Post Harvest Exhale

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.

Here are some pics of the action:

  Grapes are in…Go Time!.

Destemming and Crushing (it!)
Armando manning the pump
Danny doing Punch Downs
Taking samples to run Brix






Hydrometer measures brix (sugar level) of ferment
Ready to press the red must
Pressing wine

Harvest Is Upon Us!!!

Harvest is upon us!!!

We should be picking our Chardonnay on Monday (maybe as early as this Friday!)

This morning I took cluster samples of the Sangiovese, Syrah, and Zin to how far out they are to pick.

I then crushed the fruit by hand, collected the juice. and used a refractomter (that little telescope looking thing) to test the Brix (the sugar content of the juice).

This info allows me to estimate a picking date.

Can’t wait for the chardonnay to come!!!

2013 Agua Dulce Port

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.

I think you’re gonna love it!

Blending new reds

I just wanted to let everyone know that I’m currently working on two new reds:

the 2013 Cab Sauv

and a new red blend from 2016 that will be called “Kitchen Sink”.  I don’t want to give away too much right now, but I’ll keep you updated as it comes along.

Also, we’ll be bottling our 2013 Port next Tuesday.  Our first Port at ADW since 2006.

Here’s a couple pics:

    A tasting trial for the 2013 Cab

  Grapes are growing!!!        


Blending Port

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).

Labeling the “60/40” Blend

We recently bottled Agua Dulce’s latest red blend called “60/40”.  It is a delicious marriage of 60% Zinfandel and 40% Syrah.  We will be releasing it to the tasting room soon.

However, before letting you guys get your hands on it, we had to put labels on (it’s the law).

Here’s a little video showing how this is done:


Testing The Wine

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.


Forward any and all questions to:

Until next time,

Cheers  Nico