|Thursday October 26, 2006
What a week!! We are still busy, but we are almost through with the Harvest. In the next two days we will press into over 50 barrels. Also we are picking some of the last of our Estate fruit. Next Monday we will pick our Barbera and then start on a ton or so of second crop. Yesterday Catarino picked a little over a ton of our new Cabernet and it came in at well over 25 brix. It looks great. Today we will receive some of the Cab for the Estate Cuvee and finish up on that section tomorrow. We are also picking the last of the zin in our problem area in the front by the pond. Today will be exciting because we will press a bunch of the Goat Cabernet and some Petit Verdot we got from Gallo. I love Petit Verdot since it is so dark and has a great deal of character. I have tasted many pure Petit Verdot bottlings and have liked all so it will be interesting to see how these 8 barrels turn out. Tomorrow we will press our Gallo Tannat and fill many barrels of blends that will contain Cabernet, Petit Verdot and Tannat. Also today we have some fermenters to press into barrels that will have a 50-50 mix of our Estate Petite Sirah and Zinfandel. These last several barrels will come from the Pond area where we are having problems with the grapes getting ripe in a timely matter. In preparation for the analysis of this Pond area, Catarino and Salvador dug 7 holes to check out the soil. Also we will take leaf samples to analyze.
Monday October 30, 2006
Beware of Tivo!! I don't know much about the old Tivo, but I do know Tivo lost their contract with DirecTv sometime in the last year and I know they have introduced some new products and Tivo hopes to make a profit again. Well the new Tivo has not pleased me and if what I went through today is any indication, Tivo will go bankrupt. Here is the story:
As some of you know I am a big Raider fan and some of you also know my 21 year old daughter Kate has been a huge fan for over 10 years. When she was 15 I purchased Club seats and we went to every game for three of the Raiders best seasons from 2000 to 2002. Now that Kate is at Cal Poly she still looks at the games live when she has a chance. But when she has other commitments she wants to record the game and look at it later. She has a friend who will record it for her.
Beware of Tivo!! They are not treating their customers in a nice matter. On Kate's 21st birthday I gave her a Tivo to record the Raider games. She took it down to Cal Poly and tried to hook it up. Before she could try it out Tivo required her to sign up for a one year subscription to their service. After trying for a month to get her Tivo to work she has decided to give up. It seems that Tivo requires a land phone hook up but Kate and her roommates only have cell phones. I called Tivo today and I even talked to a supervisor who told me I could not get a refund for the monthly charges. He even told me there would be a service charge to cancel the yearly contract. I was very surprised that no matter how I explained our predicament Tivo would not give in and I was promised that my credit card would be charged. My next step is to call my credit card company and if they will not remove the fees I will cancel the card. I will never buy a Tivo product again. Beware of Tivo!!
Today we are receiving our last grapes except for a little second crop. We have a little over one ton of Cabernet from the sandy soil down by the creek and all our Barbera. This year I am hoping that the Barbera comes in at high sugar. Later I will report on how things go.
2:30pm We just finished crushing and the Cabernet came in at 27 Brix and the Barbera at over 25, great stuff. I'll know more tomorrow, but for now I will not be adding water to dilute the sugar.
9:00pm I sent Matt off to San Francisco. Actually I remember
Matt suggested a leave of absence. He and Steve look tired. I can understand.
(Matt is off for Halloween to San Francisco where he presides for
a few days a week, not in Harvest). This Harvest has been one of the most
intense experiences of my life. We need passion to survive. I assume Matt
at 24 years old agrees. Yes Harvest is over. In a few days I will feel
let down. I will not be fermenting grapes to produce wine. I will also
be sad. I can easily predict that I will produce the best Cabernet based
wines from this winery. I also know Barbera will be more than great. I
loved the 2003 Barbera because it was harvested at high sugar and finished
at 15% alcohol. I like higher alcohol in Barbera because Barbera grapes
need the long hang time to reduce the acid. I have not checked the acid
yet, but even at 27+ sugar (Yes it swelled up from 25 to 27 brix in a few
hours) I know the acid is there. I could feel it in my hands!!!!!!. At
27 brix My Barbera this year will be a minimum of 15% alcohol. I love harvest!!!!!
I will miss it ............. ------------------------------------------------
Thursday November 2, 2006
We finished crushing today. Catarino and Salvador just brought in 1624
pounds of 2nd crop zinfandel and carignan. The sugar reading came in at
30%. We will water it down so that we can ferment to about 15% alcohol.
We are at this time pressing our cabernet from our sandy loam and some
zinfandel from the pond area. Next week Thursday or Friday we will do our
final press of the 2nd crop we picked today. I have already been putting
into the computer the location of the barrels in our winery and what is
contained in them. I have already decided to make only one Petite Sirah
since the quality of the Lake County petite is so great and the fact that
we harvested less petite than I had anticipated. Within two weeks, I will
have a revised order form that will reflect a closer indication of the
blending that will occur in January. It does appear we will be producing
7,000 cases again. I have promised myself that I will make less next year.
Friday November 3, 2006
I have some reflections after this harvest:. They are not all related to the Harvest directly, but all are related indirectly.
First and foremost, I am difficult to live and work with during the Harvest, that is what I am told over and over again in direct and indirect ways. I want perfection. As I have said over and over again. I want to make the best wine I can and we have achieved that again with this Harvest. Those of you who have been involved in this great accomplishment should be very proud in what we have achieved.
I think that is enough for tonight.
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