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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Dec. 4: Winter Wine Classic – Santa Barbara

What:              Santa Barbara Wine Classic

When:             Sunday, December 4, 2011

Time:              4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Where:           Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Grand Ballroom, 633                               633 E. Cabrillo Blvd,  Santa Barbara, CA, 93103

The Details: Andrew will be pouring his 2008 Espérance, 2008 Syrah Tous les Jours, 2008 Syrah Terra Bella Vineyard, and 2008 Syrah Reserve.  Nearly 100 premium wineries will be pouring, coupled with gourmet morsels from notable chefs; all in a gorgeous beach-side setting!  Tickets are $100/person in advance, and $150/person at the gate.  Click here to purchase tickets.

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Nov. 12 – Annual Harvest Party at the Winery

When: Saturday, November 12, 2011

Where: The Winery – 5095 Zaca Station Road, Los Olivos, California, 93441:   See below for video directions.

Time: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Details: Enjoy live music, library wines, vertical flights, barrel and fermentation tastings, and Flatbread pizza hot off the grill!  Free to wine club members and their guests…Save the Date!

RSVP: To or call us at (805) 686-9604 and be sure to let us know how many will be in your party.

Video Directions to Andrew Murray Vineyards Winery

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Harvest – A Hard Day’s Work and Loving What You Do

Foggy Autumn Morning

Mornings are cooler now in the Santa Ynez Valley; fog lies over the vineyards as dawn breaks, clearly indicating the onset of fall.  Mother Nature withdraws her vaporous tendrils binding them up for the day to reveal crisp autumn mornings.  Vines that have worked so hard all year to produce their fruit are showing signs of completing their cycle, their rich green leaves of summer are now dappled with amber.  Most of the white fruit has been harvested in a mad dash to beat October’s first rains, and the thicker-skinned reds are drinking in their last weeks of sustenance before leaving the vine.

Break in the Storm

My workday starts and ends in the dark at this time of year.  In fact, some days don’t end at all.  Last week our little crew put in a 38-hour ‘day’ pressing Grenache Blanc and Roussanne ahead of the rain.  We’re in a continuous cycle of punch down, crushing, pressing, testing, and bottling.  We’re replacing gaskets, and wrangling with vendors to ensure that all equipment is up and running 24 hours a day.  Each day I don the hat of mechanic, farmer, scientist, artist, winemaker, salesman, IT guy, and general manager.  Weekends become a distant memory, as hazy as the foggy mornings.  It’s times like these when I realize how fortunate I am to truly love what I do.  If I didn’t, life would be unbearable.


Punching Down Pinot Noir

I read Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement speech after he died last week.  As absurd as it sounds, I was struck by a few parallels.  The first was his comment that, “It wasn’t all romantic.”  I think that many people have a romantic ideal wrapped around the notion of winemaking.  And while some of it is true, there are some decidedly ‘unromantic’ aspects to it.  Second, I too, was fortunate enough to stumble upon what I loved at an early age.  I made my first wine in Australia at the age of 19 and have never looked back.  And third, while he lost Apple for a while, I lost my estate vineyard and my winery in 2006.  Like Jobs, I found the loss devastating, but it may have been the best thing that ever happened to me.  I’m no longer shackled to my estate grapes.  I’ve been able to search out grapes to specifically satisfy any flavor profile that I desire and establish a great new winery site.  The resulting wines have been both personal and critical favorites.

On the Forklift Moving Pallets into the De-Stemmer

Late at night, when I leave the winery exhausted from a day that is both physically and mentally taxing, I can’t help but think of those hardy pioneers who came out west to work the land.  I go home to electricity, a hot shower, and a soft bed; they went home to lanterns, no bath unless it was Saturday, and a mattress stuffed with straw or perhaps feathers.   Still, I suspect we share similar emotions of having completed a hard day’s work and knowing that our crops are in and hoping that we’ll be able to successfully take our product to market.  My hands are stained from the grapes and split from the work, but when I look down at them, I know that, like Steve Jobs, I am quite possibly one of the luckiest guys on earth.

To Harvest…Cheers!

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2011 Celebration of Harvest Photos

Many thanks to all of our wonderful wine tasters who visited Andrew Murray Vineyards this weekend…we loved seeing you!

Awesome Flickr Gallery Error - Photoset not found

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’08 Esperance & ’06 Purple Haze Made the 90+ List!

Our ‘08 Esperance Red Blend and our ‘06 Purple Haze Syrah/Viognier made the 90+ list on!  Check out what they had to say about these wines by clicking here.

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E11even Wines Rock! Review

Check out this review of two of our new This is E11even Wines…Eleven Red Blend and Purple Haze from Steve McIntosh of

Here’s an excerpt:

“A kitchen sink blend of Grenache Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc, it’s a spice box extravaganza that commands attention.  Though splashing a spectrum of flavors across the palate like a brightly lit magenta-to-indigo rainbow, first impressions are freshness, focus, and balance.  Surprisingly lively for a 5 year old wine.  Clearly well made – and dangerously accessible.  Deal.”  Read the whole review here.


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Santa Barbara Wine Tasting – East Beach Wine Company





What: Winemaker Tasting at Santa Barbara’s largest specialty wine store.  

When: Friday, October 14, 2011

Time: 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Where: East Beach Wine Company in the La Arcada Mall downtown

1114 State Street, Suite 24, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Details: Tasting Fee = $12.00/person…last tasters in by 6:45 pm

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We have two gorgeous tasting rooms where you can explore our passion for winegrowing in Los Olivos. First up, we have our newly remodeled Winery & Visitor Center, located at the entrance of the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail, just minutes away from historic downtown Los Olivos, where you can taste our selection of Rhone style wines. Or, you may choose to check out our newly remodeled and rebranded DTLO (DownTown Los Olivos) Tasting Room, where we showcase our new "Playlist" of E11even Wines, crafted exclusively from Estate Grown grapes. Or, choose the All Access Pass and taste at both locations for a discounted price. Whichever you choose, we look forward to seeing you soon.

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