WHAT’S NEW . . . as of 4/20/17

BBC delivery 4/25order soon to ensure delivery
Home or office delivery to Puget Sound area and beyond (Bung it in the Boot of your Car)
Sale Wines
B’s Blend, Sangiovese, Baby Barn Owl Red
Special Events
Earth Day, Spring Barrel Tasting, Vineyard Tours
Words from the Winegrower
Lions in the Vines
Wine with Friends
Wine tasting in your home

If the sun seems to be lacking where you live, come to where we live.
Wine is half price if it’s raining when you purchase it in our tasting room.

**** Virtual tour video here ****

BBC delivery 4/25order soon to ensure delivery
Home or office delivery to Puget Sound area and beyond (Bung it in the Boot of your Car)

I am going over to Seattle on Sunday, 4/23, for a quick wine run and to see some family and friends. I jump at any opportunity to visit my mum.

No amount of wine is too small or too big to deliver. Ordering instructions and the price list are here.

Order soon and it will be Bunged in the Boot of my Car (BBC). Give us a call (509.829.9000)! You will want to know about our sale wines before you order. Read on . . .

Sale Wines
B’s Blend, Sangiovese, Baby Barn Owl Red

We discovered a couple of cases of the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon in our cased-good storage area. So, if you have been pining for this wine, here is an unexpected chance to pick up a few more bottles. After this is gone, then we are totally out of Cab until the 2013 vintage matures. Grab some now or you will need to wait for a few years. 

Wine Specials
Special price continuation on B’s Blend, Sangiovese, and Baby Barn Owl Red

50% off 12 bottles B’s Blend   $84   ($7/bottle)
50% off 12 bottles Sangiovese   $84   ($7/bottle)
50% off 12 bottles Baby Barn Owl Red   $99   ($8.25/bottle)

And of course, you can do any sort of mix and match and get case prices. We are running low on the Baby Barn Owl Red. There is plenty of the B’s Blend and the Sangiovese (previously called Under 10 Buck Red).

Live Owl Cam
The Barn Owl Cam is live! We have a pair of barn owls roosting there. We are growing another lively parliament, brood, diss, nest, looming, flock, stare, congress, glaring, hooting, bazaar, sagaciousness, or wisdom of baby owls that we are watching this spring. Whoooooo knew there are so many names for a bunch of owls? Pun intended. So far there are five hatchlings and five eggs to go. Last year six hatched out of nine eggs, not sure how many she will hatch out this year. We will just have to wait and see.

We use ten cents from every bottle of Baby Barn Owl Red that we sell to make more barn owl boxes. So far we have built five and have plans for four more.

Special Events
Earth Day, Spring Barrel Tasting, Vineyard Tours

Earth Day April 22
Celebrate Earth Day 2017 at America's only pesticide-free wine estate. This is the start of our fifth year with zero pesticide use in our vineyard.

Paul has been an organic gardener for over 50 years, his knowledge and experience has evolved his vineyard to the point where the ecosystem is stable and free of pest eruptions. So no need for pesticides.

Join us at 9 am Saturday or Sunday for a tour of the vineyard.

Paradisos del Sol Spring Barrel Tasting 2017 4/22-23, 4/28-30
We at Paradisos are passionate about making barrel tasting an educational experience. Paul, the Man in the Wild Pants, comes up with a different presentation every year, and he has been doing this for over 30 years! This year we will be tasting exotica. White exotica?

We don't actually make white wines, we make golden wines. Our wines have color. Blanco, Blanc, or white refers to the absence of color, like pure water. Not what we do. Colorless that is, not pure, purity is one of our paradigms, ingredient labeling, no pesticides, it's Our Way.
Wines we make are shades of gold, salmon, and ruby. Not white, pink, and red. Does color really even matter? The black glass says "not so much." But, there is a backstory to colors.

