|Monday October 9, 2006
I start another week with the chance of bringing in most of the rest of our Estate fruit. So far we have processed about 70% of the 53 tons estimated to be picked. Right now we are harvesting our Carignan and I will have Catarino sugar test our Cabernet in Block 5 and Petite Sirah in Block One. Later this week we will bring in the one ton of Mourvedre. The Barbera is off atleast a week and the Block One Zin will be next week. We still have two tons of Doug Rafanelli's Cabernet coming in today and 10 tons of fruit from Gallo probably next week. On Thursday the plan is for Steve to travel up to Lake County and bring back 6 tons of Petite Sirah. This will be a busy week.
Tuesday October 17, 2006
This week is shaping up to be very busy again. Today we are picking some of our front block Zin and Petite Sirah. Also we are picking our two areas of Mourvedre one down by the creek and the other in the front in the same area of the Petite Sirah and Zin. This front area has been a big problem ever since it was planted in 1998. All three of these varieties have struggled to get ripe. If you have looked at our vineyard map you will see the vines are near our pond. Most of the vines are turning red and we don't know if the problem is created from the soil or pond. I think it is a combination of many factors. So we will pull the vines and replant next spring. We will look at the soil and we are also cleaning up the pond. We know the trees and weeds around the pond have created a habitat for Pierce's Disease which can destroy vines. I was so impressed with the quality of the 60 lbs of Pinot Noir from our few experimental vines that I am considering to replant this area to Pinot. Pinot does ripen early so if the soil in this area is the problem we can still get it ripe early. I may also consider planting Cabernet Franc. Let me know what you think.
Tomorrow we will receive some Tannat and Petite Verdot from Gallo. Last week we harvested the rest of our Estate Carignan along with our Petite Verdot, Merlot and Cab Franc for our Aca Modot blend. We also received more great looking Cab from Doug Rafanelli and the Petite Sirah from Lake County. I can predict that the Cabernet and Petite Sirah that I produce this year will be of the highest quality. Next week I will have more to say about the quality of all the varietals.
Thursday October 19, 2006
Yesterday was a record for us. We crushed 16 tons of grapes. We now have only our Cabernet to harvest. Here is the breakdown of what we processed. Over one ton of Rafanelli Cabernet personally for Doug. 5.15 tons of Cabernet from Goat Trek at 27+ sugar. .6 tons of Mourvedre at 24+ brix for our Terre Melange. 2.3 tons of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah from the pond area which were fermented together at about 25 brix. 3.4 tons of Tannat at a little under 24 brix that was fermented with some of the Goat Cab and Petit Verdot. Some of the Petit Verdot was kept separate because it was 25 brix. There are so many options I can't wait to blend in January.
Remember they can never predict the weather. Last year was one of very few Octobers when we did not get a day to record atleast 100 degrees. This year could be the second in a row, a record since I have been here. Where is Global Warming when we need it. I usually need a spike of 100 degree temperatures in October to ripen up our Petite Sirah and Cabernet. That is one reason why those two varietals are taking awhile to harvest. We will be warming up in the next few days, but there is no prediction of even 90 degree temperatures. We will see. As I have said before every year is different and complex. Every year is a challenge. This year is no exception, but I have met the challenge. The quality of the wine I will produce this year will be great!
Saturday October 21, 2006
We had a low of 43 yesterday and a high of 96. Today we had a low of 40 and we will be in the 90s again later on. Late next week could be hotter. We will be harvesting our Estate Cabernet next week and hopefully our Barbera later in the week. We had way too much barbera on our vines so we had to drop a lot of the crop.
Yesterday we pressed our Lake County Petite Sirah and some Rafanelli Cabernet. The quality looks great. Today will be the first day that we taste some zinfandel out of barrels. Within two weeks we will be tasting out of most barrels. It will be fun.
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