| Tuesday September 16, 2014 |
10:30 Pm: Women to this day!! I have trouble understanding them. So I have Kate and Pat here with me tonight. Kate is 29 and our daughter, but she is very smart so I feel I have to impress her. As family members we have to try to relate to each other.....
my sister a problem....not this time........search in the past
So I have shown Kate a few things in the last two days. Kate is here between jobs so she says she wanted to know what I do. Of course that means getting sticky. When we bring in grapes you do not want to be near the destemmer, you will have juice touch you in a spray. So Kate and I did several samples of Mourvedre at 22 and Carignan at 22 and we still made great wine.
Kate learned today that most of wine making is easy to plan, a lot easier than what she has done in Structural Engineering, but she wants more of a challenge so she is going into management, so she will learn more about the whole project. I am fortunate to have a small operation here. We only make 5 to 6 thousand cases a year so all of us here have no problem completing our hard tasks at Harvest time.
Catarino and I...........I know, we enjoy what we do...............we have a passion
So today I had to go off for an eye test. I almost cancelled even though I only had to go off 20 miles round trip, But of course it could take 2 to 3 hours. Matt was Ok so I took off at 11 and was back before 1. Oh,...... Pat and Catarino were trying to get a hold of me on my iPhone and I did not hear that Catarino was concerned our Mourvedre was not ripe. Catarino and I know each other........so it was easy when I got back and took a second........and heard I did not get their phone calls..........I forgot I had the iPhone............Catarino and I decided to leave some Mourvedre on the vine for later next week.........Long story
So today we brought in most of the Mourvedre and some new carignan down by the creek and I knew they were both distressed with less leaves so we only got 22-23 sugar on Mourvedre and Carignan...........so since they both go into Terre Melange it was an easy decision to blend it with Grenache which goes into Terre Melange also. So we mixed Grenache at 27+ sugar to balance out the blend of several fermentations..........so we kept some Grenache to make our 100% Grenache......winemaking is easy.....just be organized
so tomorrow we will harvest the last of our young Zin from Block 5 and Block 6 and then there may be some rain on Thursday but we will probably pick Tannat and some of the other vatieties that go into Escuro........and then all our Cab by the end of the week. It would take over an inch of rain and cold weather after that to delay us. We are tired but ready for more fruit....................tomorrow is another day
Wednesday September 17, 2014
7:00: Pm: Tomorrow will be the most interesting day of this 2014 Harvest.......There is a forecast for some rain. I don't think it will happen but there has been three or four times in the past in my 36 seasons......when there was a rain storm in September and caused major damage. If we get 2 to 3 inches of rain we will be OK but some of the locations in Russian River have heavy soils and they will be in trouble.
And we have many varieties ready to pick..........but if there will be a rain what should we pick........
If it is raining tomorrow morning we will not pick, we all agree. But if the rain if any is gone by then......I am interested to see where the Cabernet Sauvignon is AT. What is the sugar, what is the acid and Matt is obsessed this year with our new instruments. He is making more tests than I think we need but our wine is getting better so he has things intact.
I am asking for Cabernet clone 341 tomorrow. It should be ripe and if so we will pick some Cabernet Franc with it.
9:50 Pm: It is raining now and we have had .10 inches so far. If we get more than a half an inch we will be delayed, but not tomorrow if it is clear in the morning. Cabernet will not be harmed and no other grapes in our vineyard will be harmed short term. So we are on schedule tomorrow to pick one bin of Cabernet and see where the sugar is at 8:30 tomorrow morning.........
Today I was nicer to Kate and Pat I hope and Kate is helping out with our wine club so we have had a great day of bonding.........
Thursday September 18, 2014
2:45 Pm: We did not pick today because we are having a few showers and we now have 0.35 inches of rain since last night. I know the sugar is there for the Cabernet even though the berries are still wet but it would be hard for Catarino and his helpers to move through wet shoots so it looks like we will be picking Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday since there may be another rain storm on Wednesday, next week.
Friday September 19, 2014
We had a catch up day this Friday. Tomorrow will be another Harvest day. AND we will pick Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. There is another storm coming in next Wednesday. We are ready............
Today we brought in Cab Franc with our clone 341 Cabernet. In the many fermenters we will need should still get us 2 barrels for 100% Cabernet and the rest will go to Aca Modot with a 50% Cab and 50% Cab Franc.
The sugar was 24 on the Cab Franc so we fermented most of the grapes at 50% Cab 341 at 26+ sugar and the Cab Franc.
Saturday September 20, 2014
9:45 Pm: Pat and Kate are off to see a movie in the guest house so I will look at the Giants game soon. Matt and Salvador have told me, they are probably in bed by 9. I like to stay up even when way back........when I did all the work at the winery, BUT I know Salvador and Matt are doing more work than I did when we made 3000 cases.........We make about 5000 cases now but have made 7000 in the past when we custom crushed for the Wine Guerrilla. It is easier to make wine now in the twenty First century. All of us in winemaking in any wineries around us are making better wine. We have new analysis to help us out and the nutrients we now use to ferment wine are helping to make cleaner and better wine.
Today we picked again. We brought in Alvarelhao, Sauzao and Tannat. We had about 25 sugar so we are happy and then we picked Carignan from our old vines and we got 25.6 sugar. Tomorrow we will try to finish our Carignan and then finish our Cabernet clone 337 next. We are having trouble getting our clone 6 Cabernet Sauvignon ripe. BV sells their clone 6 for over $150 per bottle, the last time I looked. We have about 23 sugar on our many clone 6 areas so Catarino suggested budding over to another grape, like Lagrein, but of course I take this as a challenge!! I remember Aglianico a few years back and we also had trouble getting the fruit ripe and now the vines are more mature and at a sugar test today at 26% and I love Aglianico wine we have produced. It is a wine I could not consume a whole bottle by myself in one night because it is intense SO I will wait a year or two more for Clone 6 to impress me. Most of us do not know that the most famous Bordeaux wines are usually under 13.5 alcohol so we could pick clone 6 tomorrow and it would produce a wine at 13.5 alcohol.................but we have no time, maybe?? since there is a call for rain next week. This is not good for some of my friends in cooler areas south of us. There is now a possibility for cooler temperatures and sprinkles into Friday. That could create rot in many softer berry varieties, like zinfandel, grenache and many others. We have harvested all varieties that could sustain rot except for our Syrah and Mourvedre down in our sandy loam where that soil holds in water that creates moisture and can infect ripe bunches over 22 sugar. Cindi and Catalina want me to make another noble rot Sweeter wine. But I am not going to plan for it. It may happen by chance with a wet rainy season for a month................
So if the rain holds up until Wednesday we will then pick Syrah and Mourvedre at lower sugars than we like. There are not many leaves on those vine so we need to get the fruit in. We will pick Aglianico the Petit Verdot on Tuesday.........they are ready
Tomorrow we pick Carignan.
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