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The New Beaujolais Has Arrived!

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Le Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrivé!

The New Beaujolais Has Arrived!

Created by local winemakers roughly a century ago, they wanted a wine that they could drink immediately in celebration of the end of harvest, while the rest of the better Beaujolais was aging, and so Beaujolais Nouveau was born. Beaujolais Nouveau, meaning “New Beaujolais”, is the first wine released of the new vintage. Just 6-8 weeks after the grapes were hanging on the vines, pitchers of the fresh from barrel wine were shared all over the region, eventually making their way to Paris and beyond. Over the years, laws were put into place, release dates were changed and Beaujolais Nouveau Day was created. By French law, Beaujolais Nouveau is released at 12:01am, on the 3rd Thursday in November, regardless of the date of harvest, and the race to distribute the first wine of the season begins. What began in the southernmost part of Burgundy, in the Beaujolais region of France, Beaujolais Nouveau Day is now celebrated across all of France and around the world with festivals, parades, fireworks, live music, dancing and food. Roughly 1 million cases and 70 million bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau are consumed around the world at the same time every year.

Beaujolais Nouveau is made exclusively of the Gamay grape from France’s Beaujolais region, and like Champagne, must be hand harvested. Unlike more traditional fermentation methods, Beaujolais Nouveau goes through carbonic maceration, a quick method of fermentation where the berries are left whole for the juice inside each grape to ferment without contact with skins or stems, which enhances the grapes inherent fruit characteristics while eliminating tannins, resulting in a light, vibrant, fresh and fruity red wine that it is meant to drink immediately (by the following spring) and is best served chilled.

We at The Stonehaus will be celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau Day and the much anticipated arrival our Beaujolais Nouveau on Thursday, November 19th through Saturday, November 21st with live music, French fare, and of course, a glass of Beaujolais Nouveau!

Harvest Celebration Dinner

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In celebration of the culmination of the wine growing season and the harvest of a new vintage of wine, we are hosting our first annual Harvest Celebration Dinner in The Stonehaus Vineyard at 6pm on Saturday, September 19th   featuring the wines of Zaca Mesa Winery.

Zaca Mesa is a local (Santa Barbara County), family owned winery that has been making hand crafted, estate grown and bottled wines, using traditional methods and sustainable practices since 1973. Located in the northern Santa Ynez Valley, just 25 miles inland of the Pacific Ocean, their vineyards enjoy morning fog and afternoon breezes ensuring the slow, consistent ripening of their grapes resulting in lush, high scoring wines. They specialize in Viognoir, Syrah and Rhone Blends, and just received 90 point scores on a number of the wines we’ll be enjoying!

Our Chef Joe Serna has created a fall inspired menu featuring local and seasonal ingredients carefully selected to pair with each wine. The evening will begin with a wine & hors d’oeuvre reception followed by a 4-course plated dinner under the stars, accompanied by live music and a Zaca Mesa Winery specialist, providing an ideal setting to savor the last of our warm summer nights.

Baskets Of Red Grapes Recently Harvested

Tickets for this event can be purchased here: https://sint-32204.ticketbud.com/harvest-dinner-in-the-vineyard-with-zaca-mesa-wines

Tray Passed

Teff Pillow Crackers with sheep’s milk cheese and fresh herbs

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Prosciutto and Citrus fried Olives

Zaca Mesa Viognier 2013

 

1st Course

Carrot, Beet and Persimmon Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Zaca Mesa Z Blanc 2012

 

2nd Course

Cassarecci Pasta with Quail Ragu and Parsley Bread Crumbs

Zaca Mesa Z Cuvee 2012

 

3rd Course

New York Steak Diane, Charred onion, Potato Fondant, Peppercorn, Bone Marrow Croquette

Zaca Mesa Reserve Syrah 2011

 

Dessert

  Warm Gingerbread with mascarpone ice cream and pear butterscotch sauce

Zaca Mesa Z Three 2011

 

 

 

Conscious Coffee

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Stonehaus Espresso

Stonehaus Serves Fresh Espresso

We do what we can. We volunteer, we donate our time and money, we recycle, we conserve water, we adopt animals, we shop local, we buy organic produce and certified humane meat and dairy, and then we drag our exhausted, saintly selves into the coffee shop with our reusable mug, and we order conventional coffee. I get it. We’re tired, we’re running late, we need to get on with our day and it doesn’t occur to us to consider where our coffee actually comes from. But when you think about it, we do put a lot of other consideration into our coffee choices. We tend to take our coffee pretty seriously. We have spent our adult lives cultivating our perfect cup, and to some, how we take our coffee can be as much an extension of our personality as our wardrobe. And knowing how another takes their coffee, well that means you truly know somebody. So with all of the other good that we try to do, and all of the thought that we put into our coffee, why do we stop short and order conventional without considering what we’re supporting with our dollars when we do? Probably because we can’t do it all.

With coffee being the 2nd most traded commodity behind oil, the demand to keep up with production takes a major toll on the environment. Coffee naturally prefers shade and flourishes in dense forests, but due to demand, hybrids have been developed to survive in full sun, and over the last 25 years rainforests have been cleared to maximize growth space and ease of harvest, hurting ecosystems and destroying habitats and their inhabitants. For coffee to grow under such unnatural conditions, it requires the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, making conventional coffee beans some of the most heavily chemically treated foods in the world, exposing farmers to harmful chemicals and polluting the air and water supply of the surrounding communities.

Luckily there is an alternative choice, organic coffee. With organic coffee, growing and handling standards and sustainable practices such as the use of renewable resources and the conservation of water and soil are ensured from the farm level all the way to the roaster. Organic coffee shrubs are shade grown under high-canopy trees in their natural habitat, housing a small ecosystem of birds and animals that create natural mulch as fertilizer and therefor are free of synthetic chemicals, ensuring the health of the soil and the water. Shade grown coffee also yields fewer berries, resulting in a higher concentration of flavor, are richer in antioxidants and are less bitter.

