|Tuesday May 22, 2007
I have had a few responses to my diary entry last week mentioning that I may start a new wine club that is more traditional and require customers to take certain wines. This club would be in addition to the Vintage Circle. We are always keeping the Vintage Circle and I won't be starting a new club.
We are in full bloom and by next week I will have a better idea about the crop load.
Brad and I will be away from May 30th until June 10th so we have decided to extend our April and May order form until June 11th. There will be price increases on June 12th.
Tuesday May 29, 2007
The grape bunches are swelling up so I have increased my estimate on the old vine Zin and Petite Sirah. When the new forms come out on June 12th those increases with be reflected.
Pat and I start driving up the Oregon Coast tomorrow, all the way to Bellingham and then to Seattle to pickup Susie. We will be home June 11th.
Monday June 11, 2007
We are back!! I am extremely happy to be back! I am happy Nadal won and I am unhappy that Duncan is winning; he has no charisma. Nadal has everything. Watch tennis!!! Pat and I got back at 3pm yesterday. I walked out with Catarino in the vineyard where I noticed that the vines look great as usual. At this time of the year no problems are showing. May and June are my favorite months BY FAR!! A little shatter but I will get into that later.
I have to follow our schedule. Prices go up tomorrow, but as usual, call me if you want the best prices. I am easy. Wine is too expensive!
I will report on three great wine finds up in the great Northwest.
This is one of those moments I should not talk about, but I will. All of us who are still together after 30+ years know that we are special. It takes an effort. I love Pat, but sometimes she says unpredictable things and that is good.
Saturday June 16, 2007
I had three nice wines up North! I do not like tasting wine in the middle of the day so we did try many Oregon and Washington wines when we had a chance at dinner. I was disappointed in the food and sometimes the wine on the Oregon Coast. All the towns are small and the people visiting look to be less interested in food and wine and more into family outings. I plan on seeing the Oregon Coast many more times in the next few years while Susie is attending U.W. in Seattle. I was so impressed that we may rent a home next time and do our own cooking. The Oregon Coast is so easy to drive. Unlike the California Coast the roads are mostly straight and I could easily average 60 mph. And again unlike the California Coast to see the best views you have to drive off the road most of the time. It seems what had to be done to make a road, was to cut a straight pathway through all the trees. Since Oregon gets more rain than California in the Summer everything is real green with solid trees everywhere. The most impressive thing to me are all the jagged rocks off the shore and many of these small rocks look like miniature islands with trees growing right out of them, incredible.
Washington is even more green with more trees and more water inland. The Coast is hard to get to in Washington and is developed even less than the Oregon Coast. We traveled through many of the bays on our way to Port Townsend and Bellingham. Just incredibly beautiful scenery.
The three wines I enjoyed are the 2005 Zebra Viognier, Columbia Valley, the Tyrus Evan Walla Walla Syrah and the Dominio IV 2005, the dark and the red, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. I am not a fan of any of those varietals and have few in my cellar, but I was impressed by all three. I called up Vinopolis in Portland and they put together a case of mostly Pinots that I will start tasting tonight.
I will be reporting on our 2007 crop and our upcoming bottling of our 2006 wines. This is the last weekend for 2005 Futures customers to claim their wine. It appears there should be some 2005s, that were sold out, to resell to those of you who are interested.
Wednesday June 27, 2007
June is almost over. Everything looks so green and lush. This is my favorite time of the year. Shatter is obvious in the Zinfandel and I am hearing about it in other vineyards throughout Northern California. What is shatter? What causes it?
Shatter can mean many things to many people. For me in Zinfandel it usually means the berries do not form to a good size. If you look at some of the bunches this year you will see, at this time, little berries that are not sizing up. In July these berries will hopefully disappear and the other berries on the bunch will develop into normal size and fill out the bunch. I have seen in some years where these small berries do develop into small pea size berries and have a harsh character. Let's hope this is not one of those years. Within two more weeks I will start seeing color and the bunches will swell up even more. That will be the time to see how the bunches look.
In my 29 seasons hear I have seen a gradual warming trend, at least 3 degrees higher. Even the nights have warmed a little. I am not too worried because I think the vines are producing better grapes and thus better wine. Still the weather is unpredictable and the seasons vary considerably. So far this year the weather has been very nice with no extremes. Mostly, so called experts, think shatter is caused by poor weather, especially rain or extreme heat during bloom. That was not the case this year so my opinion is that no one knows what causes shatter. Shatter can be a good thing. There were way too many bunches and now these bunches are smaller so let's hope they develop into wonderful fruit. I am confident that I can make great wine out of any fruit.
What is interesting except for the Zinfandel, the rest of the varietals in our vineyard look normal and we have thinned the new vines of Cabernet and Petite Sirah. These two varietals look great and I am hoping the grapes that are developing will make wonderful wine.
Our bottling starts in 9 days. I am hard at work deciding when to bottle each wine and where to store them. I will have more to report when I am through planning.
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