Monday, September 24, 2012

Harvest Update

This week was a blur, but we now have almost every block harvested from our Charles Vineyard. We picked nearly every day, with one night pick thrown into the mix. That meant that we picked at 6 a.m., processed fruit, tried to nap, picked that evening, tried to sleep for a few hours, then picked again the next morning. Whew!

Our Semillon is still hanging, and a block of Pinot we're selling to a winery in Sonoma. Otherwise, we're SO close! I imagine that by the week's end we'll be done and moved on to just the winery work.

We have two friends, Amy and David, helping us this week, which has been fantastic. There is less vineyard work to do, but twice daily punchdowns on the fermenting juice, berry samples to determine a pick date for our Semillon, and general tidying up and organizing the cellar after a week of chaos. We're so grateful to have them both!


So the next tasks in harvest land are picking and pressing Semillon into French oak barrels and continuing on with the other work here at the winery. And, of course, our Harvest Experience event on October 6th! Can't wait.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Harvest 2012 Begins!

Tomorrow morning we start picking our first blocks of Pinot Noir! Our clones 115, 777 & Pommard 05 on one rootstock will be coming in. All taste great and are going into the blends that we do sub-14% alcohol. I'll post photos of the pick this weekend!

Leading up to this week, we were doing a lot of cleaning (take everything out of the cellar, clean everything, and put it back in is the norm), and berry sampling and testing. (Thanks to David for his help this harvest!) Below is a photo of clone 777 & 115 berries and a few of our tabletop machines to test pH and acid which as as important when determining ripeness as sugar, flavor and seed and stem maturity.

Because we include whole clusters in our fermentation bins, the condition of the stems and seeds is more important to us than most. We don't want bright green, super tannic seeds or stems, but seeds that are brown and crunchy, with less tannin. The stems should also be lignified (dictionary definition: to convert into wood; cause to become woody).

We're really excited to have soon-to-be fermenting bins in the back!