As wonderful as all of that is, there is still more to consider. We should choose not just organic coffee, but coffee that is fairly traded as well. The first time I ever thought about the concept of Fair Trade was sometime just over a decade ago when Chris Martin wrote the words “Fair Trade” on his forearm during a Coldplay concert. Embarrassingly, prior to that it had literally never occurred to me. With all of the benefits of organic, Fair Trade Certified products take things a step further to benefit communities in developing countries as well as the environment by ensuring that farming families receive fair prices for their harvests, allowing them to manage their own businesses and compete in the global marketplace, and in turn, invest in their communities, healthcare and education. Fair Trade Certified also ensures safe working conditions, prohibits forced child labor and protects ecosystems by prohibiting planting in protected areas and are always free of agrochemicals and GMO’s.

Lizzy's coffee

Luckily, we are beginning to put a more thought into the importance of what we support by how we spend our money, and demand for the organic/fair trade coffee market is growing! The Stonehaus has always directly supported the organic and fair trade coffee industry by sourcing our coffee beans from a family owned, certified organic coffee roaster who uses only Specialty Grade, USDA Certified Organic/Certified Fair Trade beans. Specialty Grade is the top grade that there is for coffee and consists of only 10% of the worlds production. Our coffee at The Stonehaus is from the top 3% of the top 10% Specialty Grade coffee in the world. So when you get your coffee at The Stonehaus, you are not only getting a superior cup of coffee in both quality and flavor, but you are directly supporting a coffee industry who’s practices will improve the environment and the lives of farming families for generations to come, whether you meant to or not 😉

Morgan Caillat

Bud Break Spring Celebration at Stonehaus in Westlake Village

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bud_breakThe annual growth cycle of a grapevine begins with bud break in the spring and culminates with harvest and leaf fall in the autumn. In celebration of the end of a dormant winter, the beginning of spring, and the breaking of the buds on our vines, we are holding our first annual Bud Break Celebration Dinner in The Stonehaus Vineyard at 6pm on Saturday March 21st.

As our estate-grown wines are still spending time in barrel, we’ll be featuring five wines from The Tablas Creek Winery. Known for being leaders in the Rhone Varietals, Tablas Creek makes highly rated, award winning wines from a winery that was just voted one of the top 10 to visit in California. The Tablas Creek Winery is located in the hilly Los Tablas district of West Paso Robles, an area known for its similarities to Chateauneuf du Pape, making for perfect growing conditions for their imported vines planted on a limestone rich, 120 acre organic estate vineyard where they use dry farming & biodynamic techniques.

Drawing his inspiration from the season, Executive Chef John Parker has created a perfectly paired spring fare menu, using only the freshest seasonal ingredients. The evening will begin with a sunset Róse Reception followed by an alfresco, four course, family-style vineyard dinner. Complete with Tablas Creek wine specialists and live music, this dinner will be the perfect way to kick off the new season!


 

Bud Break Menu:

Róse  Reception – Tray passed appetizers

Tablas Creek Patelin De Tablas Róse, Paso Robles, 2014

1st Course:  Appetizer:  Spring Pea Arancini with arugula pesto

Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Blanc, Paso Robles, 2013

2nd Course – Salad:  Roasted Beets with burrata crème and kale chips

Tablas Creek Mourvedre, Paso Robles, 2012

3rd Course – Entrée:  Wood Grilled leg of lamb served with roasted new potatoes and grilled heirloom carrots, marinated with roasted garlic, rosemary and pistachio dust

Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Rouge, Paso Robles, 2012

4th Course – Dessert:  Cheese Board with pave d affinois and saint agur blue, dried fruit, honey comb and grilled bread

Tablas Creek Vine de Paille Roussanne, Paso Robles, 2012

$95 All-inclusive

Breaking Your Fast

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VineyardWhiteEB

Just six weeks into the New Year, many of us may find ourselves right on track with our 2015 goals, but many of us may find that we’ve already fallen behind. Much like the New Year is an opportunity for a fresh start so is each new morning. With each morning comes a new chance to make healthy choices for our bodies and start the day off right by eating a nutritious breakfast that will set the tone and inspire good choices for the rest of the day. Breakfast literally means to break your fast, and how we choose to do so can have a huge impact on our health. We’ve always been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but for most of us with busy mornings, long commutes or just small morning appetite’s, making healthy breakfast choices a habit can be a challenge. All too often we end up trading nutrients for convenience, or not eating breakfast at all.

Inspired by the idea of fresh starts, The Stonehaus launched a new Healthy Breakfast menu as well as a Superfood Smoothie menu to provide you with a variety of breakfast options that are not only gourmet & delicious, but nutritious, balanced, and filling, and the perfect way to healthfully break your fast! Our nutrient rich smoothies sneak in a large number of beneficial “superfoods” providing you with many of the essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, electrolytes, proteins and omegas needed, while covering a wide variety of flavor profiles and appealing to even the pickiest of palates. All of our smoothies can be enjoyed in addition to our new healthy breakfast items, or can include added boosts making them a complete and balanced meal on their own, helping you start your day off right whether enjoyed leisurely amongst the vines, or taken on the go.

So as we inch closer to spring, and our resolutions start to fade with the winter, we need to strive to make healthy eating an enjoyable part of our everyday lives, not just something to suffer through a few times a year. By starting off each morning making healthy choices, these healthy choices will eventually begin to seep into your afternoons and trickle into your evenings, making not just for healthy days, but healthy weeks, months and years, until soon healthy eating is not just a resolution, but a way of life.

by: Morgan Caillat