Thursday, November 02, 2006


On November 16th the "plan" is to release our first wine of the 2006 vintage, our Nouveau Red. That is the same day that Beaujolais nouveau is released in Paris and all over France and the world. Yep, that's the plan. I should be able to make it. This year I actually have the bottles on hand (arrived today), I have the labels ordered (half will be ready to hand label bottles the day before release), the corks and caps are ready to go. Oh, yeah, the wine. Well, that's coming along. Pushing a wine like this, and, honestly, I'm pushing, is a pretty interesting exercise in winemaking. The effects of fining, filtering, temperature, CO2 levels, anything that is manipulated is immediately obvious. Not always great, but obvious. Too soon to comment on the wine too much, but it does have that young, juicy-fruit aroma of French nouveau. I'll keep you devoted readers in the loop.

I have just two tanks still fermenting, a Cab franc and our Cabernet sauvignon. The Cab S. cold soaked for several days which means it was kept chilled, delaying the start of alcohol ferment with yeast. This is to extract color and flavor without too much tannic astringency. I can still increase tannin extraction later by leaving the must on skins for a while (extended maceration), but it's good to get the color up front.

Man, it feels good to have all the fruit off the vines. I picked up a cold for the last week of harvest and pretty much exhausted myself, but that happens to all winemakers, I bet. Long days, stress, and cold wet cellars are not what the doctor ordered. I'm lucky I didn't get pneumonia, I guess.

I have been spending nights lately on eBay, cruising for snowboard deals. I bought some boots and I'm going to bum a board off a friend, but I need bindings. Anyone know a good, cheap source? I have plans to ski or ride a lot this winter. That's the other "plan." I think both may be a little wishful, but without plans, nothing would happen.