the source. If you can’t, tasting with the winemaker in your hometown is the next best thing! Click here to check out more information on how to win this exciting grand prize for you and five friends.

Let’s Discuss Goode Terroir

Murphy-Goode was founded on friendship in Sonoma County’s hottest AVA, Alexander Valley. Tim Murphy, Dale Goode, and Dave Ready pooled their talents and passion for wine together to establish their very own winery. Murphy-Goode is a serious, acclaimed winery in Sonoma with a fun-loving side. The trio have pioneered Sonoma winemaking and winegrowing in a few ways. Tim Murphy is often referred to as the Father of Sonoma Sauv Blanc. On the growing side, they brought wire-trellising to the AV area. Alexander Valley is truly something special and one of my favorite AVAs in Sonoma County. It’s located along the Russian River in the northeast corner of Sonoma County, north of Healdsburg and south of Mendocino. The proximity to the river creates cool pockets which gives the wine a nice cool climate style of wine. The climate coupled with alluvial soil atop gravel, which is comparable to what’s in Bordeaux, results in elegant Cabernet Sauvignon with soft tannins. While Cabernet makes up about 50% of the vineyard plantings, Alexander Valley has a little something for everyone. Merlot and Zin thrive here as well. For white wine drinkers, you can expect some refreshing and crisp Sauvignon Blanc or juicy Chardonnay. I had the privilege of tasting my way through four of Murphy-Goode’s wines and there was a consistent theme to each: approachability meets finesse. Let’s dive in!

Best Seller: Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
In my research I found that this wine comes from two prominent AV vineyard sites – Peline Ranch and Alden Ranch. I don’t often find great Cabs for under $20 but this one fits the bill, and I will recommend this for years to come. Another thing I love about cooler temps is that it can result in a lower abv, which is something that just sits really well with me. This one comes in at around 13.5% which is more in line with wines from Bordeaux. It’s giving flavors of black cherry, licorice, and baking spice. Oak is peaking through with notes of vanilla and coco on the finish. I can see this pairing really well with smores or bbq foods like grilled burgers or ribs.

Next up, California Pinot Noir

This beauty truly represents all that California has to offer throughout the coast. Fruit is sourced from coastal regions starting with Sonoma down to Santa Barbara. This captures the essence of cool climates and marine influence in that you get dense fruit but elevated acidity. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a Pinot in the sub $15 range – which is tough to come by! I can see this being a great companion to any Thanksgiving food!

Chardonnay Time

This one is easy on the palate and that’s exactly what I want from Chardonnay these days. It’s clean, refreshing, straight forward, and balanced. It’s aged in 67% oak, 33% stainless steel which adds just a touch of richness to balance out the wine. I can see this one being enjoyed on its own or with spicy pad Thai or coconut curry.

This Rosé is Bae

We love finding new Rosé wines for under $20 and this was a pleasant surprise. Rosé is one of those wines that often gets associated with summer, and for good reason. But, I have and always will advocate for Rosé to be consumed year round – this is a great example why! Rosé is more than just a pretty hued wine, it’s complex and robust. It can pair with a wide range of foods and hold up. This one was round and juicy, fruit-forward yet approachable. I think this is a great option for Turkey, veggies, and even cranberry sauce with its bright berry flavors and bright acidity.

There you have it – our take on Murphy-Goode. The verdict: we’re all about it and give this winery our social grapes stamp of approval!

Thanks for sipping with us,

@smashleythegrape | The Social Grapes LLC

#WomenMakingWine 2022 part 6: Katie Madigan, Winemaker St Francis Winery & Vineyards

Welcome back to my second annual series featuring women in wine who are at the top of their game. This year we have the privilege of hearing from women in various roles – from business operations to vineyard management, cellar masters to winemakers, and even CEOs/Presidents. The accomplishments of women in a male dominated industry is worth celebrating not only on International Women’s Day, but all month and all year for that matter. These amazing women are paving the way for future generations of female leaders and powerhouses in wine. I hope you enjoy learning about their journey and winemaking philosophy and feel as inspired as I do to go after your dreams. Check back here for updates as I continue to roll out these interviews daily on Instagram.

Let’s head on over to Sonoma to chat with Katie Madigan, Winemaker at St Francis

St Francis Winery has incredibly deep roots in Sonoma County dating back to 1971 when the first acres were planted to Chardonnay and Merlot. The founding team at St Francis established themselves early on as producers of premium, single varietal Merlot. Since then, they’ve expanded vineyard sites and grown their portfolio of wines to include Old Vine Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Reserve Zinfandel. Katie Madigan joined the team as an intern in 2002, and today she carries on the legacy of producing show-stopping, terroir-driven wines. You can enjoy a lovely outdoor tasting at the winery that focuses seasonal food pairings or you can pedal your way through the vineyards with a Tour de St. Francis. This winery is high on my list of “must visit” Sonoma wineries for a few reasons… These unique, tasteful experiences sound incredible, but also I love to celebrate wineries that are dedicated to organic, sustainable farming practices and St Francis is committed to this. Lastly, it’s always a pleasure to see females making wine at such a well established winery.

Katie began her career as an intern and worked her way to winemaker in 2011. In 2015 she was awarded the “Best Woman Winemaker” by the International Women’s Wine Competition #YEAHGIRL! She has merits for days including Zinfandel Producer of the Year in 2014 and 2015. We love her hands-on philosophy and passion for detail when it comes to harvest. Her energy is fierce and I’m excited to support her career through sipping and celebrating her wines.

Without further ado, our virtual interview…

Ashley: Why did you choose to become a winemaker? 

Katie: After studying Chemistry in college, I took a harvest internship in the summer of 2002 at St. Francis. I wanted to explore fermentation science more, and learn the agriculture aspect to it. I’m celebrating my 20th harvest this year, and I’m still excited, challenged & motivated by the wines we’re creating.

Ashley: What are some of the challenges you face in winemaking and how do you overcome them? What’s your favorite part of the process?

Katie: It feels like more & more of the challenges winemakers face are environmentally based. No two vintages are alike, and we can’t predict what kinds of outside factors are going to impact the vintage. All we can do is prepare, and learn. I have multiple journals full of scribbled notes going back to the beginning of my career, where I would jot down ideas & techniques from what has/has not worked and what improvements could be done if faced with a similar scenario. Because of this, my favorite part of the process is still Harvest! It’s so dynamic and exciting. Even in the difficult vintages, there is something to feel accomplished about.

Ashley: What is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about a future in winemaking?

Katie: Take your time, enjoy the process, and hone in on your craft & style! Having the title of Winemaker is fantastic, but I wouldn’t have the confidence or the skills that I do without all my previous experiences as an intern, in the cellar, and the other various positions I’ve held. Lectures and reading about winemaking is instrumental, but seeing/smelling/tasting it firsthand is invaluable.

Ashley: How has your job changed over the last 10 years? 

Katie: Gosh, the winemaking industry is ever-changing and that’s one thing about it I still enjoy about it. There’s not just one way to do things. The door is always open for new ideas, innovations and styles to shine through. It’s incredibly motivating to know I don’t ever have to stop learning & growing!

Katie, thank you so much for sharing your insight with us! I’m a diligent notetaker so your attention to detail with harvest notes is truly amazing! Looking forward to sipping your wines all summer long – ps the Chardonnay with a grilled cheeseburger is a spring staple at our home.

Thanks for sipping with us!

The Social Grapes | @smashleythegrape