22 April 2013

Bud break!

We definitely went through bud break this month, though depending on the varietal the vines vary in how far along they have progressed.  Chardonnay is probably the most advanced with Riesling just peaking out.  These pictures were taken today.  Can you believe the weather, it is beautiful here today.

This picture is where the Riesling and Chardonnay vines meet.  It really demonstrates the differences between the varietals.

I love these pictures of convincing a chardonnay vine we really would like to to grow this way not that way!

In the winery it has been business as usual, topping, checking ML's, I still have a few lagging barrels in both pinot and chardonnay, and now checking SO2 levels in the wines which are done with ML.  This is an interesting time to be tasting the barrels because they change so much from week to week, smoothing out rough edges, integrating oak, starting to show some of their potential.  We are a long way from a finished wine though I must say.

I also had the fun job of setting up a spiked aroma trial for this weekend's pick-up party for our cellar club.  I spiked a base wine, both a red and a white, with various spices, vegetables, fruits, etc so that our customers can begin to train their noses and their memories about what different aromas smell like in wine.  It was fun to set up and begin to see the differences even between Mary and I in our own sensitivities to the various compounds.  If you are interested in doing this at home let me know and I give you a few pointers.

01 April 2013

Spring has sprung I think

We had a glorious weekend out here in Oregon this past weekend and so I didn't sit and write my March blog I went out and enjoyed it.  The birds are singing, this junco was so cheerful, the daffodils are blooming and the red dogs have gotten their spring cut.  Don't they look handsome!  We also have a new puppy here at the winery if you come out during the week.  Gus belongs to Sue our marketing manager and is quite a handful!  He definitely thinks the vineyard is here for running and takes full advantage of it.

On the winery side we got the whites bottled, always a relief for me and I racked some barrels of pinot that needed to get off their lees.  Most of the pinot has finished going through ML and I did reinoculate the chardonnay barrels which I suspect aren't moving.  I also tasted through all the pinot barrels.  The ones that haven't finished ML are tough to evaluate because the acidity is out of whack but I'm excited to see what is coming.  I think there are going to be some great fruit flavors with a nice balance of structure.  We even have a barrel of our new vines!  Yeah!  This is the first year I'll be able to taste what might be coming off our new plantings in the vineyard. 

In the vineyard the sap is starting to run and bud swelling is just starting in the foch.  I posted two pictures so you can compare the slightly larger buds of the foch to some pinot gris buds that haven't started.  The sap drips on cuts that haven't completely healed over yet.  So hope for a warmish spring with some good rainfall and I'll let you know this month how things are going.