Monday, January 3, 2000
Life begins again. Since we were in Florida and Disney and greeted in the New Year, it does seem like three weeks of fantasy. Today I had to get back to reality and start preparing for blending. Tomorrow we will blend our 1999 Zinfandel by transferring 43 barrels of wine into a 2500 gallon plastic tank for only a few hours and then back into 40 clean barrels (I feel stainless tanks are a great waste of money). Since we go straight into barrels from pressing there will be on average 3.5 gallons of sediment in each 60 gallon barrel. That means we will lose about 8 out of 146 total barrels for all our wines over the next three days. We will also need about 5 barrels for topping due to evaporation during the next 6 months before we bottle in July. We will be closed until January 22nd to give our wines a chance to recover.
Wednesday, January 5, 2000
Brendan's been into other obligations for the past two days, so we've been somewhat delayed with our blending. He is working for WineX and also will do some work for The Wine Brats. Today was an interesting day since we (Brendan and I) made a few mistakes. It reminded me of some of the NFL football games this past weekend. For us, even though we do make a few mistakes, we don't have to win the game by the end of the fourth Quarter or even overtime. Even though we may be delayed by a day or so, we can achieve our goal of producing the best wine we can from the grapes we harvested. Today we did blend all our 99 Zin and transfer it back to the same barrels--about 28% of our production. The rest of the blending is quite a puzzle. You see we produced 7 different Zinfandels, 2 different Carignans, 3 different Petite Sirahs, Syrah, 6 different Cabs, Malbec, Barbera, 3 different Cabernet Francs, Petite Verdot, Pinot Noir, Merlot and also 4th mix, Sauv Blanc and Late Harvest Sauv Blanc. The problem I have is that when we press we can have barrels of 100% of these wines, as well as barrels side by side on the same rack, containing a combination of these wines. I have chosen which barrels go in each of our 11 wines, but separating them into a space in the winery that we can access is another matter. You see there can be a stack of Petite sirah that will go into three different wines. We must unstack these 6 barrels and move them to a place that we can access to each of these blends. In other words: do we use one tank or do we use many tanks and do we have room to move around. As I have said before, most of you I am sure have the same problems in your line of business. I hope to finnish by Friday, but after I ran into my overhead door with the forklift today anything can happen (it was cold this morning, and the door wasn't completely open--Long story ([:-):::
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