21 June 2011

First day of Summer!

Finally summer is here and boy does it feel like it!  I love sunny days and today is so long I'll have hours to enjoy it.  Might even get in some weeding.  I took a great walk in the vineyard this morning and the air smelled amazing.  Now my allergies are going haywire but well worth it.  I did decide on the my walk to try an experiment this growing season.  I have marked two grape clusters, one Marechal Foch and one Chardonnay and I will try to take a picture every week until harvest.  They will be the first two pictures every posting now until harvest with the Foch of the left and Chard on the right.  As always, you can click on the pictures to expand them.  I wish I had started this a little sooner but didn't think of it.  This picture shows the clusters pre-bloom, the green balls are buds not future grapes.  I'll compile all the pictures at the end of the year in an album.  It should be fun to watch the progression as a time lapse video. For scale the blue ribbon is 1/8" wide.  So without further discussion here are the first two pictures taken this morning.
As for in the winery it looks like those last four barrels are almost done with ML.  It will be good to be able to finally add sulfur and protect the wine properly.  I'll taste through all the barrels tomorrow and see how they are progressing flavor wise.  I also need to check the pH's and the levels of free sulfur in the barrels which have been dosed and adjust them if necessary.  Also on the docket is getting the sparkling wine ready for bottling.  I sent out for some lab work before I left and now need to discuss the results with the lab.  I'd love to get the wine bottled next week.

Finally as some of you know I spent last week driving from Seattle to Chicago with my younger brother in his 1972 BMW marking my progress with Facebook.  By the way there is no data connection in Eastern MT.  Just thought I would share that.  As for the trip it was great though a little slower than it would have been in a 'modern' car.  Overloaded, my brother is moving, no cruise control, and the blinker switch on the right instead of the left.  BTW, I apologize to the cop I flashed in the middle of South Dakota when I was trying to get over to the shoulder at 1am.  What else?  Ahh yes, remember to lock the doors to make sure they are actually shut, the wipers only have one speed and they stop where you shut them off.  Timing that took a little practice to say the least.  Don't forget the bike is on top of the car and don't hit a moose as we will both die.  This said by my brother before he promptly goes to sleep somewhere in the panhandle of Idaho.  Suffice to say we had a great trip, didn't hit any animals, only had car trouble in Spokane where fortunately there was a place which could actually fix the problem, had the part and let us sit in their waiting room all day.  Thank you European Autohaus!  I left my brother in Chicago to fly home trusting he can make it the rest of the way on his own.  What a week and we are still friends, even better!

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