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July 24, 2014
25 years is a long time! For many people, 25 years spans the majority of their professional career. The average American family will have moved 4 times, changed jobs 6 times, and have owned 9 different cars.


February 6, 2014
The other night my friends and I decided to have dinner and to open a number of 2008 Cabernet Sauvignons from various wineries in Napa Valley. It was decision made at the spur of the moment, so off to the store we went. The hard question was what to make? Steak? No. Chicken? No. Burgers? Hmm… What about lamb burgers? Now were talking! This is a quick, easy and delicious recipe that goes great with Cabernet, Zin, or really any red wine.


August 25, 2013
Some great pictures from our dinner with more to come. Check us out on Facebook as well, as more pictures will be uploaded there.


March 30, 2013

Chicken Kebabs with Bacon Paste

Hi All,
This month’s recipe is a new favorite of mine. Now, you may be thinking: 'What the heck is BACON PASTE?" It is quite simply bacon turned in to a paste. It is then spread over what you are cooking, in this case chicken kebabs. What the paste does is keep the chicken nice and moist when it might otherwise dry out. Do not miss this one. Click here to go directly to this savory chicken recipe.
Cheers, Nick Skinner Wine club Chef


January 11, 2011

It’s playoff season, and usually when you hear ‘sports’, you think beer.  But with all of the upcoming Superbowl parties, and the extensive menus planned by would-be-party-hosters, this is a great opportunity to step outside the norm – wine pairing! Our 2008 Zinfandel, released in November, is an amazingly food-friendly wine.  Unlike the typical California zin, which tends to be jammy and high-alcohol, our Zinfandel is just 14.4% ABV, and boasts flavors of chocolate covered cherry, with just a hint of white pepper.  Rudy only made 146 cases of this beauty, and it’s one of the only Zinfandels to be found in the Diamond Mountain District!

Another great option: if you’re looking for something even lighter in alcohol, a crisp, refreshing wine that you can serve chilled, we have about 10 cases of our 2009 Eye of the Diamond Rosé left!  Rosés in general are great for food pairing – ours has a backbone of Cabernet Sauvignon, and is rounded out with 20% Sauvignon Blanc, creating a fantastically crisp finish.

So whether your team is still in the running, or whether you’ve adopted a different one to root for in the post-season, may the best team win, and enjoy the Zin!!  Cheers!


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November 8, 2010

All of this week, Good Morning America (GMA) is featuring a series called ‘Work With Me’ – each day one of the anchors works with a different person in a different industry from around the country. This coming Friday, GMA host Dan Harris will be working with Mark Skinner, GM and VP of von Strasser Winery.

Mark wrote in to a posting on the GMA website about his transition from corporate America to his position with this small, family owned winery, and was chosen from thousands of applicants as one of the jobs the anchors wanted to do. “With harvest coming up it would be a great opportunity to get ya’ll up here and work with me. Picking grapes in 100 degree heat makes standing on a jetty waiting for a hurricane seem like a picnic (Sam). I can just picture the 4 of you standing on a 20ft ladder pumping over 1000 gallons of fermenting Cabernet, which smells amazing until you get a nose full of CO2. Not summarizing an episode of dirty jobs, because there is a tremendous amount of love and pride we try to put into every bottle.”

During the filming, we hosted Dan and the crew and helped them get their hands dirty – they joined Mark in picking the winery’s final lot of grapes from the Sori Bricco vineyard, as well as with various cellar activities such as pump-overs, punch-downs, and pressing. Rudy got into the action and joined Dan and Mark for a private blending session in the caves during which the group created a unique GMA blend.

The filming took place at the winery on November 3rd, 4th and 5th, and will be aired this coming Friday November 12th. Mark has also been invited to work with Dan on set, and he’ll be appearing live in the NYC Studios of GMA to help Dan with his job as an anchor.

So grab your morning coffee, set your Tivos and DVRs and join Mark and von Strasser Winery on GMA on Friday morning!

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October 30, 2010

Stardate October 27, 2010.


The weather on this planet is strange.  Although usually it is sunny and warm, sometimes approaching rains shatter the illusion of paradise.  The natives in this valley they call 'Napa' grow an exotic, round fruit.  Although it tastes great when eaten directly, they seem to prefer to squeeze the fruit into juice and put it into tanks and barrels.  After a time, this juice takes on new flavors and imparts a rather intoxicating feeling to the imbiber.  Because of impending rain, the natives have decided to pick the remainder of this fruit.  While they appear genuinely sad that their Harvest is now over, there is a certain amount of celebration, which as you would expect, involves the drinking of the juice from previous harvests.  As this nectar is quite addicting, the entire crew of this spaceship has decided to stay here in Napa Valley for an indefinite time to research this liquid treasure further. 


Will report more as additional juice is consumed.

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October 3, 2010
Today is the end of the first full week of the 2010 harvest. So far we have pick all of the Grüner Veltliner, and part of the Estate Malbec, Sori Bricco Merlot and Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. All indications are the 2010 will again make very nice wines.

The season started with what may statistically be the coolest July and August on record. Grapes were well behind schedule and many wineries fear that the vintage could be a disaster. Fearing a late vintage, we went through the vineyards this summer and reduced the crop on the vines down to 1 cluster per shoot (about half of normal). The thinking was that a smaller crop would be easier for the vines to ripen.

Luckily, the last week of September brought a mini-heat wave, with temperatures reaching the high 90’s for 5 consecutive days, and this spike, combined with the reduced crop, pushed the sugar level back to normal. The flavors in these early pickings have been exceptional, and I am very excited about the vintage. The weather forecast is for continued dry and moderate weather, which will allow for a prolonged flavor and tannin development without any quick sugar spikes.

I hope you can come out and visit us sometime this fall to see the winery in action.


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