Matt and i took a walk in the vineyard yesterday. I wanted to taste the grapes but most importantly I wanted to look at all the possible types of zinfandel bunches. I suspected we should harvest now and It was confirmed by observation. These bunches have very little red berries in them. That means we have the sugar. A ripe Zinfandel bunch should have some raisins. I hear many wineries throw out raisin bunches.................why..................that is what the vineyard is producing....it is terroir. I am a winemaker who wants to leave in as much of the character of my vineyard in order to produce a unique wine. Tomorrow we start picking the rest of our old vine Zinfandel. We hope to be finished by Saturday. The following week if it stays warm we probably will start on our block 4 sections.
Tuesday September 25, 2012
Too many things in the last few days..........I am a Seattle fan so I could see how they should win................long story.................My sister has backed off my Mother and is NOW saying no negative things ABOUT even me. Mother and I are hopeful.
HARVEST................It of course is complicated. We have 20 plus varieties growing out in our vineyard and there are so many other soils that we have to do sugar tests everyday. Today we did sugar tests for a wine that Matt wants to make for a lower alcohol Zin. It will still be potent but may be like 2011 which is wonderful with fruit driven character. We also checked more old vine zin sections. And we even checked Lagrein and a few others. All sugars are progressing so we should be harvesting most everyday for a while.
Yesterday we brought in more old vine Zin but the sugar was lower than i hoped. Today we regrouped and everything I checked looks perfect. Tomorrow we will harvest Matt's wine. Maybe I can get him to post as a guest..............
Wednesday September 26, 2012
This was another complicated day. We harvested some Zinfandel on wire from our new areas, not head trained like our old vines. we continue to see more crop come in than we expect. The color is great on all samples and actual harvest. The zinfandel picked was Matt's choice and I helped. Matt wants to make a low alcohol Zinfandel so I have agreed. Matt wanted sugar of 23+ brix but what i saw coming in..............as i was the tester......turned out to be only about 21+. The sugar after swelling up the raisins will probably move up to 23 which will still give Matt a wine under 14% alcohol.
The weather forecast is unpredictable. We could see higher temperatures for the next few days but lower in a week. We will try some more old vine zinfandel tomorrow and i will report about our samples taken today.
Friday September 28, 2012
As I look back on my life, I know now my balance was never as good as someone else......now at an older age, I have to be more careful than others. I may try to learn how to obtain better balance, maybe some type of exercise.
Wow yesterday..............way too much again....I have to do a day next week when I try to document everything that happens by hour during a Harvest day.
We harvested more Zin, great stuff....But i still don't see the best David Coffaro Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel so far. I will wait until Monday to pick more. We may make many varietal zinfandel wines this year.
Tonight i tasted many of our recent Block 4 wines, 6 in all and i hope to report on my results over the 4 days of tasting.
The most beautiful fruit I have ever seen is in our First block Petite Verdot. A few years ago i planted Petit Verdot in an area near our house, first block. Nothing grew well in that area over my 33 years but the quality has always been good for what ever I planted. These vines were planted in 2003 and at times we have had very little crop. This year we are hoping for two tons. We should see grapes in a week. it will be fun.
Saturday September 29, 2012
Pat and I were married 39 years ago in 1973. Time has passed fast. We are heading out soon to have dinner at Scopa Restaurant in Healdsburg.
The sugar sample taken in the Petit Verdot block came in at 24+ sugar so we will take a more extensive sample next week. We are still waiting for the warm up in temperatures which has been predicted for a week. We may finally get one by mid week. In the mean time we plan to finish our old vine Zinfandel and start on Block 4 if the warm up occurs. Things could get exciting.
I tasted six Block 4 wines over the last two nights and still slightly preferred the 2008 bottled after only 10 months of aging. I also tasted the 2009 10 month and 16 month and the 2010 10 month and 16 month along with the newly bottled 2011 Block 4 aged 10 months. The 2010 wines are still very young but great with a hardy meal. I was very happy to say I preferred the 2011 10 month compared to the 2009 10 month. The 2009 16 month was close in appreciation to the 2008. What I have seen from this 2012 vintage, we could have some incredible wines produced.
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