Jennifer Gray Wine

Wine Education and Consulting

Operating as usual

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 12/15/2022

Back in the cellar (briefly) yesterday to draw some samples. These samples get submitted to a lab that analyzes (in this case) for the amount of malic acid present. If the number is higher than the threshold, we know that the wines have not yet gone through malolactic fermentation. It was a cold day, but nice and mellow—especially compared to harvest days! I got into my zone listening to holiday music while drawing barrel samples. 😊 🎄

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 12/12/2022

Do I look relaxed? Because I feel pretty relaxed after a lovely weekend away with a dear friend. Of course, I had to bring a little Santa Barbara wine with me for our hotel room wine and snacks….. 🍷 😊

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 12/12/2022

Do I look relaxed? Because I feel pretty relaxed after a lovely weekend away with a dear friend. Of course, I had to bring a little Santa Barbara wine with me for our hotel room wine and snacks….. 🍷 😊


Guess who is officially forklift certified????? 🚜


Wouldn’t be right if I hadn’t had some mulled wine at the Manchester Christmas Market, right?! The perfect way to warm up from the inside out. It was a chilly but fun couple of days in Manchester. Now we are in London getting ready to fly home to Santa Barbara! I had a great time but I’m ready to hug my kids and sleep in my own bed. 😊 ✈️

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 12/04/2022

Drinking and eating progression on our last night in Barcelona.

❤️Pinxtos + vermut
💛tapas + vino
💛then some more cava (before the flamenco show) (words fail me, it was incredible! 💃)
❤️gin cocktails

…before finally crashing into bed. Long fun night! I’m not used to these late dinners and evenings, it’s exhausting….but also so memorable and fun. So grateful to have been able to have the time there and experience so much. ❤️ ¡Barcelona! 💛

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 12/02/2022

The gang. Finally got the guys out with us to have some fun!

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 11/30/2022

This wine from Mallorca blew my kind last night. Low alcohol, light bodied, some carbonic character, lively and fun and fantastic with tapas. This is one of my favorite things about traveling….tasting things we don’t have access to at home. Tomorrow we go wine tasting in Priorat! 😁


“Wine made in Gratitude.” It’s the motto, and it’s lived out in word and deed by this wonderful human, Jessica Gasca. Harvest is officially over and as I reflect on this season I can say, without a doubt, that as much as I’ve put in the hard work, I’ve also been on the receiving end in this winery: at Story of Soil there is a company culture of cooperation, thankfulness, and valuing/appreciation of the grit and hard work required to make wine. An attitude of gratitude isn’t just something nice to put on the bottles, something for marketing. It is lived and real. I feel valued. I feel seen. I feel appreciated. And I have received an education like no other. To sit down with a winemaker and understand the ins and outs of why and how we do the things we do. To taste through barrels and discuss—does this taste reductive? Oxidative? How much sulfur do we add, and when? Why harvest at the end of the week and not right now? Every day full of education. I have mad respect for Jessica and her business. Icing on the cake: she makes some really kick-ass wines. 🍷🙌❤️


Lunch rosé 😍


It was so cold this morning at the winery that there was ice in the bins! 🥶
We spent today cleaning out and sanitizing the fermentation and picking bins—lots of power washing. Getting ready to put everything away until next harvest.


From filling barrels to serving magnums…..from overalls to a suit. I worked the wine auction tonight (had the privilege of pouring for and —all of whom were just lovely) and survived (even pouring double magnums) 😅. More importantly, it was a huge success for the Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation. Happy to support the efforts of this good cause.

Photo credit !!! 😊


I’ll be somming tonight at the auction for the Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation where these beauties—double magnums!—(a blend of Syrah from SB producers) will be auctioned off along with some other amazing items and experiences, all to raise money for some very important causes (Direct Relief and Community Health Centers). See link in my bio for more info—you can bid online for silent auction items. Thank you to everyone involved in this event, for bringing awareness and much needed access to health services for central coast farm and vineyard workers. ❤️ 🍇

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 11/09/2022

Commemorating the last day of multiple bins of punch downs! Tomorrow 3 out of 4 of these will get pressed and put to barrel. Harvest is winding down—it’s bittersweet! 😌


Just another Saturday morning…. (Tasting through wine samples for D3–WSET Diploma class). Today: Bordeaux!


