The 2017 Winter Harvest Is Over

It’s 2018 now and it is winter. The rain has been cleansing us and the vines have been resting. Pruning is on pause until the threats of frost have subsided. The vineyard floor is such a beautiful bright green contrasting the brown dormant vines. And we are all shifting gears.

The harvest of 2017 is over, but not complete. We have all finished picking but not all the wines have finished fermenting. Thus the shift. Most of our lots are completely done and tucked away until bottling. Some, however, are still finishing their fermentations. A few have a little sugar left so we are keeping those barrels nice and warm. A few only have the secondary malolactic fermentation to complete. This means I have shifted my focus from the day to day hands on winemaking to the occasional visit to the winery where I sweetly tell the lagging barrels to finish already! No rush really, in Europe most winemakers do not fully exhale until well into the Spring when the warm temperatures help their lots complete the fermentations. As long as the barrels are buttoned up and put away to age quietly for months before bottling I am happy. And so are the wines.

While these remaining ferms are monitored we are gearing up for another exciting yet excruciating time in the winery- BOTTLING. I want to say this is a very happy moment for all but ask any winemaker and they will say, “There is always something that goes wrong during bottling”. Not trying to be negative here, just honest. When you think about it, this is the culmination of all our hard work. It is so critical everything be just right because there is no changing anything once the wine is in the bottle. Stressful, yes. Exhilarating, yes. Ready to drink, that depends. I usually celebrate bottling by opening an older vintage of that wine once I am back home and relaxing. Most will tell you the wine is in shock just following bottling and it is best to wait. At least that was the old adage “the wine is in bottle shock”. I believe it. I mean think about it- the wine was alive, fermenting, in a breathing vessel for months and months and then racked out of the barrel into a tank and rapidly poured into a bottle and corked. I would be shocked, wouldn’t you?!

So this is the line up for our upcoming Spring bottling. A day after Valentine’s but still a special treat.

2017 Amrita

2017 Viognier – new wine, new label, Club only

2017 Rose of Pinot Noir

2017 Pinot Meunier Rose – Club only

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Cheers, Nicole