|Monday October 7, 2019
See last week for more details. We brought in 6 bins with about 700 pounds of grapes. We destemmed into 6 large fermenters. This will produce about one barrel in each fermenter. In two days we will add 3 barrels of slow fermenting Zinfandel to each fermenter. I will have more info when we start adding the stuck wine.
Tuesday October 8, 2019
Some of you may have heard about a possible shutoff by our local electric company, PG&E. It has been exactly 2 years since the devastating fires in Napa and Sonoma county. There is a possible similar event with high winds that could occur later tonight. So PG&E may shut off our power. We will have a few hours of back up but only for our residence and office. The winery would have no power.
Tomorrow we are scheduled to start adding our stuck Old Vine Zinfandel wines that are in 18 barrels. We have wine in 6 large bins that have started to ferment and we need to start adding the wine tomorrow afternoon, otherwise we could have the fermentations producing alcohol too fast and thus go dry in two or three days. If the power is off it could mean our stuck wine would not be able to be added and then in 5 days we would have 24 barrels of wine that has gone dry.
This is what we would have to do: We have a large roll up winery door that can be manually opened without power. Our forklifts will still work So we can pick up the full barrels of stuck wine and manually turn them over to have the wine fall into the fast fermenting bins. We are going to practice today before we leave.
We did harvest all our Petite Sirah today and the quality looks great. If the power is not off tomorrow we will harvest the Syrah and the rest of the Mourvedre. Also we will bring in our Peloursin. All the grapes harvested tomorrow will go into our Terre Melange Rhone blend.
8:00 Pm: SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO PG&E.com is down all day, I guess they have too many people like me WAITING TO WHAT HAPPENS.......NEXT?
Sorry to be upset, I guess
So maybe the power goes off tonight or tomorrow,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,.............there is no updaTE. i WILL CALM DOWN, EITHER WAY WE HAVE TO MAKE MORE WINE. IT IS SO EASY::: sURE WE SHOULD PRESS TOMORROW BUT WE CAN WAIT A DAY OR TWO.......::::mOST WINERIES LEAVE THE WINE ON THE SKINS FOR SEVERAL DAYS, i WANT FRESH FRUIT, BUT IT WILL BE INTERESTING IF WE CAN have A SAMPLE OF eXTENDED mA Ceration Maceration....SSSOSSOOO. We like to press before the fermentation is complete. But some of you know I like experimenting>>>>....So Why do some wineries use extended maceration and receive good awards.............https://winefolly.com/review/winemakers-red-wine-secret-extended-maceration/ ?????????
Tomorrow is near.......Tomorrow is Another Day
Friday October 11, 2019
I don't usually say exactly what I think: I am pissed off with PG&E
I will have a lot more detail about our Harvest tomorrow, but I want to say we have been out of Power for almost three days. Tesla Power Wall was fabulous for 40 hours, a big help since we had DirecTV. My Point is PG&E has more power over us than anyone else. That can't continue. We all lost a lot of money in Sonoma County.......much more tomorrow::: Aglianico........Harvest Time
Saturday October 12, 2019
Has anyone heard of: "If it is Yellow, it is Mellow.......If it is Brown, Flush it Down"? I will have more detail later.
I think there should be a new Constitutional Amendment!! Thou Shall have the right to Power!! At Midnight of Wednesday morning PG&E shut off our power with no notice! When I found out about it the next morning, I went down to our office and saw we had no WiFi either, thus we had no emails or phone reception. We are out in the country so we are on our own well so we had no water since we need electricity to activate the pump. Since we are far away from towers we had no cell service. Pat did have limited text messaging. The Tesla Power Wall was providing electric power, starting at mid night. It is silent when it comes on so I did not know it was on until the morning.
I turned off our computers since they were useless without the internet and WiFi. It was relatively cool out side all three days so we needed no air conditioning. I turned our refrigerators down somewhat. I could only guess how much power we were using since the Power Wall needs WiFi to show records. On a normal day I have seen we use about 2.5 Kw per hour a total of about 55 Kw per day. The evening before I could see we were only using 0.8 Kw per hour since I had closed down a lot the day before to see how little I could use and I guessed by turning off things we did not need on Wednesday I would use 0.6 per hour. The Power Walls hold 27 Kw so by looking at the records now, I was right, The Power Wall provided power for about 40 hours. It went off at 2pm Thursday so we had no power for the next 30 hours. When the Power Walls were working I was amazed I could get DirecTV. I assume since it is satellite it was using very little power and as most of you know to fire up a TV takes very little. I turned on local stations so we had some info while the Power Walls were working.
Now back to my first statement: "If it is Yellow, it is Mellow.......If it is Brown, Flush it Down" Back in 1976 and 1977 Pat and I lived in Fairfax in Marin County. Marin County is the only county I know of that relies on there own lakes to fill with rain water. In 1976 and 1977 Marin County had about 15 to 17 inches of rain each year compared to an average of 40 inches. In 1977 a pipe was installed on the Richmond Bridge to send water to San Rafael. We had pizza parties back then and many of our friends lived in Marin County. We had to preserve water otherwise our monthly bills would skyrocket. That is where the saying started. "If it is Yellow, it is Mellow.......If it is Brown, Flush it Down". Yes we flushed our toilets only a couple of times a day but when guests came it was more important to let them know not to flush the toilet unless necessary.
That brings me to the last few days. Unlike in Fairfax, Pat and I had no water!! Fortunately we have a big storage tank that holds a lot of water so we had to capture water from the tank and carry buckets up to our toilets, not fun at our ages, but we had help from Jose and Salvador who were here punching down fermenters.
I am Pissed off with PG&E. PG&E said they were concerned with their power lines being damaged by wind. There was virtually no wind here in Dr Creek Valley over the three days and we are way out in the country with few power lines around us. BTW we were the first area in Northern California be be shut off and we were the last 2% to have power back on, why? I assume PG&E did not think about all the winemaking that should have been going on?
We have not figured out how much we have lost due to no power. By leaving the wine on the skins longer than I want (Extended Maceration) we may have some wine with less forward fruit, time will tell.
We just did some sugar tests and all the samples of grapes that have not been picked have shown readings of 27% or more sugar. So we have lost a lot of juice from dehydration, partly because we could not irrigate. I will have more about the Harvest later, right now we are pressing and picking Aglianico.
1pm: We have picked some Aglianico today but we stopped because we have Tannat, Alvarelhao and Souzao at higher sugars so we are picking those gapes now. Yesterday we harvested all the Syrah, Peloursin and the rest of the Mourvedre. All these past 5 grapes go into our Terre Melange.
On Wednesday and Thursday we still had to work on wine, even without power. We had the 6 bins full of fresh grapes and we needed to add the 18 stuck Zinfandel barrels that I talked about a few days ago. We had to manually turn barrels into the 6 fermenters, gravity is a nice thing. Here are a few pictures:
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