This Thursday and Friday we picked the first grapes at Charles Vineyard. Whereas in a typical year we start picking still wine in the beginning of September, we were just picking some rose' grapes and starting in on some still Pinot Noir this week. So we're running about two weeks later than usual right now.
How do the grapes look? We did get some sunburn with than 100+ degree day a few weeks ago, so those clusters were removed, shrinking the size of an already small crop. Skins are thin this year, making the grapes fragile and we definitely have to handle them with care. However, flavors are really good, and the acids are still holding strong, which we love. You need some structure and some acid to create that balanced, releasable-now-yet-ageable Pinot Noir we're looking for.
Yesterday we picked Pinot Noir for a new Foursight project: a dry Pinot Noir rose'. We're really excited to make a true rose', picking early, pressing gently, letting the juice sit on the skins for a few hours to get that nice pink color, and then fermenting it into a strawberry-laced, crisp wine that I can't wait to enjoy here in the tasting room, or with a meal next spring and summer.
Here are a few images from the madness in the past few days. We also got some amazing video, so I'll throw something together soon to really show you the chaos! :)
Here's to a great harvest and amazing 2011 wines!