Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Mistaken Vines

When we planted our vineyard, the nursery made a mistake, and we ended up with a few Gewurztraminer vines in our Pinot Noir blocks. Of course, when you get the vines there's no possible way you can tell what they are - they're sticks, more or less, with no distinguishing features. However, when the vines start to grow, you start to notice differences in the leaves. Then, when the fruit comes, it's pink and spicy. Definitely not Pinot Noir. So, we left it hanging. It wasn't until last year that we figured out it makes a killer sweet wine.

On Thanksgiving Day 2006, we decided to pick the few clusters of Sauvignon Blanc that were left by the picking crews. They were sweet, with some botrytis. So, we pressed them and then did our favorite thing: left it alone. It fermented with wild yeast and we bottled it for our own consumption unfined and unfiltered. It was delicious.

This year, we decided to do the same. On the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, we went out and scoured the vineyard, literally selecting berries by hand in many cases. Because there had been fall rains this year, less clusters were left to pick, but we did our best and ended up with a few small lots of Gewurzt and Sauvignon Blanc that came in around 30 brix. So, it's fermenting on wild yeast right now, and we'll see how it turns out in a few months. You have to love experiments!

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