12 August 2011

Puttering around the winery.

In the vineyard the crew has returned from leaf pulling at Emerson and BeckenRidge and is now tucking the vines and opening up the fruiting zone a little more.  We were unable to tuck before because the vines were to fragile and moving them around that much could easily break them.  The vines have started to harden now and so shifting them is easier.  We tuck the vines behind a catch wire so that they can't grow across the rows and grab onto their neighbor, creating a mess for humans and tractor alike.  Our clusters are continuing to grow and I am curious to see when they will enter lag phase.  Lag phase is when the grapes temporarily stop growing in size and instead continue to develop on the inside, another name for this time is seed hardening.  Normally this occurs 40 - 50 days after bloom but we don't have much time left in the summer so I hoping to see it occur earlier.  Here are this weeks pictures.

It has been a quiet week here at the winery.  I tasted through all the barrels and am happy with where the wines are heading.  Based on what I tasted and some of the comments from the Steamboat conference I am going to set up a few trials so see if I can tweak some of the barrels to make the whole blend better.  One of the disadvantages to such a small harvest is that each barrel is a significant contributor to the overall blend.   This also means that subtly changing one barrel can impact the blend so I have to make sure that if I decide my tweaking of a barrel makes the barrel better I also have to check to see if it makes the final blend better.  I'll start the process by looking at a few products, both fining agents such as egg whites, casein (milk product) and isinglass as well as some additive products such as grape seed or skin tannins or even oak tannins.  All of these products will effect mouth feel and some will effect flavor and aroma.  My goal is to make a better wine while still remaining true to the vintage and what nature gave me.  I have found some products that make a lovely, round and pretty wine that tastes just like the next lovely, round and pretty wine which was treated with the same product.  In a recent tasting I was surprised by one such product that when added to 5 wines from 5 winemakers it made all the wines taste about the same.  There were still subtle differences but much of what had made the wines unique was gone.  This to me is not an improvement and something I tend to avoid.  Okay, I'll get off my soap box now, or maybe I should say wine box.

I've also been working on updating our listing on Yelp and getting us a listing on TripAdvisor.  If you use Yelp  feel free to head over and give us a boost in our social network standing!  We don't have a listing yet on TripAdvisor but I have my fingers crossed.  All part of learning how to navigate a small business in this new world of social media.  Which is why you can now read this on our facebook page as well as my blog page.  Though I've noticed the formatting isn't as nice on FB.  So if you want to see the pictures in their proper places you actually have to come over to blogger.
The lights are hung, the dance floor is swept and the campers are arriving!  Starry Starry Nite here we come.  Don't know what I am talking about?  Visit our website and check it out!

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