Exotic? Golden wine? What is this Wacko (the Man in the Wild Pants) going on about!?
It is much more demanding of the craftsperson to do delicate than robust. Is not Chenin Blanc the ultimate test of wine? Or is it Xarel•lo? Hmmm. Both are subtle, delicate, revelatory. Especially as dry wines, not hiding behind the veil of sugar. Xarel•lo, from Catalonia, is a new set of DNA for us, what's it all about? or what does it do here? or what? what? what!? (I planted it to give me something to practice that wonderful junction of art and science that results in wine.)

Xarel•lo is new to us and everyone in the US. So let's organoleptically evaluate it in contrast to our love of 30+ years, Chenin Blanc, the great revealer.

Two barrels, old barrels so we don't muck it up with flavors of lumber. Side by side. No agenda, no expectations, purely intellectual exploration of what 2016 gave us to enjoy. Join me on our patio to seek insights.

Enlightenment in wines of gold?

After the micro-mini seminar, we offer a micro-mini 10-course winemaker tasting, 10 teensy tiny bites of food to go with our 10 different wines. Sip, Sip, Bite, Sip!

We start off with our famous Rosé Paradiso and Mushroom Patê, Brie and our Oyster White, Paul's Peanut Sauce with our Sève, a bit of Wasabi-Ginger Rice as an accompaniment to our Riesling, and Pasta Arti-Pesto for our B's Blend. Next are our reds—with our Sangiovese we are serving Glondo's Pepperoni, our ever famous Bleu-Cheese Dip pairs with Baby Barn Owl Red (under our second label Naked Chick Wine). Paradisos Red is our pizza wine; we would love to have pizza, but it just doesn't seem to work as a small-bite option, who can eat just one bite? So instead, we use another great Glondo product, Salami. And now we are ready for dessert, two of them! With the Zort, we have a tiny bite of dark chocolate; we suggest you melt this in your mouth rather than bite. Last, but not least, is our Angelica SR. We have a skosh of Vegan Pumpkin Custard to go with that.

We know it is hard to choose which wineries to visit, we hope you come to visit us. Our $10 tasting fee is applied towards a purchase of at least $20. Part of every tasting fee paid is donated to the Yakima Humane Society. Passport and Premier Pass holders receive 10% off your purchase of 2 or more bottles; 30% off bottles and 50% off case purchase on selected wines. We have three wines that are under $100 a case. For Spring Barrel Tasting, groups of eight or more will be turned away if they don't have a reservation. Come Taste Paradise!

Vineyard Tours
Paul offers vineyard tours every Sunday morning at 9. It’s only $20 per person and includes our wine tasting at the end. He visits four different vineyards and talks about what is going on right now. They are very educational and fun. I learn something new every time I tag along. The vineyard tour takes about two hours and then another chunk of time for the wine tasting. Click here to reserve your spot: Book Vineyard Tour

Words from the Winegrower
Lions in the Vines

Or the argument for better trellising.

They aren't there. They, Cougar, Puma con color, do live in our vicinity. Or at least are occasional visitors, but, they don't live in our vineyard. I'm sure at some point one or more has walked across our farm. They didn't stay.

Grape Leafhopper, Erythroneura elegantula, is also an animal hard to find in our vineyard. They are regular visitors and occasionally resident for a time, but don't survive long and reproduce often.

We don't shoot cougars and we don't poison leafhoppers. We simply do not provide the habitats they need.

Cougars need deer for food. No deer here. Thickets and forest for shelter. No forest here and thickets are small and few. No cougars to see.

Leafhopper needs grapevines to feed on, we have plenty of those, but they also need shelter. THAT, we don't provide.

Our management view is that leafhoppers and Powdery Mildew are both signs of inadequate canopy management for the production of Vitis vinifera for wine with highly desired characters. At least in the Yakima Valley and similar climatic regions.

If we accept the premise that a low vigor canopy structure is optimal for top tier wines, if we accept the principles of Dr. Smart in his treatise " Sunlight Into Wine", then we view PM and leafhopper as indicators of failure.

