Monday August 15, 2022
This was a day of making wine and preparing to harvest grapes to make more wine. We pressed our first red wine, the Pinot Noir. Then we got ready to pick tomorrow a small amount of Riesling and all our Sauvignon Blanc. I plan to make this wine separate from our Luminaire so it will be called Sauvignon Blanc and I even may make two versions, one in French Oak and one in neutral oak. It will be fun.
I have said things from the past just pop in my mind for no reason. I said before the first thing I remember was when I was 7 years old and I was up on Mount Davidson in San Francisco near where I lived and my cousin who was a year younger than I defecated on the soil right in the open. We were alone but I was shocked. I thought it was disgusting and have not forgotten. Now today I remembered something else that must have been before that. It was not something that just happened once and thus was not one occasion: I still remember my Mother used to use a wet wash cloth to wipe my mouth. I still can remember the smell!! It smelled like dirty dishes, it was intense for a young kid like me. Of course I must have needed it!!
Tuesday August 16, 2022
Global Warming, remember that terminology and........... then I think I am right the republicans called it climate change......I think Global Warming is more accurate since I think OIL, coal has caused climate change not just something that happens over time.....OK, I am making no sense to most of you, but I really think there is a difference........
We may be harvesting Zin on Friday!! The SB Harvest was great today......
Wednesday August 17, 2022
Just got a test of the Zin and we have 24 sugar so we will pick a ton on Friday to make sure and then start harvesting the rest of the Old Vine Zinfandel next week. Also we checked the Viognier and it is still low at 18%. We have decided to save the Viognier for a late harvest residual sugar as much as 20%. We also tested the Muscat and got 22.5% so we are picking tomorrow and we will be making a separate Muscat wine this year and we will not be making Luminaire. I will have more info later.
Just back from a scooter run and looked at what we are picking tomorrow. The Muscat tastes real GOOD, the Chardonnay is still a little tart. If I have enough Chardonnay tomorrow I will ferment it in an oak barrel.............tomorrow is another day!!
Thursday August 18, 2022
As I have said, the Harvest is the hardest time of the year, I love it.
Today we brought in a small amount of Chardonnay at nice numbers so we may put it in a barrel and age with some other white we are producing this year. We also have some really Nice Muscat which we will keep separate. So many things,,,,,,,....../,/........
OK, just back from the vineyard and I REALLY think we should try 2 tons tomorrow of OLD VINE ZIN. It looks ready to me.........but
Then we may have to harvest on Saturday and Sunday, all our Warriors are ready!!
Friday August 19, 2022
25% sugar!! Yes, the Old Vine Zinfandel is ready!! We did not have enough pickers today so we only harvested one ton. With all our pickers here, we are picking tomorrow and probably Sunday. We then can finish the 3rd Block and start on the First on Monday. Next we will move to the 4th Block South. The 4th Block North is the area that is used for our Block 4 wine and that should be finished later next week.
Sunday August 21, 2022
As usual, too much on my mind!! We did harvest yesterday and today, Sunday, usually we try to take a break, especially if on Sunday. All the 3rd Block Zin is in but higher sugar than we expected, no red bunches as most years so that is why we have 26% sugar!!!!!! Water is allowed to tone down the alcohol so we will try, but with all this other fruit coming in, like Block 4 AND Block ONE tomorrow, we will be busy and I know I will have a lot of fun...................
Monday August 22, 2022
Another stressful day but as I look back an OK day. We harvested Block One which goes into our Block 4 Wine and it came in low at 23 sugar!!
But just was out for a scooter run and what I tasted.............Block 4 Zin for tomorrow is READY........The last few days of Zinfandel harvested from our Old Vines has swelled up to an average of 27 brix, sorry, I like to say SUGAR. This Block One Zin should be up to 24 or more by tomorrow. We are adding water every day to lower our ending Alcohols...........
So tonight Pat and I had a great meal, AS Usual, last night OH I have to talk about my Parsley Pesto which was SSOSOSO intense..........
So to night we had our air Fryer Crispy Chicken and it was so good:
OK, the air fryer works for a few things like this. I prefer BBQ chicken because it is easier but this was so good!! So
I took wing parts and put them in a BBQ sauce and then tossed in a rice flour mixture and then tossed in another Glad Zip Lock bag, essential.......
The other bag was used to toss an egg solution and then another bag for great Panko crumbs......Cook in the Air Fryer to done, so crispy!!!!
Just back from the vineyard and it looks like we will be harvesting everyday for a few weeks. Pat and I may get out for our 49th anniversary on Sep 29???
Wednesday August 24, 2022
Today we are starting on the Block 4 section. As some of you know the area was planted in mostly Zinfandel with 2 or 3 clones of Syrah/Sirah along with many other varieties. It is an area which has to be well over 120 years old, probably planted around 1895.
Remember, the movie "What's it All About Alfie? One of my favorite movies, well I am asking What is it all about, life. I know now I love what I do.......
