Welcome to the Bridge - Monthly Newsletter of Grand Island Vineyards


WELCOME TO 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, striving to perfect the art and science of grape growing. Today, we’re proud to share the rewards of our labor by creating wines that showcase our distinctive grapes perfectly. Bridging all aspects of our Winery from the Vineyard, to the Cellar, Winery Grounds, Tasting Room and beyond. Our newsletter is an ideal way to stay up to date with all aspects of the Winery and our newest wine releases!


EVENT: GIV Patio Tasting

Saturday, June 4th - 7th, 2021

from 11:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

 Reserve a Patio Tasting Today 

EVENT: Live Music w/ Ken Peterson

and Gewurztraminer Release Party!

Sunday, June 13th, 2021

from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

RSVP to Live Music Event Now

2020 GIV - Vin Gris


The 2020 Vin Gris pours a pale pink color. The initial aromas are of cherry, watermelon, and orange zest. The varietal character of cabernet begins to come through as the wine opens and hints black cherry, pepper, and herb de provence are noticeable. The wine has a good balance between grip, acidity, and weight that will leave you excited for more!

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Leaf Removal Aids in Air and Light Flow

Written by Operations Manager, Joe Salman


As if shoot thinning were not enough... (see May 2021 newsletter), we just started yet another quality driven job!

I'm often surprised when people don't realize all the off-season work that goes into winemaking. Sure, the picking and processing are exciting, but there's much more behind the scenes work going on, so I like to point it out when possible.

Removal of leaves that lay in the areas around the fruit can greatly affect the end result of a wine made from these grapes. The photo on the right is a close-up of thinned, leaf removed vines.

As interior and afternoon-shaded side leaves are removed, it creates an even better air and light environment for a bunch of grapes. Not only does this result in grapes that are less susceptible to various molds, mildews, and rot, but in red varieties especially, leaf pulling greatly increases the color and flavors of a finished red wine. 

The trick for this job is to always remember that we still live in California. Meaning, the grapes need a little protection from the hot afternoon sun. So how do we accomplish this at Grand Island Vineyards? 

Well... up until a couple years ago we did all this by hand, but I've shown in the past how a tractor mounted machine can do this now. We have workers target areas where more is needed or older vines that are not conducive to the machine work. Recently we just started leaf removal and thinning on white varieties, and here you can see the job our automation machines do on this chardonnay vine. 


What's Happening in the Tasting Room?

Written by Tasting Room Manager, Tess Jonson


Choose Your Own Tasting Event

June 4th - 7th from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Choose your own tasting is here again! Come down to the winery June 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th and choose your very own tasting experience! Tastings are still by reservation so be sure to make yours before coming down. Please RSVP for your table of six or less, as advanced booking is required. To see the complete Wine List for this event in PDF form, click here.

Live Music Events are Back at GIV!

June 13th from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Join us on June 13th for some choice jams by one of our own members, Ken Peterson to celebrate our Gewurztraminer Release Party! Bring a picnic or purchase some of our snacks and enjoy your favorite GIV wine on the patio. We really hope to see you there, please RSVP for this event.


How Do We Get those Flavors and Aromas?

Written by GIV Winemaker, Ed Seikel


David and I have both been asked on occasion "How do you make the wine smell like cherries?" or "When do you add the tobacco to the wine?", etc.  Now first off, we definitely are not in the cellar adding anything like that to our wines! 

Those different flavors and aromas are a natural byproduct of fermentation, and are referred to as the varietal characteristics of the wine. The quality of the grapes themselves has the largest impact on the expression of these characteristics, but a secondary influence that many may not be familiar with is the yeast used for fermentation.

We use specific yeast types with known properties for most of our wines. By using the same few yeast types, our experience with them allows us to achieve clean, controlled, and repeatable fermentations that best highlight the natural characteristics of each varietal year after year.  

But this isn't always the case! Sometimes we like to build a natural complexity into the wine through what is known as a wild fermentation. In this technique, we allow the various yeast types found naturally growing on the grapes to be the driving force of the fermentation. By doing this the fermentation is slower to begin, and allows for multiple different yeast types to start fermenting, creating a wide spectrum of aromas and flavors in the wine. A great example of this style of wine is our 2018 Salman Family Reserve Chenin Blanc!


2020 Grand Island Vineyards Gewurztraminer

Written by GIV Winemaker, David Shattuck


Ed and I are excited to return a wine varietal to the menu that has not been available for several years: the 2020 Grand Island Vineyards Gewurztraminer

This German varietal is known for its rich body, exotic fruit and spice flavors, and floral aroma. It is best paired with dishes from the Mediterranean and northern Africa that feature dried fruit, nuts, ginger, and spices.

This wine pours a deep golden color. The wine opens with a powerful aroma of lychee fruit, honeysuckle, and honeycomb. The mouthfeel is unctuous with a hint of grip and minerality. 

This wine is special, as you savor the long finish, hints of dried apricot, ginger, and oyster shell last on your palate for minutes.


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