"Harvest 2015 In Sonoma County!! The "Big Dog's" Annual Harvest Report

Cheers Everyone!

Well as many of you know, with my move this year to Sonoma County California and my accepting my new position as Director of Membership with Sonoma County Vintners Association in addition to my operating and growing my little wine company Black Dog Cellars, 2015 has been a very eventful and busy year! Consequently I apologize for not posting on a regular basis to "The Big Dog's Blog".  However look for much more regular updates and posts to my blog in the coming months!

So... like my 2014 harvest report, I thought I would deliver this new harvest report post by giving you a brief overall summary of my thoughts from this years 2015 harvest. 

2015 Harvest Report

While those of you who remember our 2014 harvest report, 2014 was one of the earliest grape harvests reported on record. However this years 2015 Sonoma County grape harvest began even earlier than the 2014 early harvest.  For the second vintage in a row, in general, growers reported that this years 2015 harvest was on average even earlier than 2014. In some cases growers reported beginning harvest almost two weeks earlier than 2014 making this years 2015 harvests possibly one of the earliest grape harvests in memory for Sonoma County. And also like 2014, growers had to deal with California's continued record setting drought, as well as, a warm winter, cooler Spring and a couple of Summer heat spikes this year that helped contribute to this years early harvest times.

After talking to some ofthe most respected grape growers, vineyard managers and winemakers across Sonoma County, consensus is that grape yields across the county this year are down an estimated 15 to 40 percent on average. However it is significant to remember that this figure also uses the excellent harvest numbers of vintages 2012, 2013, 2014 as a comparison as well. In addition, the 2015 harvest came "fast and furious" for many growers with vineyards across the county not only ready for harvest early, but many at the same time! This required growers and winemakers to put in even longer hours than normal during the busy harvest season. 

However while grape yields and weight are down for 2015,  growers and winemakers are extremely excited and enthusiastic about the 2015 vintage fruit quality! Grape concentration and richness is fantastic and speaking from "The Big Dog's" personal experience in the vineyard this harvest season, the intensity and flavors for the 2015 vintage are truly amazing!! So while yields and quantity may be down for 2015, the vintages quality, intensity and flavors are classic! I can't wait!

Finally I want to once again salute all those amazing grape growers, vineyard managers, winemakers, harvest crews and winery staffs that work long early hours each harvest season to make some of the worlds greatest wines!! Cheers to you all!!

Check back in November for the start of my "Big Dog's Blog" holiday blog posts!!

Thanks everyone and Cheers!!


Our Summer issue of our Black Dog Cellars newsletter Salute is now available!  Simply sign up for our mailing list and we will send you a copy!!

Salute is a  Fun & Festive E-Newsletter from Black Dog Cellars that Celebrates Wine, Food, Family & Friends!

Hello Everyone!
I hope everyone is having a fantastic Summer and welcome to our Summer season issue of “Salute”!

Let me begin as always by saying thank you to all our outstanding distributors, all our wonderful supporting wine shops and restaurants, and of course to all of our incredible and fantastic wine enthusiasts and friends of Black Dog Cellars! I am so appreciative and grateful for all your support!!

Wow, what an exciting Summer it has been so far!!

Just to name a few things on our “Summer Schedule”:

We celebrated our 4th birthday and anniversary of our first wine bottling in June.
Launched our new website: www.Blackdogcellarswine.com
Released our very special 2012 Black Dog Cellars “Zoie’s Run” Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Developed in proud partnership with Alaqua Animal Refuge in NW Florida our:
“Black Dog Cellars Rescue and Assistance Fund”.
And of course enjoyed our travels and meeting so many wonderful friends of Black Dog Cellars!!

Inside this Summers issue of “Salute” is more information on all these events and much more!

Also, while this Summer has been a busy, fun and festive one, we are looking forward to the Fall as well!
Look for more wine release and event participation announcements, new exciting features to our website, and additional “Community Mission Project” updates as well!

