18 May 2011

Wonderful weather and work in the winery.

I know it sounds like an excuse but I didn't write last week because the blogger site was down when I was ready but both of us are back now.  I don't actually have to much to report so enjoy the pictures.  Last week I racked the Gewürztraminer to stainless steel drums.  We decided that it wasn't ready to bottle on its own and maybe more time will help or maybe some of it will help the 2011 Seven blend.  Not sure what will happen but since at the moment it seems weak we decided to wait on it.  We did finish tweaking the Pinot gris and Riesling and will be bottling them next week.  I can't wait.  Tomorrow's program is to finish the lab work on the wines checking sugar, pH, and TA (titratable acidity).  Also I will recheck SO2 levels and CO2 levels though with bottling so late in the spring I don't think that will be a factor.  If there is too much CO2 in the wine then it foams up during bottling and makes bottling harder and creates under filled bottles so I like to be forewarned.
This week the guys started cleaning the barrels for me that are sitting empty for the year.  Guadalupe and Rosario have to move each barrel outside, empty out the old solution, rinse the barrel and then refill it with the new solution.  We don't fill the barrels full, that would be a wasteful amount of water but just put in four gallons mixed with SO2 and tartaric acid.  The SO2 is more effective in an acidic environment and the small amount of water keeps the chemicals in solution as well as helping to keep the barrels hydrated so they don't dry out and leak this fall when I will fill them wine because this summer is going to be one of the nicest on record!

I had to get out in the sun today, the start of that aforementioned summer, and so took a nice walk in the vineyard.  Some of the vines are starting to show their leaves, especially the young ones, and the chardonnay vines near the concrete driveway.  The reflected heat and light make a big difference.  Of course the dogs came with me, they had to break in their new summer cuts they received yesterday.  Besides, what self respecting farm dog wants to smell like floral shampoo?!

My brother came to visit this weekend and while we didn't get a lot of sun there wasn't any rain so we took the canoe out on the Willamette.  It's only about 2 or 3 feet longer than his 1972 BMW 2002 and besides he has a roof rack.  And, even better, he let me drive.  What fun!  He's planning to drive it from Seattle to Connecticut this summer and wanted to take it on a test spin so I lucked out by getting to see him.  For the curious, it's a cedar stripper canoe that our parents built about 15 years ago.

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