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Are we there yet?

Each year when I write this particular newsletter, we are either still buried under a pile of grapes or as in this case, mostly finished with the heavy work load. It is a great time to reflect upon what the vintage has given us and how we responded to it. The challenge is to keep the same intensity and focus that was fueled by anticipation and adrenaline at the beginning of the harvest. Honestly, I do look forward to the finish as much as the process itself. The conundrum is that once it is over, I lament its end. So I guess the journey is the goal rather than “are we there yet”?

Harvest 101: After the grapes arrive to the winery, the whites and rosés are immediately pressed, and fermentation is usually completed in barrel within 6 weeks or so. With the reds, they are typically fermenting in the tank on skins for about a month with some going close to two months before pressing. It is this stage of pressing the later reds that I am at as I began writing this. Tonight (10-25-16), I have pressed the last of them. I have been watching/tasting each tank pretty much daily after they are done fermenting to determine when it is ready to press, when angles and rounds have positioned themselves in fairly equivalent prominence for this stage. I figure out the order they will want to be pressed so that I can devote pretty much the whole day to pressing slowly, doing micro blending trials with slightly increasing pressure levels as the day progresses. It makes for very long work days and gets in the way of (not-really-needed) beauty sleep and writing this to a degree that frustrates Judi very much “isn’t it ready yet?”.

Download the complete newsletter: Are we there yet?