Finally, If you haven’t had a chance to visit my new wine, food, travel and events blog...
”The Big Dog’s Blog”, come on by!! I would really enjoy you stopping by and contributing. I’ve included a link to it under the Quick Links section of this newsletter.
Click on it and stop by my blog and include your comments as well!
Would love to have you participate, give your thoughts and suggestions on the topic at hand, and be a part of
”The Big Dog’s Blog”! Hope to see you there!

As always, please feel free to forward our newsletter to anyone you feel would enjoy receiving “Salute”.
It would be our honor and priviledge to have them join our Black Dog Cellars family. In addition, if you have any suggestions or topics for articles you would like to see us address in “Salute”, please drop us an email and let us know.

Thank you once again for all your time, friendship and support. Hope you all have a great rest of the Summer!

— Mike Haney, Owner/"Big Dog" of Black Dog Cellars, via Salute

Seaside Wine Festival

Image courtesy of the Seeing Red Wine Festival

Image courtesy of the Seeing Red Wine Festival

Black Dog Cellars is proud to announce that we will be pouring at this years Seaside Wine Festival, November 8th!  Please come out and enjoy the fun!

Named by Fodor’s Travel as a top 10 ‘Can’t-Miss Fall Wine Festival,” the Seeing Red Wine Festival Grand Tasting will take over the streets of downtown SEASIDE for the 24th year in a row. Join us for an intimate afternoon of wine, food and music in the tranquil beauty of Seaside, Florida. As you explore, sample and expand your knowledge about the latest trends in wine from aficionados who are waiting to meet and educate you. The event promises an extensive array of tasting tents featuring highly sought after wines from around the globe, live music, food stations from top local restaurateurs, and the opportunity to purchase any wine you sample on site for unbelievable prices at the Seeing Red Wine Festival Wine Retail Tent.
— Seeingredwinefestival.com

Alaqua Animal Refuge and Black Dog Cellars come together for the dogs


Alaqua Animal Refuge and Black Dog Cellars come together for the dogs


Published: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 05:15 PM.

Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport has gained another supporter — Black Dog Cellars.

Based in Nashville , Black Dog Cellars owner Mike Haney is a frequent visitor to South Walton since childhood and often pours his wines at area special events, such as the recent Sip 'n Shop event.

The owner of two rescue dogs and a huge supporter of rescue organization and non profits, Haney heard about Alaqua and the things owner Laurie Hood does there and wanted to meet her.

He drove out to the refuge, met Hood, and was so impressed that he wanted to help her in her endeavor to save and find homes for all homeless animals that she can.

Consequently, Haney created the Black Dog Cellars Rescue and Assistance Fund for Alaqua to use at Hood's discretion.

Already sponsoring the Unconditional Love Program which trains rescues to be companion pets for persons with special needs, Haney had a special request that some of those be offered to Wounded Warriors through the Pets For Patriots program. In addition, its Black Dog Cellars Rescue & Assistance Fund will contribute and assist with Pets for Patriots.

Dogs in the Unconditional Love program go through 10 weeks of training with graduates receiving a certificate.

See the full article here:


Black Dog Cellars Wine Tasting at Grayton Bar & Grill JULY 7, 2013

Black Dog Cellars Wine Tasting
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Grayton Bar & Grill
3:00 p.m.

Join Grayton Bar & Grill as it plays host to Nashville native, Michael Haney, of Black Dog Cellars who will be presenting four wines for tasting on Sunday, July 7th. Black Dog will be pouring its Chardonnay, Syrah, Zinfandel and the newest in its collection, Rosé of Pinot Noir. Grayton Bar & Grill will offer charcuterie and cheeses.

Black Dog Cellars is a small producer out of California’s Russian River Valley that is gaining the attention of connoisseurs, chefs and restaurateurs throughout the U.S. Its wines can be found on the wine lists of Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants and was twice featured at James Beard House dinners within one year, including its Valentine’s Day Dinner, something that has never before happened at the prestigious culinary establishment.