16 November 2010

Today is a good day

I have no idea what happened to last week, somehow it just slipped away from me.  It was a good week and the white ferments are going well, the ML is bubbling away in the barrels, I did build them a fort to help them stay a little warmer and I got in a little cooking; French Pork Stew courtesy of Cooks Illustrated.  Pretty good if I do say so myself though it needs a little tweaking.  The fennel was a little too soft for me and my husband it turns out isn't much of a fan of prunes and Mary thought it was a little pasty.  Critics all!  However it was excellent with a bottle of Airlie 2002 Two Vineyard Old Vines Pinot noir, just the right amount of structure and sweetness in both the wine and the food.  I also checked the progress of the ML fermentation over the weekend and all the barrels seem to be progressing.  And before you ask, all the barrels not in the fort would normally be full and I would be heating the whole room.

The rains seem to have come to stay for winter though it hasn't been overly cold and the vines have been dropping their leaves.  Though in the time it took me to write this post and go out to get a few pictures the sun came out in spectacular fashion.  Our Chardonnay plant is starting to look a little bedraggled.  You can see some of the fruit that we left behind.  In a normal year there would be no grapes on the vine at this time of year.  The clusters with no fruit on them were eaten by the birds. Ugh, sort of depressing.  Any way, last week the vineyard was a spectacular gold color.  I wanted to get a picture but somehow the camera, the day and my energy level never came together.  So you'll have the settle for this lovely shot of the driveway below Mary's house looking west.  Our star Chardonnay plant is the first one in the Y were the driveway splits.
I also lost some time last week setting up our new office computer.  The hard drive on our old one up and died and true to form no one had backed up in forever so much information has been lost.  I must say though that not much very critical and we had a surprising amount of information in e-mails or on random disks so it hasn't been too bad and has actually provided some much needed housekeeping.  The scary day was when two days later Mary thought she had lost our contacts file, the backup of which was on the now dead office computer.  Ten years of customer information on about 3000 names just magically gone, that was a little nerve racking.  Fortunately my guru husband got me pointed in the right direction and we were able to recover the files after only a little blood, sweat and tears and now Mary might be more serious about backing up her own machine which is the only place all the company bookkeeping files are kept.  I guess that is one of the appeals of cloud computing, someone else is holding your information for you.  I also had to replace the ballast in one of our winery lights.  I had no idea what I was getting into when I lifted off the reflector!  I guess 4 bulbs need a lot of wires and then we have a motion detector on it as well.  It was a little uncertain at one point but with the help of the internet which provided schematics on both the light and the motion detector I was able to get it up and running.  Now it just needs to be rehung, I need the forklift for that.

So back to wine making and why today is a good day.  We bought some Riesling juice so I get to make Riesling.  I'm so happy!  I love Riesling and was very sad about not having any to play with let alone drink, slight exaggeration I know.  Fortunately Amity Vineyards decided that they had more then they wanted and were interested in selling.  The fun part is that I am getting a blend of 3 vineyard, all LIVE certified for those who are interested, and that will be the same blend that Darcy has at Amity.  She will be fermenting the pieces separately and leaving the finished wine a little bit sweeter than I but it will be fun to compare the two wines in a few months.  So the juice is arriving today and is ready to be inoculated unless it is still too cold.  I'll take its temperature after I pump it into one of my tanks and make a decision on the number.  If not today it will be tomorrow.  Turns out it's only 34F, I might be waiting a few days.
So other than that things are quiet.  I have to do some publication redesigning because of the lost files, not necessarily a bad thing and we are setting up a new website.  I don't quite know when it will be up but when it is I'll move the blog there.  Our web design people think it is for the best and apparently I shouldn't have it in two places so I hope you will all follow me.  I don't really know how fast it will happen but I will be sure to post a link here so that you can follow me with only one extra click.  I might even be able to put the 'follow me' link on the new page, I'll have to look into that.

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