August 31st, 2008
Posted By : Chris Corley
On Friday, we picked our first red wine batch of the year. Although we’ve picked some small lots for sparkling wine, harvest never quite feels underway until you’ve got a batch of red grapes in the house.
We picked about 4 tons of Clone 777 Pinot Noir from Block 2, which is up towards the front of the property, nearest to Big Ranch Road. The grapes looked great, and we’re growing accustomed to Block 2 being the inaugural batch each vintage. Typically, the Pinot Noir in this front block comes in ahead of everything else, and usually about a week to ten days ahead of our Pinot Noir in other blocks.
After the cellar crew, Bacchus and I shared a bottle of Domaine Montreaux on the crush pad to herald in the year’s bounty, we ran the grapes through the crusher and got them inside the cellar as quickly as we could to keep them cool.
The berries were fully ripe, with brown seeds, velvety skins and pulp in the berry that slides easily off the seed when you smush the grape in your fingers. We’ve allowed this batch to cold soak over the weekend and will inoculate with yeast Monday morning. It has already picked up nice color, and I’m excited to be ‘elbows-deep’ in bins of cool red grapes. It’s where my arms belong.
I’m anticipating that our four clones of Pinot Noir in Block 3, on the south side of the estate, will be ready pretty soon. The fruit tastes good, and now that we’ve got last week’s heat spike behind us, we’re hoping to have another week or so of ‘hang time’ with this block.
We’ll keep you posted …