Harvest Interview with Estate Manager/Co-Owner Shannon Brock

November 1st, 2021 – Silver Thread Vineyards.
Alright Silver Thread fans, we are currently out in the vineyard walking a few of the rows in the lower block with Shannon Brock.
Colin: Thank you for chatting with me, Shannon! Today, I wanted to talk more about the business and about our plans for the spring and winter, and what we’re thinking of trying to get done. Like virtual events and we’re trying to do something in-person this spring, right?
Shannon: Yeah, we always try to do an in-person event coinciding with each of our wine club pickups, but you know over the past year, it’s been challenging with COVID. So hopefully we’ll be able to continue or recommence having those events like in November and February, I feel like it’s a little bit up in the air. We’re trying to balance, you know, people’s desire to visit who have that excitement of being at the source of where the wine is made and tasting it in person with us. But also there are still a good amount of people who, you know, are trying to avoid crowds, we’re going to have our tasting room open, to a limited extent, during the cold weather months to give people a chance to come out and visit on a Friday or a day when they know not a lot of people are going to be here. We also plan to do our virtual events over the winter because COVID or not, winter is a time when a lot of people stay closer home because you don’t know how the roads are going to be for travel. It’s also a fun way to enhance their wine knowledge and feel like they’re getting together with other people while staying at home. So because of this, we’re looking to do another installment of our Riesling Expert program and possibly another Wine Sleuth class early in 2022 and hopefully will be partnering again with Lively Run in November or December for a virtual tasting. Maybe a few other things are in the works. We are also doing after doing the Silver Thread Virtual Holiday Party which was a lot of fun last year.
Colin: On the note of the Holiday Party, we’re hoping to have the 2021 Pet Nat ready for that, is that right?
Shannon: Yeah, we’re relying on the winemaking team right now haha, but that is the plan, to actually have it ready for the holiday party. Pet Nat is a wine that’s bottled before it’s done fermenting so in the past we have chilled that way down when it’s at that point where it’s about done and then do the bottling in late December early January, just out of logistics in the past. But this year because we are short on wines and since we’ve been sold out of that Pet Nat since last April we decided we would try to get it bottled a little sooner and ready to release before the holidays.
Colin: Yeah the Pet Nat’s going to be awesome and we did blow straight through it this last year!
Shannon: You know the more people hear about it and try it, it’s just something really fun and really different from our other wines and is gaining popularity. And I love the way that it really naturally fits in with our winemaking and sustainability philosophy because it’s a place where we can put a variety of different grapes that are not suitable for our varietal wines such as the Estate Riesling. For various reasons, when you farm as close to organically as we do, you have some imperfect fruit and rather than discarding that, we want to use it for something. We started off with the Pet Nat as a way to make sure we weren’t wasting anything. To take some of that fruit that maybe had to be harvested a little bit earlier or had something about it that wouldn’t make it suitable for like the Blackbird and use it for the Pet Nat, turns it into a really fun beautiful wine that a lot of people are excited about.
Colin: Of course, I know I’m excited about that wine. But a lot of our wines, over the course of this year, have sold out so would you recommend people try to come earlier in the season next year to ensure they get the wines they need for their cellar?
Shannon: Part of being a smaller, artisanal producer, we sometimes have smaller than average yields of peoples’ favorite wines… maybe we weren’t able to make enough to have it in stock all year long. I think if you have followed us for a long time now that’s always been the case with the availability of our wines. The best way to make sure that you get that wine that you like, whether that’s the Pet Nat or the Dry Rose, or even Good Earth White can tend to sell out, is to purchase some when it’s first released. Most helpful though is to be a member of our club because people in the Phrenology Wine Club always get access to everything that we make. So, you know, get on the email list at the very least so you know about those early releases or join the Club then you definitely won’t miss out on anything.
Colin: Great advice, always stinks to miss out on your favorite wines! Thank you for chatting! I’ll let you get back to sampling with Paul!