|Wednesday November 17, 2004|
We are still trying to recover from our open house last weekend. It was a very successful event for us. We produced 15 barbecued turkeys and many batches of cajun rice. We poured and sold all of our 2003 wines. Overall the tasting of our older wines went well. We even sold a few cases of them. The wines that were tasted consisted of the 1999 Carignan, 2000 Estate Cuvee, 2001 and 2002 Zinfandel. The 2002 Zinfandel and the 2000 Estate Cuvee were the most popular. There were no complaints of off flavors. I am satisfied that I am being overly concerned about my wines not being able to age. The small amount of Brett in some of those wines can help to contribute to the complexity of the wines, although we will start to eliminate most of the Brett starting with the 2004 vintage. Yesterday we topped off all our 2004 wines with the 2003 Zp2C that we had been saving in barrel. Before topping we filtered to stop all possible brett from growing and then ozoned the barrels before racking the wine from a sterile tank back into the clean barrels. We now have 7 barrels of Zp2C left to top off our 2004 wine for the rest of the time until bottling.
Today Steve is going to pad filter the 2004 Late Harvest Sauv Blanc one more time. Actually we only need to filter the sauv blanc in the oak barrel. The stainless barrel is very stable. I assume there were a few yeast cells still caught in the barrel, even though we ozoned it. There is a very slow fermentation starting, but we will stop it today and then put it in some 15.5 gallon stainless beer kegs until bottling. The good news is that Friday we will be receiving half bottles with screwcap closures. As early as next week, we will bottle the late harvest without labels. I can make up laser labels for the wine until the final ones are ready in March. In other good news, we have located a sterile cartridge filter to be used just a head of bottling. In the past we have used pads (paper). The cartridge filter will do a much better job. So we will produce a 2004 Late Harvest Sauv Blanc.
Brendan is negotiating with Ken Wilson of Wilson Winery in regards to purchasing some Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes. This would be second crop, but the quality looks great. A sample revealed a sugar of about 25 % and a great acid with PH of 3.45. Brendan wants to produce a house wine for the restaurant he buys for. The restaurant is called Va de Vi which is in Walnut Creek. Some of the wine would be put into bags and the rest in screwcaps. Brendan wants to produce a blend of several varietals so I may purchase some of the cabernet wine and trade some of our bulk back to Brendan. Brendan has been looking for a custom crush facility to produce the wine, but these facilities will not let him work on the wine while in house. It is so nice and clean here, but I may reluctantly let him ferment here.
Wednesday November 24, 2004
Yesterday was an up and down day. I was hoping to bottle the 2004 Late Harvest Sauv Blanc. BUT Steve and I forgot that we were using a slightly different bottle AND our bottling line would not move the bottles. With some creative work by both Steve and I WE did get the filler to work. BUT the screwcap machine would not transport the bottles to where the cap would go on. The short story is that Whitehall Lane has the part we need and Steve will pick it up Monday SO Tuesday we will bottle about 100 cases of Late Harvest in 375 ml Burgundy bottles (The only half bottle available in screwcap). Yesterday we did sterile filter with our new cartridge and the wine is now brilliant and ready to go.
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