|Thursday January 4, 2001
With the final college football game last night, and Kate and Susie back to school, I can now get back to writing in this diary. In the last several days I have been preparing the final calculations for our first blending of the season. This requires knowing where all my barrels are and then deciding which ones go into our 12 red wines for the 2000 season. At this time, I don't have to make a decision on our 2000 Zp2c, The final blend for that wine will not be done until July when we bottle our other 11 red wines.
The computer is essential in this blending process since I must be sure I have the right percentages in each of the wines. Of course the 8 varietals must contain at least 75% of that grape. Since some of our 171 barrels contain less than 100% of a particular variety, I must mix and match. As some of you have seen we have these barrels stacked 3 high and thus must unstack them inorder to empty into a tank.
Brendan and I started today by marking the barrels with chalk with letters (such as Z for Estate Zin and N for Neighbors' Zin) to separate the barrels into spaces in the winery so that we don't get them mixed up. I have spent about a total of two weeks determining which barrels I want to use in these 11 wines. I have tasted all representative barrels (not all individually, since there are many duplicates). I have posted the final percentages, and have not changed my mind for several weeks. What I have had to do recently is to determine how many new barrels will be used in each wine. This can get very complicated . I am aiming for 20% new oak so since the Estate zin was put into more oak than I wanted at harvest, and the neighbors' zin less, we will have to clean these barrels after emptying and make sure they are used for the neighbors' zin next. Organization is the name of the game.
After our preparation, the actual blending will occur next Monday through
Wednesday. We will be open for WinterWineland on January 20 and 21 for
the first tasting of these wines. These blends will change little until
bottling in July, but we will rack (empty and airate) one more time in
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