Sunday, August 25, 2013

Crush Season, Here We Come!

We are quickly approaching bottling, then harvest season here at Foursight. This means that we come up for air some time in late October or early November. But it's also the most exciting time of year as what happens in the next few months will determine our entire product line, so to speak, from 2013.

This weekend we're preparing to bottle all our 2012 wines -- our three estate Pinot Noirs and two whites. As a small winery, we have a mobile bottling wine come to us for bottling,and we help work the line. The complicated part of bottling, however, is all in the prep work.

Months ago we sent our labels to the TTB for approval. We ordered our foil capsules, labels, corks, bottles, etc. We had to estimate wine quantities, then revise as the months went by. Bottles and
Bottling 2012
supplies were shipped to the screenprinter, shipped to us, picked up in Sonoma County, and taken out of storage. Wine was racked and put into tank. It's a long but necessary process to get to a final, bottled product that we can sell.

This year will be unusual because it will be an early harvest for the entire North Coast. We will likely start harvest the first week in September. Historically, this is when we would pick for sparkling wine (at much lower sugars), but this year our regular, still Pinot Noirs will come off the vine.

The early harvest is due to higher-than-average temperatures in June and July. Although August has been unseasonably cool, it has not been cool enough to reset the year back to average, if there is such a thing anymore.

An early harvest is not a negative thing, necessarily. Because sugars have accumulated so quickly, we still have really nice acid levels in the vineyard, meaning that the resulting wines should be quite nice. There have been no major heat spikes that came out of the blue, and no big rains (although we've had a few, unusual drizzles). As long as you could control mold and mildew in your vineyard, which we did, the fruit should be of very good quality.

So here's to a great crush 2013! I have been a very bad blogger this summer (I blame facebook, twitter and instagram for taking away my attentions), but will vow to update as regularly as time allows when the fruit starts to arrive.

See you all on the other side!