So Block 4 harvest today, had sugar at 24, lower than I thought, but we did plant some Carignan 10 years ago and we are getting 700 pounds so tomorrow should give us higher sugars...........now
That is not good.........So far since we started Zin on 8/19, those fermenters are perking along with HIGH sugar and HIGH acids. It is too early.......GLOBAL WARMING HERE........We can deal with it for now, but I am thinking about irrigating for a few days at a high rate and see if we can wait to see if those acids will fall, this early......Time is on our side. Hopefully the sugars will not rise more SINCE we have so many other varieties maybe ready?......Tomorrow IS Another Day........
Thursday August 25, 2022
The Block 4 section we picked yesterday swelled up to 25 sugar this morning. It should rise a little more and the alcohol could be close to 15%. We have decided to wait to pick the rest next week. The acids are fine with the Block 4 but the acids in the other Old Vine Zinfandel we have in are real high. It is too early to pick. We checked samples of Sangiovese, Sagrantino, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet and all were not ready being on average about 22% sugar we want 25+. Patience!!
Saturday August 27, 2022
I work everyday so tonight I went out and tasted MANY GRAPES, OH sorry, I meant many varieties. I did decide for sure Block 4 is ready, but we can not pick early in the morning, because we need the grapes at 70 degrees on average so we have a problem, the morning temps until Wednesday will not warm up to 70 by noon, but Wednesday looks good, I never have believed of "Hang Time" but sometimes it is necessary.............patience, Dave
Sunday August 28, 2022
Sometimes I need to repeat things in this diary. I know some of you need to be reminded of a few things every year. So that said, I need to explain why we have to have 70 degree red grapes on average at harvest.
We are one of the few wineries who inoculates with the Malolactic culture before grapes in the bins start fermenting. Most wineries wait until the fermentation is almost over. The concern is that bad bacteria can start if inoculating early when alcohol is first present. But I have learned if inoculating at the desired temperature of 70 degrees, the fruit will finish reducing the tart malic acid to almost zero and the lactic acid left will give the wine a softer and sometimes buttery character.
So because of the fog in the mornings these last few and next few days, the temperature outside will not rise to 70 degrees until 11am. It takes the crew about 4 hours to pick 3 tons so we would have to start at 9 or 10am and finish at 1pm to achieve 3 half ton bins below 70 degrees and 3 above. We then ferment in one ton fermenters with the colder grapes on the bottom and the warmer half ton on the top. Then the next day we add the Malolactic culture before the mass of grapes, (Must) has started fermenting. This process has worked well for us with the malic acid converted in the first two days. It takes us on average about 8 days until we press into barrels.
On Wednesday it looks like the sun will be out early and by 9am we should have 70 degrees............thus we can start picking at about 7am or 7:30.
10:45 AM, Just a report: it is now only 62 degrees and the sun is still not out. On Wednesday we will start picking at 7am when it will be around 60 degrees. By the end of the week the temps should be in the low 100's in the afternoon. We usually finish 3 tons by noon when it should be in the low 80's.
Monday August 29, 2022
Now the temperature gods are saying we could get to 110 or even 115 by this weekend and early next week. I also noticed last night when out in the vineyard that the leaves in Block 4 are falling and the fruit looks and tastes very ripe SO we need to pick tomorrow. It is still supposed to be cool until about 10am but we will only pick 4 bins tomorrow and be finished by 12 noon or so if we start at 9am. On Wednesday we will finish the rest of Block 4.
We did some sugar tests today and the only other fruit ready will be our Grenache so we may go with that Thursday. We will do some other sugar tests tomorrow and see if the Malbec and cabs have gone up since last weeks readings of 23 or so. We need 25 brix. The Merlot was ready so we may just pick that on Friday. The big question is whether we should pick on Saturday when the temps may go up to 106 or so by the afternoon, thus more grapes could be ready after the Monday Holiday.............
Tuesday August 30, 2022
We did some more sugar tests and not surprising with this cool weather, the samples came in lower than a few days ago. We did not test the Block 4 because I am sure it is ready but we did decided to wait until tomorrow to pick the Block 4. It still looks like it will be cool until about 10am tomorrow so we will start at about 9am and finish 4 bins by noon. Then on Thursday we will pick the rest, maybe about 3 more half ton bins. The Grenache could be ready but we have decided to wait until next Tuesday when we will do some more sugar tests and see where we stand after the heat wave. It is still early!!
Wednesday August 31, 2022
Right after we finished pressing some Old Vine Zin......THE POWER WENT OFF. About the same time we finished harvesting 4 bins of Block 4. THE GENERATOR DID NOT COME ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Recently I was charged $921 to service the piece of S..T. I have asked for a refund since the Generator has not been coming on for the test every week but the company will not give me a refund. I have contacted my Credit card company so time will tell........
The bad news: we could not destem our Block 4 today since the winery power is off. Because the F.....G Generator did not come on..........The power did come on 3 hours later, but the crew had left.
The good news: my Tesla Power Walls came on and it indicated I would have 10 hours of electricity. I love my Tesla Solar and I really love my Tesla Powerwalls.
OK, we will be fine processing our Block 4 tomorrow.
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