Both organisms have similar habitat requirements. They require "thickets", dense foliage to provide shade, humidity and shelter from predators. Neither thrives on leaves  exposed to direct, intense sunlight.

Dense foliage is also sub-optimal for the development of optimal characters in fruit. Some degree of direct sunlight is desirable.

Can we have both a low canopy environment and harvest 5-6 tons per acre? Yes.

The first step is accept that the design of most vineyard trellis was obsolete by 1980. Nelson Shaulis and his many students ably developed and demonstrated the efficacy of horizontally divided canopy systems.

The apple growers are ahead of us with trellis, the research in canopy management at Cornell was not limited to grapes.

As a student of Mark Kliewer, I use his nomenclature, the horizontally divided, quadrilateral cordon to describe our trellis. I also call it the Crawford Trellis, since the Crawford's of Prosser created the design details used to construct trellis at Vineyard del Sol.

At Vineyard del Sol vines are planted on 8x5 spacing. Each vine has 4 cordon arms for a total of 10 feet of cordon or roughly 3 meters.(3.08) With a shoot density as low as 10 per meter, we still have 30 shoots per vine. These are highly effective shoots. Almost every  leaf is well exposed to direct sunlight, at the least, it is only blocked by a single leaf layer. They do not lose their photosynthetic abilities due to shading.

We have fewer cm₂ leaf area per vine than most vineyards in our vicinity but a much higher photosynthetic rate per cm₂ leaf area. Oh, also no habitat for PM or GLH. Oh, yeah, the fruit gets direct light, bloom to harvest. No sunburn, low pyrazines, little bunch rot. No leaf plucking. Shaded leaves, those with two or more other leaves between them and direct sunlight are non contributors to photosynthesis. They become consumers. I believe they become hosts to PM and GLH.
Any grad students working on theories that senescent leaves are more readily parasitized?

We have not used a fungicide or insecticide at Vineyard del Sol since 2012. Some blocks have had zero sprays since 2007. Temprañillo is our biggest challenge. Susceptible to PM and planted next to pasture. The most humidity and dew at night. Sprayed twice in 2011 and 3/4 in 2012, yes about 3/4 of the vines, once. Think about that, 2011, a tough year for PM. How many "extra sprays" did y'all use that year? What do you budget to douse your vines with materials your consumers would prefer you avoid?

2011 taught me that we need lower shoot density on Temprañillo. Big leaves, big clusters, so 15 shoots per meter is too much. 2012 taught us that 12 is sometimes excessive. Same with Zinfandel. 12-15 per meter is working well with Riesling.

Zinfandel is also a challenge, sprayed with Stylet oil twice in 2011 we dropped about 10% of the crop due to the bunch rot. We consider that acceptable, we are quite rigorous in our selection. In 2012 we used stylet oil once, we were caught by a week of warm, rainy, humid weather. Our experiment in yielding 10 ton/acre was sort of a mess. We lost about 55% to bunch rot and the grape quality was deemed average. (We did achieve 22 Brix in mid- October and 10T/A )Our experiment in yielding 7 tons/acre was better about 35% loss, our control, goal of 5 ton / acre, was about 25% loss. We found grape qualities the same, above average. We used those grapes to make wine we sold for $2/oz. The high yield stuff made wine that sold for about $.30 per oz..

We were depressed about these high losses to bunch rot, until we chatted with other growers. They reported losses of 40-100%, in Zinfandel. After multiple applications of fungicides.

That experiment led us feel 10lb. per vine or 5 T/A, in a low vigor canopy environment is our best target for Zinfandel. It gives us fruit valued at $5,000 a ton. Without pesticides.

I suspect that trellis is most or all the issue for PM, I don't believe it is the whole story for the more complex organisms.

Biodiversity is a contributing factor in the control of Grape Leafhopper. It has many predators, most not specialists, but eager to consume any little Critter. But they need other prey to sustain populations to stay effective at keeping the GL under control.

We need other plants in our vineyards. To feed small insects that feed predators. The deer to the cougars we desire. Also to provide for the adults that produce some of our best predators.

