|Monday October 14, 2002
|8:00 Am: Today we will receive syrah from Bennett Valley. This is a
cool growing region so we will be making wine that will have good acid
compared to the Dry Creek fruit we have received in the past years. We
will be making a 100% varietal and we will have the offering up on our
order form this week. We will be adding an Estate Barbera for sale also.
Last Thursday and Friday we picked our first section of Late Harvest Sauv Blanc. This first picking includes a great amount of raisins and gave us a sugar of over 40%. We have pressed enough to yield about 25 cases. Hopefully if some of the remaining fruit rots, we will be harvesting some more in two to three weeks.
Wednesday October 16, 2002
Now the fun starts. We just got a couple of tests back from the lab that confirms that we have barrels that have finished malo/lactic and fermentation to dryness. We can now add a little SO2 to clarify and stabilize the wines. We are welcoming barrel tasting to anyone, especially on Saturdays. I will now try to figure out what barrels will go into our numerous wines. If we make a cabernet from the new fruit we received last week, we will be producing 13 wines.
Caterino found some more Late Harvest Sauv Blanc and has assured me that there is rot developing. I have had a customer ask me "Can you explain about the benefits of having the fruit actually begin to rot for late harvest wine?". I must answer truthfully that I do not know!! I am sure the French and Germans would have a very exact answer. BUT maybe they don't really know either. We have started to experiment with dried fruit this year. That means that the fruit is left to dry and turn to raisins rather than rotting first. The California Central Valley has produced raisins for decades by drying fresh fruit. Our Late Harvest only rots one out of three years and I have found no difference in quality from year to year. Last year we had no rot and still produced a wine with over 25% residual sugar starting with a brix over 40%. This year we are removing most of our Sauv Blanc vines that we have sold to Lambert Bridge (we will still have some left for us). A week after topping these vines off from their roots, Caterino has found several bunches that were not picked and have now turned to raisins. So now we are trying an additional experiment. We are cutting off shoots, from vines left for our late harvest, that contain many bunches. These vines are the ones still growing and will not be removed. The shoots that have been cut off are tied to the vine and left to dry for a week. It will be interesting to see what the quality bears. There could be a difference in acid, but I doubt it.
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