Essential cellar skill: siphoning


One thing that has stood out for me this harvest is how important collaboration, teamwork, and community can be. Today we helped out a fellow wine maker (helped destem), and we were helped out by fellow wine makers (to move heavy containers with us—thank you ). Could we do it without help? Often yes. But there are so many little ways where it is the human and right thing to do, and it provides a sense of camaraderie—even if we are complaining about the weather, at least we are in it together! So frequently others in the winemaking community are a source of encouragement, help, and support (physical, mental, etc). Big thank you to this winemaking community. 👏 🫶

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 11/01/2022

Cellar rat by day, elite fighter pilot by night 🍷 🎃 👻


When work and home life meet: in this case, it’s a very beautiful thing. 🍷


Orange wine punchdowns. This Orange Muscat smells AMAZING. 🍊 ✨(kinda just like an Orange Julius!) Intoxicating!


My fingernails are looking maaayybe not-so-good. But this bunch of grapes is pretty great. 🤩 Sampling for Rhône varietals is happening to determine when to pick. Coming soon…..

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 09/17/2022

This week at the winery:

Stacks and stacks of picking bins full of grapes

Gruner Veltliner samples

Grapes going into the press

Beautiful fruit!

Checking on fermenting bins

Jessica being a bad ass winemaker (punching down)

Fresh off the vines Grüner

Topping off Gamay in barrel

Racking rosé

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 09/02/2022

This week we didn’t get any grapes in so it was all about vineyard visits (to check on the grapes/bring back to check brix), cleaning up around the winery (sanitizing and organizing), and dealing with the wine we’ve already got in the works (topping off finished wines, checking brix on fermenting wines, *racking, *cap management for the Gamay, and giving some of the slower-to-start juice some time outside to get going). Oh! And some delicious winery lunches! 😊 Next week is sure to be busier as we expect grapes to ripen with the predicted heat wave. ☀️ 🍇 Good times!
*racking = moving the juice/wine/“must” from one container to another (for instance, from tank to barrel, which story of soil does to allow for a gentle settling of solids in the juice from the pressed grapes before putting into barrels to ferment)
*cap management = when the grapes for red wine are fermenting, the little berries have a tendency to float on top of the juice. If left alone, all kinds of funky stuff (off aromas, bacterial spoilage) can grow PLUS the color and flavor from the skins doesn’t extract into the juice as much. So the juice from the bottom may be “pumped over” the top or a tool that looks like a long metal plunger may be used to push the berries (“cap”) down to allow for the juice to bubble over it. Different winemakers have different philosophies about which of these to use and how often.

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 08/15/2022

Celebrated a couple of birthdays, the end of summer, and some new beginnings with our good friends last night. We were gifted this 2003 Syrah that we brought with us to to enjoy together—I’m so glad we did. Hefty black fruit, smooth but substantial. So great with the California ranchero food at La Paloma Cafe. I think the food here is always stellar and not crazy expensive either. The cheesy hominy is the most amazing thing ever and I can eat an entire side of the cilantro slaw myself. 😊 Finished it all off with a 1995 Tokaji Aszu (to keep the aged wines theme rolling, I guess!) and marveled over the color and character present in this almost 30 year old wine: it tasted of dried apricots and toffee and was amazing alongside flan!

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 08/14/2022

We bought this 1997 Calvados (our wedding year) on our 20th anniversary trip to France and have been meting out 1 oz each on every anniversary since. Because we were out of town on August 2 this year, tonight we poured our shares and are enjoying this delicious treat. 🥃🥃👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 08/09/2022

Our farthest north stop on our trip this summer is Bellingham, Washington. While my brother- and sister-in-law worked today (and the cousins had their own adventures), my husband and I visited our favorite Drizzle Tasting Room (so good!! All kinds of gourmet goodies) where we got some wine, olive oil, salt, and balsamic vinegar as well as new-to-us Seifert & Jones Wine Merchants (we will be back! Highly recommend for good prices, wide selection at all price points, and knowledge and helpful staff!). Excited to try these Washington wines! 🍷

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 08/07/2022

Visited a couple of wine shops today, and and picked up a few bottles of Oregon wines, everything from Pinot Noir (of course) to Pinot Gris (also of course) to Auxerrois (!). Can’t wait to enjoy these. Some will need some cellaring.