Wasp species, for instance are often vegans as adults. They hunt and anesthetize insects to feed the young, but adults feed on pollen and nectar.

Many consider Anagrus species as the top predators of GL. Biodiversity is essential to their life cycle. They need other species of leafhopper to host them through winter. They need pollen and nectar to sustain adults as they hunt for eggs.

So at Vineyard del Sol we have planted roses, oregano, and blackberries specifically to ensure environmental needs of Anagrus, though I suspect we would be fine without them. Cheap insurance, and, it adds beauty. One of our goals is beauty in wine and life.

Roses and blackberries planted to host Rose leafhoppers, so they can host Anagrus through the winter. Oregano because an astonishing number of species come to the blossoms, and it will survive in our arid vineyards.

Even better are our naturalized mustards. Our trellis has also proven to be a key in maintaining vegetation in our row middles. It lets us use Alternate Root Zone Deficit Irrigation in an effective manner.  It allows two drip lines a meter apart.  The entire soil horizon at depths of 1-3 meters becomes available to the vine roots. The shallow rooted annuals  are largely limited to a half meter surface area where they are easily mowed.

Our cordon wires are 0.4 meters or 16 " offset from the row center. We do not drip between vines but off to the side. Our drip zone, which is a vegetation zone from mid-summer on, allows us to manage mustards to keep them in bloom till November. Occasionally December. Some start to bloom in February.

The soil directly under vine doesn't support much vegetative growth most of the season. Once the winter grasses and mustards bloom and the soil is dried out,few summer season plants grow. Mowing in June is as much for fire control and worker safety (stumbling hazard) as weed control. In the drip zone, mowing causes mustards to regrow and rebloom, if you cut before they all die.

With ARZDI the frequency of irrigation to one zone is 14-20+ days, the grasses and forbs survive but not thrive. Seeds sprout, but seedlings mostly dry and die. We maintain two green strips in the middle of the rows. There are usually blossoms within a 20 feet radius, 7 meters, with bugs buzzing.

The end result is student interns need to focus on atypically vigorous vines to see a GLH.

I don't know about mealy bugs. I haven't found them in our vines. I have found them in nearby vineyards. Maybe I need to search harder.

I have more concerns about fruit fly species. Very mobile and I'm surrounded by cherry, apple, and peach. They are very involved in bunch rot. Our best strategy is keeping cluster berry counts low. We remove berries in July from large clusters to keep them open. No habitat, no critter. Thin skinned varieties with large, dense clusters need attention. Looser clusters may make better wine. Certainly clusters that don't have flies fleeing make better wine.

Our biggest pest issues are birds and pocket gophers.

With birds, our solution is netting. As a small vineyard, surrounded by orchard, birds would devour our entire crops of Temprañillo and Zinfandel. Our trellis actually makes netting cheaper and easier. We can cover two rows with each 16 foot width. We go over the top, covering the whole vineyard. We can work, drive tractor, and harvest without moving the net.

Pocket gophers, despite raising many Barn Owls, remain an issue. Every? plant missing in the vineyard is due to root loss. Traps are our answer. They are our zero tolerance pest. I try and walk a few rows every day. I look for mounds, mushrooms, trash, plant activity,(watching mustards and members of our biodiverse community, not just the vines). I do accept the premise "the farmers footsteps are the best fertilizer ". Perhaps the little buggers are an asset? They get me in the vineyard, walking rows, paying attention. I see a lot of stuff I might miss otherwise.

Our goal is not "the best", that is heifer dust. "Best" is a marketing myth, with less substance than most myths. It only exists on magazine covers. And only fairly recently? Our goal is the 99th percentile. Simply being an average to above average vineyard in Washington will put you in the 95th.
( OK, stop, analyze, think, ain't that amazing?) 14 Hands? Think abbbouddd it! Amazing!

Winter. It is one of our biggest challenges and I'm convinced, our key to success. Just as monitoring gophers keeps me monitoring the entire vineyard, farming for winter also makes us farm for optimal qualities for wine.

