|Monday July 4, 2011
I am home alone again. I have invitations to visit friends but I am starting to like being by myself.
Tomorrow we are bottling so I have been busy setting everything up. Matt has helped but is acting like a wimp now that he hurt his ankle. We will see how he does tomorrow so I may have to step up. Bottling is the second most stressful time of the year, Harvest is first, winemaking is easy.
So Pat is away seeing 7 Giants games so I have some time to think, now that Nadal lost and the Giants have lost two. I have decided to watch all 10 hours of Lord of the Rings, extended version in blu ray. I have 7 days but I will have to fast forward through some Giants games, I won't be able to settle down until the games are over.
Wednesday July 6, 2011
8:00Am: We are bottling!! Matt is doing OK, but I have to work hard for a change. I like delegating authority, but yesterday I had to be more active. This week our goal is to bottle 2400 cases and save 1700 for additional aging to be bottled in January. This makes our week more complicated. For instance one of the wines worked on yesterday was the 2010 Carignan. We racked 12 barrels into a tank. We then refilled four of the newest barrels to save the Carignan for January bottling. We also filled one barrel to blend into our 2010 Ultimate Cuvee. We then bottled 167 cases, what was left in the tank. Yesterday we also did similar things to the Barbera, Lagrein, RaiZin and Zin from our 6th Block. This all took time and we thus worked from 6:30Am until 6:00Pm. Today we started at 5:45 and we hope to be a little more organized to be out of here before 5:00Pm. We are having fun but it is stressful.
9:30Pm: I am still here. This has been an interesting day. There were many ups and downs. I need to get ready for tomorrow!!!, so I will make this short and say more tomorrow. The day started at 5:45Am and I hear the gang is starting the same time tomorrow. I am ready. Everything was going well today until we realized I wanted to change one barrel. It cost us what seemed like an hour so we finished after 6:00Pm. We are strong and will bottle more tomorrow.
Thursday July 7, 2011
8:00Am: We made it to another day. My great helpers were here at 5:45 this morning. We already have the the 2010 Block 4 and the 2010 Aca Modot in the tank. Matt has decided to scale down today so those are the only two wines we will work on today. It still will take time because we are saving 11 barrels of Block 4 for January and that will involve racking into different types of barrels. The Aca Modot is different. We actually had sold out of all we planned to make so I decided to put 31 gallons of our 2010 100% Cabernet into the tank along with the 7 barrels. Then I decided to save one barrel for January for additional aging. That means we will be short 20 cases for customers who have the possibility to pick up their Aca in August. I feel pretty confident that many customers will not claim the wine until after January so they could obtain the wine aged an additional 6 months. If any of you would prefer some of this wine aged longer just let us know. I'll have more about this later.
Those Giants finally won a game last night but I was up until 11:30Pm for the ending in the 14th inning. That gave me only 6 hours of sleep but I am ready. I am still trying to get through the first Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring. I have finished about 3 hours total so I still have over 7 hours to watch to complete all three movies before Pat gets home next Monday. I may not have the time if we can't finish bottling until after 6:00Pm every day.
Friday July 8, 2011
9:00Pm: We started at 6:00Am again. We have to work tomorrow to finish bottling. The last two days saw the great helpers leave by 3:00Pm each day but each day Cindi and I welcomed customers. Today we had several Club members come in around 3:30 and so we had no time to close the gate. Cindi is great and stayed as long as I did to interact with happy customers. We both settled into our own lives a little after 5pm.
I decided I could not finish all three Lord of the Rings before Pat gets home Monday so I have chosen to look at a Harry
Potter movie. I read the first several books but now I have settled into the movies in the last several installments. The one I am determined to see is the Half-Blood Prince. It may take me three days.
Tomorrow I will sulfur the vineyard at 6:00:Am. Then starting at 7 instead of 6 the great over achievers, including Catarino and his wife Martha, Salvador and his wife and Matt will begin their hopefully short day. If they came in at 6 tomorrow as usual they would get a big whiff of sulfur dust after I pass the first row. We have endured through another week of bottling. Cindi and I will greet customers. Most customers are so happy to be here. We are ready for the next day.
Saturday July 9, 2011
3:30Pm: We are finished!! I did sulfur this morning and thus we got started bottling at 7am. Today we bottled the Petite Sirah, Escuro and Terre Melange. I know some of you are wondering what I have thought of this 2010 vintage and I will post some comments soon.
Matt presented me with a surprise today. He had saved the 1+ gallons of wine from the bottom of each barrel we bottled in January. That included the 2009 Ultimate Cuvee and many of the other 2009 wines that were aged in new oak for 16 months. We decided to bottle this extra barrel today. We now have 23 cases of Zp2c but not the same blend that we bottled last August. I made up a special label and we put them on by hand. It will be interesting to try the wine tonight.
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