23 September 2011

Long time no write!

I know I was on vacation but only for a week but somehow I missed two weeks of writing.  I think I was still in vacation mode when I got home.  Sit back, relax and enjoy the weather.  The weather sounds like it was pretty good while I was away then it cooled off a little when I got back and now is warming back up and predictions are good for the next week.  Sunny and warm.  The grapes are starting to turn color in earnest now and the good weather will help hurry them along I hope.  You'll get to see three weeks of pics which should really allow you to see the changes.  The chardonnay is difficult because the slight color shift is hard to see.  A lot of what we are checking is that the berries are starting to soften.  They will continue to get more yellow but with the changing light conditions it is hard to capture that on film.  (Or should I say on megapixels?)

In the winery we finally decided on our blend for the 2010 Willamette Valley pinot noir, complete with tweaking.  Can you believe this little bit of stuff effects the flavor, or more accurately the body of 900 gallons of wine, enough at least to have us choosing the blend with the additions.  I am adding a little bit of tannin, the brown powder, and a product called Biolees, the white powder.  Both help with mouthfeel, providing structure which balances the acid and emphasizing the fruit character.

This morning I drove up to Anne Amie to help sort some fruit from California for fermentation.  Thomas, the winemaker there, is exchanging fruit with two other wineries to learn about the influence of the winemaker versus the vineyard.  All three winemakers make wine from all three vineyards and then taste the nine wines and attempt to determine which has more influence the winemaker or the vineyard.  It is a fascinating trial to taste and discuss.  So this was the first of that fruit.  Next week the second lot will come in and in about 4 weeks Thomas will send his fruit to the two other winemakers.

Riley and his rawhide cigar

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