2014 Winter Newsletter





In the cellar, the team is currently busy with bottling white wines. At the moment, a few brand new wines from the 2013 vintage, such as the Sonoma County Riesling and Gewurztraminer, are being bottled, as well as wines fresh from the barrel, such as the 2012 Robert Young Reserve Chardonnay, 2012 Robert Young Chardonnay, and 2012 Durell Chardonnay. Overseeing this bottling operation (along with many other cellar duties) is our new Cellar Manager, Eric Gilliland. Eric has been with Chateau St. Jean over the past five years and was recently promoted to Cellar Manager. This critical role within the winery ensures a well-organized, clean and safe cellar operation. "I do a little bit of everything but mostly I keep the cellar crew organized, up-to-date on tasks and make sure all the wines are where they need to be in a safe and timely manner," said Eric when asked about his new role. Winemaker Margo Van Staaveren relies on her cellar crew to help ferry all the wines she makes through the winery process to their final home in the bottle. She praises Eric for his ability to manage multiple tasks at once, his thorough understanding of winemaking, and the respect he gives --and in turn receives --from his crew.

Fun Facts About Winter in Sonoma Valley

  • - Its off-season which means the pace is slower and the tasting rooms are less crowded
  • - There is a plethora of pruned grape vines that can be transformed into beautiful wreaths
  • - When the rains come so do the bountiful yellow mustard flowers that grow between the vines
  • - Frosty evenings give you the perfect excuse to curl up by the fire with a glass of Cinq Cépages!


Winter Recipe Pairing with Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay:

Gnocchi with Butternut Squash, Browned Butter, & Sage


  • 1 butternut squash
  • 4 baking potatoes
  • 2 tablespoon roasted garlic
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sage, chopped
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

Red Wine Barrels


Preheat the oven to 400º. Pierce potatoes and squash all over with a fork or a knife. Bake for about one hour turning over one time. Cut squash and scoop out flesh then puree in a food processor. Let the potatoes cool inside their skin. Once cool, cut in half and scoop the flesh into a ricer and rice them into a bowl. On a marble slab scoop 2 slightly packed potatoes and squash, add 1 teaspoon salt, garlic and 2 egg yolks. Gently blend until stiff dough forms. Knead the dough gently until smooth but slightly sticky (if too sticky add a little more flour).

On a floured surface cut the dough into 4 pieces, roll each into 3/4 inch thick ropes. Cut the rope into 3/4 inch pieces; roll each piece against the tines of a fork. Place on sheet pan then freeze. Bring pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Drop frozen gnocchi into water, cook until they rise to the surface then 2 minutes beyond; strain do not rinse. Using a skillet, melt 1/4 cup unsalted butter and allow to brown slightly. Remove from heat (while waiting for gnocchi to cook). Return to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon chopped sage; let brown a little more then add gnocchi. Serve immediately. Grate Parmesan or Asiago cheese over top.

Enjoy with a glass of Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay.