Welcome to the Bridge - Monthly Newsletter of Grand Island Vineyards


For more than 50 years our family has tended our vineyards and grown our own grapes, for our wines, along the lush banks of the Sacramento River. We are striving to perfect the art and science of grape growing, and we’re proud to share the rewards of our labor by creating wines that showcase distinctive grapes perfectly. Bridging all aspects of our Winery from the Vineyard, to the Cellar, Winery Grounds,Tasting Room and beyond.

NOTE: Grand Island Vineyards will be closed Dec 25th for Christmas.



Sunday, December 4, 2022

1 day advanced booking is required.

Cheddar Cheese making class, given by nationally recognized cheese making instructor, Kim Mack of Scratch Made Life. At the end of this 3 hour class, you will take about an 8 oz wheel of Cheddar home to take care of and it will be ready to enjoy in 4-6 short weeks! 

Price: $45.00 - $55.00

Duration: 3 hrs 

Group Size: 1 - 3 Guests

See feature article in Cheese Connoisseur!

Reserve Your Spot!

Merry Christmas

from all of us here at:

Grand Island Vineyards!


Wine Spotlight - The Post L'APÉRO Edition

Written by Winemaker, David Shattuck

It was so fun and great to see everybody at the wine club party, L'Apero at Grand Island Vineyards. For those who couldn't make it I thought I would recap the wines poured at this amazing event.

1) Bridgehead Bubbles

(poured by Tess)  

This was a great wine to start with and one that will be great for you over the holidays. We recommend pouring it as an aperitif, with seafood, or with dessert.

2) 2022 Pinot Gris 

(Ready Dec 14th, poured by Ed)

We are excited about this wine, look for it this spring.

3) GIV cocktails (mixed by me) 

2019 After Dark and 2019 Orange Wine. Both of these cocktails are a great start to an evening with friends. I wanted to share the recipes with you.

After Dark Cocktail:

2oz After Dark

1oz Cointreau

1oz lemon juice

top with sparkling water

Orange Wine Cocktail:

1oz Orange Wine

1oz dry vermouth

1oz aperol

top with sparkling water

4) 2019 GIV Cabernet Franc (Served by Shannon)

This newly released vintage of our flagship wine will pair well with many of your winter time dishes. This wine is particularly good with a rib roast or holiday ham.

5) 2020 Salman Family Reserve Petit Verdot (poured by Joe)

This newest release to our reserve brand does not disappoint. Take this with you to a holiday party and you and the wine will impress!

6) BRIDGHEAD LIONNE (poured by Eric)

The perfect end to an amazing night paired with sweets and cigars.


Getting Ready for the Holidays with GIV 

Written by Tasting Room Manager, Tess Jonson

Happy Holidays from your GIV Family! GIV is open for tasting and pickups Friday-Monday, 10am-5pm and we have many options to suit you and your crew. You have a large group, no problem! Give us a call in advance and we'll make sure to have the best setting available to you.

We've added tables and a lounge area in the tasting room to get you in from the cold and rainy weather. Prefer to be outside, we have our fire pits and fire pit tables to keep you nice and toasty during the winter chill. Or if you're lucky enough to get a table under the eaves on a sunny day you may even get hot.

Make your reservation now and celebrate some holiday cheer. See you soon!

Make a Reservation!

Examining the Lifecycle of a Wine Barrel

Written by Winemaker, Ed Seikel

Where the heck did December come from!? Feel free to change that last paragraph depending how you want to advertise what's available.

Now that all of our current vintage red wines have been put down to barrel for aging, I thought it would be interesting to talk about the life of a wine barrel from our perspective in the cellar. Most of our red wines will age in about 25% new oak barrels. What that means is we need to constantly rotate barrels in and out, so that we can maintain that balance.

Heading into harvest, we will have a mix of new, fresh barrels, and used barrels that were recently emptied from our last bottling, ready for the newest vintage of wines. Once the current vintage red wines have finished fermenting, they are put into this mix of new and used barrels to age for around 18 months. When these wines are ready for bottling, the barrels are emptied and are now ready to be used for a future vintage of wine.

The new barrels we use will lose about 80-90% of their oak influence after aging one vintage of wine. After a barrel has been used to age two vintages of wine, they are now considered to be "neutral" in their oak influence, and no longer impart oak aroma/flavor/structure to an aging wine. At this point, these barrels will be used to age new vintages of wine until they are naturally phased out as we bring in new barrels each harvest.

Once these old barrels are phased out of our program, they are normally no longer able to be used as wine storage, so we sell them whole so their staves can be used in arts and crafts, or cut in half to be used as garden planters. And since we just finished rotating out old barrels for this year, we have some currently available, so contact Tess via email or by stopping by soon if you are interested in purchasing a whole or half barrel.

Full Barrels $60, Half (Planter) $40


When Vineyards Cost More Than They Make...

Written by Operations Manager, Joe Salman

Even though this past harvest was overall pretty decent there are always difficult decisions to make after. 

Due to some vineyards being old, expenses being high (not news to anybody), and grape pricing very much lagging we are forced to remove a couple of vineyards. 

The equipment used to accomplish this was teased in last month's Bridge Newsletter. It is a costly project to remove vineyards, where after a bit of prep we hire a company with big equipment to assist in this process.

After a bit of legal permitted burning and some scrap metal recycling the field will be ready for what is next. Stay tuned.

Check Out These Videos!

See Blends
See Varietals
See Reserve

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