We are driving through Oregon and Washington for the next week, visiting family. Last night we had a delicious dinner at and I tried a local Pinot Gris from that I really enjoyed. I’d love to taste some more wines from the Pacific NW. Let me know in the comments what your favorite producers from this region are and I will try and seek them out! 🍷


My husband and I celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary yesterday with dinner out in San Francisco at and sparkling wine 🥂 (and Shirley temples for the kids 😉 as we are on a family vacation the next couple of weeks and have the kids with us).

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 07/28/2022

July 27th is a pretty big deal at my house. My husband and youngest daughter share a birthday! 🥳 This year we had (hot) 🦞 lobster rolls and (for the grownups) vintage Champagne. 🍾 Not much for the tasting notes here as I was also wrangling a group of 10 year old kiddos 😆 but I did note high acidity, tons of complexity on the nose and palate, and a beautiful long finish. Just delicious. Happy to be celebrating two of my favorite Leos today! 🥂

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 07/25/2022

Sometimes I buy older vintages online (such as this one, obtained from for a great price). I wanted to try an older Sta. Rita Hills Pinot. This 2011 Babcock Pinot Noir was almost completely tertiary—all forest floor, dried fruit, leather deliciousness. It didn’t have the vibrancy of a younger Pinot, but was incredibly enjoyable in its own right, with enough acidity to lend it structure and complexity and depth for days.


What do we want? High acid white wine! When do we want it? On a hot summer day after swimming and sitting by the pool! Picpoul de Pinet for that gorgeous lip-stinging acidity that’ll cool you right down. Just-ripe citrus, mineral, salinity, a little green herbal. This was part of our “Weekday” wine club pick up from but I’m a long time fan of this wine and producer. ☀️ 💕


Summer meals are my absolute favorite. Especially when my mister is cooking up something fun. This time he is making paella again—revisiting the fun we had on my birthday in early July—using up some leftover meats and veggies. We are drinking some of my 2021 Rosé of Syrah while he cooks and it’s so delightfully delicious! Happy Friday and Happy Summer! 🍷 🥘 😊


I’m about a month away from my next harvest gig. Just can’t stay away from the allure of crazy long hours, brutal physical labor, and everything that goes into actually making the wine. (There is also SO much that is super cool about wine production—it makes it all worthwhile 😉). Can’t wait! Old boots, new overalls ready to go!

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 07/15/2022

Had so much fun with my college roommates on our yearly get together this week. Cambria is a sweet little town along the central California coast. I got to introduce one of my friends to Grüner Veltliner, and another to a sweet Riesling (perfect with butternut squash soup)—along with shopping, beach walks, and a visit to Hearst Castle (see my last post!). Great memories and, of course, delicious wines! 💕

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 07/15/2022

Had so much fun with my college roommates on our yearly get together this week. Cambria is a sweet little town along the central California coast. I got to introduce one of my friends to Grüner Veltliner, and another to a sweet Riesling (perfect with butternut squash soup)—along with shopping, beach walks, and a visit to Hearst Castle (see my last post!). Great memories and, of course, delicious wines! 💕

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 07/13/2022

The wine collection at Hearst Castle was incredible. Total fan girl/wine nerd moment. 🍷


My talented daughter is working on a mural for my wine room door at our house! I’ll share progress as she works through it. I’m so amazed at her talent (I’m not artistic at all!). 👩‍🎨 🖼 🍇 🍷

Photos from Jennifer Gray Wine's post 07/07/2022

No regrets at all for my Spanish-themed birthday dinner tonight! Cava, Albariño, Rioja, and Pedro Ximenez (accompaniment to Spanish tapas, Paella, and birthday cake) felt extra festive. Feeling grateful for family, friends near and far, good food and wine, health, happiness and laughter! ❤️


Freddo = cold (as in, “please serve cold”). I love a chilled, gulpable red and this fits the bill.
produces this 100% Sangiovese, meant to be served chilled. Fresh and fruity! Great for a hot summer night.




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