Archive for the ‘Winemaking’ Category

Are Winemakers “Bad” Tasters?

“The Tasting Panel” magazine is one of those small wine publications that boosts its circulation by sending free copies to wineries and other trade outlets. Otherwise I would have missed this gem of a column by editor-in-chief Anthony Dias Blue: Why Are Most Winemakers Terrible Tasters? Some years ago, I called out a certain large […]

…And Then There Were None

Compare this picture to my last post. Thirty-two bins of Pinot are pressed off, and I have not brought anything in since the 14th. If you don’t work in a winery you can hardly appreciate how much of a luxury this is, to be able to clear the decks between bringing in waves of fruit. […]

Catching Our Breath …

The title is meant to be slightly ironic. Walking into the winery right now it is actually difficult to catch one’s breath, as the CO2 being thrown off by all the fermenters in the picture above is nearly asphyxiating. But we are getting a little break in harvest, and metaphorically catching our breath from the […]

I “Must” Do WHAT?

This past Thursday, W. Blake Gray put up an interview with Clark Smith he titled “Winemakers Must Come Clean”. Maybe it’s because I’m running on little sleep and a lot of stress, but this just rubbed me the wrong way. There’s are many things I HAVE to do over the next couple of months (and […]

Acid Trip Mea Culpa

The 2013 harvest is coming up in in a few weeks. Every year I start planning the next vintage as soon as the previous one is done, but as the harvest draws near the thought process gets particularly fraught. About now I make a dispassionate, unstinting assessment of what worked and what didn’t, and what […]

Calling Budbreak — Finally

Everything has broken bud at the Estate vineyard, at last–even the late-breaking Counoise. That’s young, cane-pruned Pinot 96 in the image above, where shoots are already out about two inches. We finally managed to get a little rainfall accumulation last week, nearly an inch last Thursday. You can also see in the image above that […]

Finishing Our 2012 Harvest

We are picking our last grapes of the season this morning: Grenache and Counoise. It is supposed to start raining this afternoon—probably about an inch, locally. For those that need to wait it out, the grapes can probably handle it. But our stuff is ready and ripe. I take a certain satisfaction in picking our […]

2012 Harvest: Halftime

Welcome to the 2012 Harvest Halftime Show… Yes, that’s right—it’s the second week of October and I think we are about halfway through the harvest. So far I have brought in 32 tons of Pinot Noir from our Estate vineyard, and drips and dabs of a few other varieties, mostly for customers. By comparison, this […]

Practical Advice On Managing Wine Alcohol Levels

The other day I came across this fact sheet: “Reducing Alcohol Levels In Wine” published by the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI). Directed at the professional winegrower, this is the best agenda-free piece on wine alcohol levels I have read, period. It’s worth the interested reader’s time. All of my own efforts to manage alcohol […]

Low-Alcohol Trend? Think Again

A couple weeks ago Joe Roberts (1WineDude) queried on Twitter “Curious: I keep hearing about a low alcohol wine trend in the US, but does any consumer data exist to back it up?” Tyler Thomas (winemaker for Donelan Wines) replied on Twitter with a link to a page of statistics compiled by Wine Institute and […]