1983 was our breakout year in Washington. Early (9-30-83) frost put some vineyards out of the equation. Then winter freezes and spring frost put poor sites and growers who did not listen to Walter out of the game for two vintages.

1988 showed our progress, 8 Washington wines on the Spectator's top 100. Eight. Eight. With only 88 wineries operating versus 800+ in California and 8,000 just in Bordeaux, and then, 80,000 in Italy.

To endure our freeze events we have to be very careful with vigor. You can't survive many winters if you try high vigor, high yield viticulture. I have seen 20 T/A Müller Thürgau. Once. I even made wine from that fruit. It was decent stuff. It was decimated that winter, which only went to -2. 4 1/2 of the 5 acres fed starlings because the fruit was only decent, decent didn't make the grade 20+ years ago.

Winter keeps us operating in the low to moderate vigor range. That does have a pretty strong correlation to the production of highly desirable wines. Looking at top 100 lists makes me realize what astounding company I keep. Isn't CSMWE the best large winery in the World? Jeez, talk about competition on the home field!

So what else does the Crawford's Trellis facilitate? It makes effective ARZDI possible, it reduces or eliminates PM and GLH, facilitates bird netting, in addition;

Pickers love it except for Celia who is under five foot in height.

Shoot thinners prefer it. It is designed with ergonomics in mind. But yes it can be machine harvested.

Increases productivity by 50-100% on a tons per acre basis, while maintaining or improving characters desirable for fine wine. But I suggest y'all quit thinking acres and start thinking meters and Km. I prune rows not acres.

Provides the possibility of zero pesticide use.

Makes better wine.

Wine with Friends
Wine tasting in your home

Having a few people over? Want to do something fun before a book club meeting? Don’t know what to do with your house full of relatives? Want to do an employee-morale event? Want to make Barbara happy?

We have a program that we think you will really enjoy. It is called Wine with Friends. This is where we bring our tasting room experience to your home. We do all the work, you have all the fun (well, we have lots of fun also). We have several under our belt now and we are hoping that many more of you sign up to do one.

Here are a couple of many possibilities:

1.  Our Regular Tasting

Wine for tasting
Little food plates (35-calorie micro-mini Lilliputian winemaker dinner)
$10/person, waived with $30 purchase each (on average)
Minimum six people
Host gets 15% off 1-11 bottles or 30% off 12+
     (Or special pricing, whichever is better)
Leftover wine is removed at end

2.  A Wine Party for You

Full bottle of each wine (at 50% off retail)
Minimum of five wines up to all that we produce (your choice)
Little food plates (35-calorie micro-mini Lilliputian winemaker dinner)
$5/person, waived with $20 purchase each (on average)
Minimum six people
Host gets 15% off 1-11 bottles or 30% off 12+
     (Or special pricing, whichever is better)
You get to keep opened wine
You provide any extra food for the party

At the end of the event, we are thrilled if you and your friends want to order wine (and pay for it). It will be delivered the next trip over. Either event involves our usual kind of educational and fun wine tasting (Sip Sip Bite Sip) that we do in our tasting room, but it saves you the drive over to Zillah (think of all that gasoline and money you would save).

The Wine Party option would be great to do in conjunction with a book club. We usually even read the book!

We can drive almost anywhere. Contact us via phone or email and see what we can put together. We can’t wait to meet your friends and have wine with them: Wine with Friends!

By the by, we have checked out the pricing of other people doing these wine parties at private homes and ours seem to be the least expensive by far. Plus you get our decades of experience and the fun of a Paradisos del Sol party right in your living room. Give it a try!

Futures to build our future
Build a Building Futures

Inspired by the experiences of family and friends with Kickstarter and similar “crowd sourced” experiences, we are offering a change to get wine in the future at a big discount for money today. Time is to money sort of like energy is to matter. Join the patrons who have started the ball rolling.

We need more space to make more wine. We are maxed out and the vines are still not at full production. All of this is making Paul a bit anxious.

