I apologize for my cyber absence, but we’ve been feet to the fire with harvesting grapes. We started picking July 30 and finished Oct. 2. We just pressed our last red fermentation TODAY! Big exhale…
For those of you who don’t know what all happens during Harvest (also referred to as “Crush”), it’s the winemaker’s and crew’s “Go-Time.” We’re at the mercy of nature’s clock. So when fruit is ready, we work all hours until it’s picked, weighed in, pressed (if white or rosé), crushed and de-stemmed (if red), yeast added, and then monitor the fermentations until they are all finished.
After all that, the reds are pressed off their skins and put to rest in barrel. The whites and rosés are prepped for bottling.
I promised Port… and I give you Port. This is the 2013 Agua Dulce Port, just bottled yesterday, and soon to be released. I put a couple carafes in the Tasting Room to sample a sneak peak but you gotta hurry cause it’ll get poured quickly.
The 2013 Port was aged 5 years in barrel, is 18% ABV, and has 86 g/L Residual Sugar compared to the 2006 Port which had 121 g/L.
Collaboration is an important part of winemaking. Sometimes you want to bounce ideas off another winemaker or maybe you want to see if they are tasting the same thing you are or sometimes it’s just fun to work with another person.
My winemaker friend Danny was in town and I asked him to help me with a new port blend I’m working on for Agua Dulce. He was happy to assist.
Here’s Danny setting up a blending trial, where we put together different wines with similar (or different) attributes to taste if they’ll work together in a final blend.
(Don’t worry, that’s not vodka in the vodka bottle. I was just using it to hold a barrel sample of 2013 Syrah).
Today we are checking free sulfur dioxide levels in all the barreled wines. Sulfur dioxide is used to keep wines from oxidizing and to inhibit the growth of “bad” microbes. After running the analysis, we’ll know how much SO2 to add to each wine. I do this analysis on all our wines every 2 months.