Matchbook welcomes winemaker, Brandon Reitz, to the Matchbook team.
Brandon Reitz grew up in the Sierra Nevada foothills, working outside driving equipment and building various structures. He worked for a large home building contractor and attended CSU Chico, but left the building industry after the economic downturn of 2007. He returned home, disappointed with the construction industry and not sure where his passions truly lay, just in time to help his father rip up their hilltop homestead to plant vineyards. Under the tutelage of a consulting Viticulturist from Napa, Brandon fully embraced the hard, rocky, dirty job. After moving to Napa, working harvest at a custom crush facility and attending Napa Valley College’s Viticulture and Enology program, he knew he had found his passion. At the custom crush facility, Brandon worked with small winery clients on their productions and was kept on after harvest as a full-time cellar hand.
His dedication and energy caught the interest of one of those custom crush clients, renowned cult winemaker Mark Herold. For the next three years, Brandon worked with Herold’s various wines, styles and clients before moving on to Bin to Bottle in Napa where he worked as Client Winemaker and ended as the Assistant Director of Winemaking. Working with 30 custom crush clients and wines from all over California proved to be his greatest learning experience. By the Winter of 2017, seven years of commuting from Sacramento to Napa had taken its toll and a change was needed. Brandon wanted to work closer to home. He knew that fine wines could be made outside of Napa if the vines, climate, soil and people were “right”. When the position at Matchbook became available, Brandon knew there was an opportunity and jumped in with both feet. After working with Steve Mathiasson, he knew that great wines were being produced from the Dunnigan Hills AVA and shortly thereafter his decision to join the Matchbook team was finalized.
In his spare time Brandon enjoys off-time with his wife Jordan and their two-year-old son Harrison. With their black lab Hank, they explore the American River parkway and enjoy visiting lesser known wineries and traveling along the California coast.
Greg Giguiere, Director of Vineyard Operations at Matchbook, discusses barn owls and rodent control with the UC Davis Barn Owl Project led by Dr. Sara Kross.
“My family’s been growing wine grapes here since the 1970s, and controlling rodents is a big part of our integrated pest management program,” Giguiere said. “We have 40 owl boxes on the farm. The rodent control is what we’re after, and it’s part of having an integrated system of biodiversity and biological controls to complement the chemical options we have for controlling these types of things.”
The Matchbook team went PINK this week in celebration of National Rosé Day. National Rosé Day is observed annually on the second Saturday in June. The vineyard and office staff showed up decked out in all shades pink and enjoyed delicious Tinto Rey Rosé cupcakes made with 2017 Tinto Rey Estate Bottled Rosé to celebrate the occasion.
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About the Wine:
What is more perfect for a warm summer day than a flavor-packed wine that is also crisp and refreshing? Our 2017 Tinto Rey is a dry Rosé that delivers full flavors of white peach, nectarine and Rainier cherry balanced by a bright finish. This is a substantial wine that pairs beautifully with seafood salads, grilled vegetables and, yes, pink cupcakes.
As 5th generation farmers, we are committed to preserving the land for future generations. We use mother nature’s natural predators and other non-invasive techniques to help keep our vines healthy throughout the year. Barn Owls are a key part of our vineyard sustainability practices.
Did you know… Owls feed on troublesome rodents in the vineyard?
A nesting owl will catch up to 6 gophers a day to feed the brood.
The owl boxes in our Estate Vineyards are part of a joint research program between UC Davis and Sacramento State. This research is funded by a Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Grant (Western SARE) and a grant from the Vertebrate Pest Control Research Advisory Committee. The scientists are studying barn owls to better understand the role they play in controlling rodent pests in vineyards. They will be monitoring owl nest boxes to collect data on clutch size (number of chicks in a nest), chick growth rates, prey delivery rates by the adults and diet. They will also be putting GPS tags on some of the owls to gain a better understanding of their hunting patterns within the vineyard and its impact on rodent populations.
The owl research team includes Dr. Sara Kross, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Studies at California State University, Sacramento; Dr. Joshua Hull, Adjunct Professor, UC Davis; Dr. Roger Baldwin, Vertebrate Pest specialist, UC Extension; Emily Phillips UC Davis graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in Avian Science; Ryan Bourbour, UC Davis, Ecology Ph.D. student and Breanna Martinico an Avian Sciences Master’s student and a Ph. D. student in Ecology at UC Davis.
In our 30 years of experience growing grapes in the Dunnigan Hills, we have learned the best grapes make the best wine; and the best grapes are grown when we work in harmony with our eco-system and mother nature.
Who (hoo hoo) knew owls were such an important part of the Matchbook Chardonnay in your glass? Visit our Web store to get a bottle today!
Nothing is better than perfectly paired wine and wood-fired pizza outside on the Matchbook patio! Check out our Perfect Match pizza pairing guide put together by Flour Dust Pizza Company and Matchbook Winemaker, Dan Cederquist. What will you choose?