20 January 2011

Winter in Oregon

I'm not sure what to write about this week.  I must admit that this is not my favorite time of year.  Short, dark days tend to make me sleepy and desirous of curling up in a ball on the couch and reading or stitching.  I do realize that we are well past the shortest day of winter and that the evenings are certainly staying light longer which does inspire me to do more about the house.  This week I cooked two very good meals, if I do say so myself.  Tuesday night we had a some beef and barley soup that I cobbled together from three recipes.  I still will have to work on that one but combined with my fresh rolls it was definitely effective at combating the cold outside.  Last night I made Chicken Cacciatore from Cooks Illustrated.  It came out well though I think it might have benefited from some kalamata olives.  I love hitting the little salty spots that olives create.  Tonight is leftovers so will see if either dish benefited from some melding in the fridge.  I might throw some olives in the Cacciatore just to see.

Back at the winery things are quiet.  I have been trying to run the chilling to cold stabilize the white wines to get them ready for filtering but the system has been a little uncooperative.  I came in one morning to see glycol foaming out of the top of its storage barrel and at the price of glycol even losing a little is not a good thing.  Added to this problem is that I am trying to chill small amounts of wine.  It seems like this should be easier but instead what happens is that there is not enough wine in contact with the coils that wrap around the tank so actually extracting the cold from the glycol is difficult and I have to be careful that I don't damage the tanks by letting the steel get too cold.  The glycol can actually cause the metal to shrink and buckle if it is allowed to get too cold.  So Mary and I are trying to monitor the temperature on the tanks, the glycol level in the storage barrel and chill the wines.  Mother nature was helping, we even had a few snow flurries and then it warmed up to 50F for a few days and dumped lots of rain even in the mountains which distressed the skiers and now we are back down to 35F.  I am surprised more of us aren't sick!  As far as for the reds I am still waiting for the last four barrels of pinot to complete ML and I have been catching up on my lab work checking SO2 levels, pH, acid levels and alcohols.

In the vineyard the guys are pruning in the rain, snow and sun, kind of like postmen.  You can see last years canes between the rows on the right.  Later when the ground has firmed up they will be mulched into the soil with the tractor.
One of my current stitching projects.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Liz,
    Your mentor is at your folks playing on the Mac Book Pro!