Monday, September 8, 2008

Harvest, Events, and Lots of Beer

No blog posts this past week because we officially entered harvest hell! Not entirely true, but it's been a busy one. We picked Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and Joe and I poured our wines at the Winesong Barrel Tasting Friday afternoon (where we both got thoroughly sunburned at the coast - go figure). Needless to say, we've been drinking a lot of beer, caffeinated beverages, and eating a lot of junk. On Saturday night Joe took me out for my pre-birthday dinner to the coast, which was a nice breather (and a nice excuse to be clean and pretty instead of covered in grape juice).

Harvest has gone well so far. It's been a tough year for grapes, with acids staying high and flavors lagging as sugars rise. We were the last to pick (for Foursight) from our vineyard as we waited for the flavors to catch up and the acids and green seeds to decrease. It was a risk, but we're out there every day, sampling and tasting and checking the numbers, and it worked. Our almost-7-tons came off the vines Monday morning (will make about 450 cases or so of Pinot) and went to the winery, where they were destemmed and will merrily ferment away on the wild yeasts native to our site.

My one harvest pet peeve? Pinot Noir hands. Many people assume that, when you pick grapes and make wine, your hands get stained this pretty purple color. With Pinot Noir, it lacks several of the pigments present in darker-colored red wines. Picking Pinot gives your hands a dirty-brown stain, both on the fingertips and under the fingernails. Essentially, your hands look dirty and gross, like you've been making mud pies and haven't washed them. It's especially attractive when you're trying to pour wines for the public in the middle of harvest. ...

In other news, our tasting room is progressing amazingly, with walls on their way up. I'll post photos soon. First come the photos of harvest, because the grapes are the most important part of the equation, after all. Even if yields are down 50% due to spring frosts.

From left: Jimmy, Bill Charles and Johnny after harvest

Bill Charles and family friend/right-hand man Johney move bins

Kristy Charles and younger brother Tim Charles picking leaves from bins - the first all-family pick in a while.

Joe Webb, Nancy Charles, and helper Arturo pick leaves.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Look forward to trying the wine!