Borrowing money is bloody expensive! Bankers keep talking 10% to us. That means after seven years you pay the bank double. You have to sell a lot of wine to make enough money to pay them back.

So! How about we borrow from you for one to three years and pay you double or more in wine?

Our vineyard has finally grown too big for our facilities and we need a bigger building to grow to our goal of 3,000 cases a year (about three times our size now).

So! Instead of paying bankers a bunch, we would rather give a bunch of our customers a bunch of wine deals so we can have homes for our bunches of grapes that will eventually go to bunches of our customers. A new 2,400-square-foot, all-steel, well-insulated, above-ground “wine cave” is about $80,000. Plus we need some more tanks and barrels.

This is like a Kickstarter or Indiegogo project, the difference being we are not using a third-party aggregator to facilitate the transactions, i.e. we are doing it ourselves with no middle person taking a cut.

Here are a variety of options for you if you wish to participate:

1. Pay $50 now
•          In 2018 get 3 bottles
•          Buyers choice, Retail = up to $126

2. Pay $100 now
•          In 2018 get 6 bottles (2 each of 3 wines)
•          Buyers choice, Retail = up to $252

3. Pay $200 now
•          In 2018 get 12 bottles (3 each of 4 wines)
•          Buyers choice, Retail = up to $504

4. Pay $250 now
•          In 2017 get 12 bottles (3 each of 4 wines)
•          Buyers choice, Retail = up to $504

5. Pay $500 now
•          In 2018 get 12 bottles (3 each of 4 wines)
•          In 2019 get 12 bottles (3 each of 4 wines)
•          In 2020 get 12 bottles (3 each of 4 wines)
•          Buyers choice, Retail = up to $1512

6. Pay $750 now
•          In 2017 get 12 bottles (3 each of 4 wines)
•          In 2018 get 12 bottles (3 each of 4 wines)
•          In 2019 get 12 bottles (3 each of 4 wines)
•          In 2020 get 12 bottles (3 each of 4 wines)
•          Buyers choice, Retail = up to $2016

7. Pay $1000 now
•          Get twice as much as option #5 OR
•          Half price on all wine for 5 years
•          Buyers choice, Retail = skies the limit!

8. Pay $2000 now
•          Get twice as much as option #5 OR
•          Half price on all wine for 10 years
•          Buyers choice, Retail = skies the limit!

(Plus sales tax, delivery may be extra.)

Like all wine purchases at Paradisos, you can mix and match or get creative!

In our 16 years of business we have offered specific wine futures twice, but on a much smaller scale.

We would love to have you commit as soon as possible. We need to get this building raised and ready.

Cash, Dwolla, checks, or charge—we will take it any way you want to give it to us, any amount. If you want to discuss an amount not listed, just give us a call.

Dwolla or Checks are preferable to charge cards (just so we get all of the money without giving the banks any of it), but please do what is easiest for you. If we can add to your airline miles to get our building built then we both win.

You give us money, we give you wine (later), what could be easier?

Historically in America, business was done by a handshake. We are embracing this business model for growing our business and all of our futures.

Please contact us however you want - email, phone call, text, in person, or carrier owl.

Thank you for your continued support of our winery!

For our regular readers, this is where we pitch the plea to help us grow our business and review us on Yelp or Facebook or TripAdvisor. We really appreciate all of you who have giving us reviews. Please note: Yelp has a policy of not posting reviews unless the person reviews at least three or four other businesses. Crazy, huh? So we encourage you to review away! Us, our neighbors, your barber, your local.

Thank you for continuing to buy wine from us! Give us a call if you don’t want to deal with the order form, we are happy to do whatever it takes to continue to get our wine to you. If you didn’t keep drinking our wine, we couldn’t keep doing what we love (which also includes drinking our wine). So, we raise our glasses to you!

Paul & Barbara


Paradisos del Sol Winery
3230 Highland Drive
Zillah, WA 98953


Updated 2017-02-17