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Sutter Buttes vintner opens tasting room
Cordi Winery Tasting Room open Saturdays and Sundays in December, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
All other times by appointment. Call 695-1785.
For directions and more information, go to www.cordiwinery.com.
One year after taking gold at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Reece Cordi says his business venture is still just a berry on the vine.
But his role as an artisan is developing ahead of schedule.
For the month of December, the pioneering Sutter Buttes viticulturist and vintner, 59, has opened up the tasting room on his scenic hillside property for regular weekend hours.
It's the latest commercial chapter in what promises to be an epic odyssey.
"This is all more work than we thought it would be when we set out," he said after a full day of bottling chardonnay with his brother and sister-in-law.
"The farming is one full-time job, the wine-making is a full-time job, and keeping up with compliance of federal and state law — that's a full-time job, too," Cordi said.
He and his wife, Teresa Cordi, employ as much free family labor as they can manage during deadline-oriented seasons like this one.
Their two teenage daughters pitch in when they can.
On the agenda for the next couple of months is the tedious assembly-line work required to get the product from barrels and holding tanks into bottles.
Soon enough, however, Reece Cordi will return to the part of the process he enjoys most: The craftsmanship.
He recently bottled the first of his pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc, and is about
to make a foray into the uneasy world of rosé.
"We're gonna give it a shot and see how it goes," he said.
That's not an approach he would have taken during his previous career in banking.
But he's up to his elbows now in this very different world, and it's one that calls for creativity, flexibility and a healthy pour of "Qué Sera."
A bumper crop of primativo grapes this year threw the Cordis' fledgling operation into a bit of chaos.
"We had to scramble for tank space," Reece Cordi said. "But it allowed us to do some other things with it."
In other words, when life hands you lemons ...
"A good rosé is hard to come by," he said. "It's a different niche within the market."
CONTACT Nancy Pasternack at email@example.com or 749-4781. Find her on Facebook at /ADnpasternack or on Twitter at @ADnpasternack.