19 March 2012

Getting closer to all sorts of things.

 Since my last update the rosé blend has been decided and the light fining we decided upon has been done.  Currently the wine is settling in barrel and on Wednesday will be racked to tank to start cold stabilizing.  It came back protein stable which was a nice treat, so no fining there and I can immediately turn on the chilling after I get the wine moved.  The whites I moved two weeks ago are still chilling but haven't stabilized as fast as I would have liked so I'll be adding cream of tarter, yes, like what you use in baking, to help speed up the process.  The cream of tarter particles seem to cause the tartaric acid in the wine to precipitate out.  I think by providing a surface for the tartaric to cling to besides the walls of the tank.  It would be great if I could start filtering next week and be ready to bottle in the beginning of April before the weather starts warming up. 

The sparkling wine on the other hand hasn't been cooperative at all.  I still don't have a consistently successful way for getting the yeast out of the bottle.  It just seems all too messy for one!  I'll just have to keep trying though because labels are in the works and we want you to have this lovely stuff!

The labels are coming along nicely.  We had a great meeting last week with our designer Cindy and our label company and we really hope you like what we have created.  If you are in the tasting room in the near future ask to see the new mock ups.  There are two below for the rose and the sparkling wine.  We are always glad to have another opinion to add to the mix.

And last but not least Sue, our new Marketing Director, and I have joined a research group at OSU (Oregon State Univ.) and are learning a new way of evaluating wines.  It has been surprisingly difficult to break my old patterns to follow their protocol but I think there are some benefits to tasting wines the way they are having us.  Flip side being I wouldn't want to do it all the time nor do I think it would be a good way in all circumstances.  What has been more interesting and educational for me is the spiked wines.  Last week we were presented with 12 wines that had been spiked with something, i.e. black pepper, raspberry, cherry, green pepper, canned beans, mushrooms, flowers, and we were expected to identify the spiking agent.  Harder than it sounds, especially when you have no idea what the possibilities are.  I had just recently done a similar experiment and found I did better this time than last.  One of the most interesting wines I thought was spiked with cigar tobacco which I identified as cedar.  Close but no cigar!  Ha ha.  One of the interesting things about aromas, which you'll know if you read Proust, Remembrance of Things Past, is how strongly it is linked with memory, ahh those petites madeleines.  Ergo smells generally cause a memory to occur and then you have to sort through the memory trying to identify the smell.  Quite interesting when you are trying to do it consciously.

We got another dusting of snow this morning.  Isn't it lovely.

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