|Sunday September 29, 2019
Pat and I got married on September 29, 1973. We headed off to Hawaii and had a wonderful honeymoon. Since buying this vineyard in 1979, we have not been able to get away to celebrate our anniversary. Obviously that is because we are always in the middle of Harvest.
Tomorrow we will start picking again. I am somewhat concerned about the sugars right now after lows the last two days in the low 40's and a forecast high of only 68 today. There is a prediction of a warming trend into the 80's later this week. If we find our sugars down tomorrow we will wait a few days.
Tuesday October 01, 2019
I am fixed on politics as some of you know. I leave CNN on on mute to see if anything is interesting and sometimes I look at Fox, so I am a junky.
8:00:pm: Tangerine Express, nice.........OK, it is going to be crazy here in the next few weeks.
I added water to every fermenter because I do not want
too high on alcohol on our wines.............I know Our
our best seller: Block 4. At sometimes That great wine has
been 16% Alcohol. Should I keep it at that? Could I make a
better wine with less alcohol? ,..........I would like 15%
no more on all of our wines so it is complicate but easy
for me ............It is going to get more interesting
now!! Catarino says we will be done by the twenty first.
AND we have less than half in NOW.................
October 02, 2019
I love this Diary because it helps ME to think about the
Wow, too much on politics, I will be glued later
......but I need to think about the Harvest!!
It has been cold in the morning down to 39. Catarino and
all our great harvesters want to start early so I have to
stop them!! Please Catarino?....... in my way....Start at
So we did harvest 4.5 tons today. It was an adventure
with a spill of wine. So a valve was hit by mistake. So
with 180 gallons of wine in the fermenter..........there
was a force of wine............ unless you were
here......we could not stop it so we put a pump in and
salvaged some. We will press what we have in this
container with maybe a half barrel left................Oh
and it was Block 4............
At first I heard some yelling from workers, trying to get
as much back as possible........and Catarino was trying to
stop me from going in........I pushed him away and said I
need to see this. Yes, I saw the wine down the drain. I
was saying: no problem.........we have to make sure no one
The bad news we have less Block 4 but the good news I
have insurance..........tomorrow is another day
October 03, 2019
We have a lot of fermentations going on today and will
have one tomorrow...........I would love to have more
harvesting tomorrow but there is a guy who has a winery
and wants our fruit........it is complicated
This guy has purchased our fruit for several years and I
told him My two daughters and new Son want to do a new
label and I did not want to sell him fruit anymore. He
begged: I have barrels purchased SO I said this is the
So tomorrow we have to stop picking for our
self.............We have Petite Sirah, Carignan and much
other varieties out there, but we will acknowledge an
agreement. We have not set a price. So in the past I have
received about 3$ bottle, that is the price I will receive
My daughters and new Son have got together a new label,
actually two new possibilities. I will have Brad and I get
them up tomorrow.
So this nice guy will be here tomorrow at 11 and pick up
Grenache, Mourvedre and Carignan............
Tomorrow is another day
October 04, 2019
We have a problem!!!!! We have Zinfandel that is slowly
fermenting. By slowly fermenting it could create VA which
means more acid, like vinegar. I like acid in my wines but
not too much like VA.
We have a lot of our fruit in barrels now which were
started fermenting two weeks ago. I do something
different, usually. I like to finish fermenting in 6 days.
I do not know any other winery who ferments so fast. That
means adding a fast yeast and making the winery is warm
enough to keep the fermentation going. So most wineries
keep their fermentations at low temperatures, it works for
them. I don't have that capability anymore or do I want
SSSSOOOOOOO we have 18 barrels which are slowing down!
After two weeks there is still 2% sugar in alllllllllll.
It took me only a few days............. I already knew
what I had to do like before with DC Fusion but how this
As most of you know I make four wines with Zinfandel,
blended. Block 4, My Zin, Estate Cuvee and Block 6 (RaiZin
in the past). I was thinking about making Block 6 Zin with
only younger Zinfandel. SO
8:00: PM: This is a long story so maybe I
will finish tomorrow with more detail
On Monday we will start 6..........350 gallon fermenters. Of course that is just juice, not skins and we usually only ferment Red Wine with skins. So we will pick Cabernet, Carignan and Petite Sirah which go into My Zin and Estate Cuvee. The percentages will be interesting. We will start with 700 pounds of fresh fruit and add a lot of yeast and then add the Stuck Zin...........more tomorrow
October 5, 2019
See Brad's new recipe below!
I want to go into more detail about what we will start
doing on Monday. I want all my wines to go dry, thus no
sugar left. We do make a Late Harvest wine once in a while
though, which has over 20% sugar left. So like I said last
night we have 18 barrels with at least 2% sugar left. The
wine in the barrels are all our Old Vine Zinfandel,
planted about 120 years ago. We will use 6 picking bins to
harvest about 700 pounds of fresh grapes into each. The
grapes will go into 6 stainless fermenters. Since the
fermenters are large we can add three barrels of stuck
Zinfandel. The 700 pounds of fresh grapes should produce
about one new barrel thus a total of about 4 barrels when
pressed in 7 days or so. The trick will be: What
fresh fruit will be harvested.
We have some newer Cabernet Sauvignon still on the vines
and Catarino thinks there will be about 1400 pounds enough
for two barrels. I don't know what the sugar will be but
that is not too important. I will ferment it with the
stuck Zinfandel with the right alcohol to produce the
final wine at about 15% alcohol. We also have Petite Sirah
and Carignan which we know the sugar to be perfect. We
will harvest another 1400 pounds of each.
So we will take 6 picking bins out in the vineyard and
harvest 700 pounds into each. Then we will destem the 700
pounds into 6 fermenters. Then we will add twice the
amount of yeast that would go into a whole ton of grapes,
overkill for sure but we want this fermentation to go
fast. The amount of extra yeast will eventually settle to
the bottom of the final barrels and then we will rack the
clear wine off in December.
We want the new fermentation with the 700 pounds to be
actively fermenting, hopefully at over 80 degrees. It
should take about two days. Then over a few hours we will
slowly add the stuck Zinfandel. After fermentation we will
have 24 new barrels. The puzzle will be to decide which
barrels go into our three Zinfandel blends: My Zin, Estate
Cuvee and maybe our new Block 6. I will have more info
Monday and start solving the puzzle..........Now look at
Brad's new recipe!!
8:00: Pm: Today::: Brad and I had some great
discussions about making Pizza dough. Bryan is off in Paso
so maybe he will give us more about what he does. I will
relate all I have heard and WE, Brad and I are still
trying to make the ultimate pizza dough.
Bryan and I like to use our sour dough starter in all of
our recipes for pizza. Brad is a traditionalist and uses
yeast. As most of you know regular yeast is used in bread
and also I use it all the time in wine. We have learned
looking up on the Great Internet, Sour dough starter has
been used also.
Bryan my new son has been starting to experiment in only
using a sour dough starter and not adding commercial
yeast. I have been using a sour dough for 50
Back in Fairfax in 1969, I suppose I could be one of the
first to use veggies on pizza. Then when Pat and I were at
a restaurant in San Rafael, in 1978 we did have some pizza
with some veggies
I digress as usual at this time of night.
It is better I finish tomorrow, but I have so many
articles, most from Brad to show you all info on using a
For any comments or questions I encourage any of you to e-mail.....email@example.com
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