The first week is always the toughest. Waking up at five in the morning gets you begging for a cup of coffee. However, once you walk in the door and see the tanks full of soon to be wine the excitement comes right back. That first whiff of CO2 coming from a tank is the first indication that the yeast you added the day before are happy and on their way to making wine. And there you are running around getting everything done before more fruit shows up so the whole process can begin again.
Carver Vineyard Pinot Noir, York Mountain.
This morning Jason handed me a bag of Pinot Noir grapes from our Carver vineyard on York Mountain to sample. There is nothing like squeezing cold fruit in the morning with your bare hands and drinking fresh grape juice, full of flavor, color, and acid. The fruit had the right chemistry so were off to pick first thing tomorrow morning.
The most crucial thing when thinking about when to pick, especially Pinot Noir, is the acid. The sugar really is almost irrelevant because it is the acid in the finished wine that gives Pinot its life, that which allows it to be so light on its feet and yet extend the depth of flavors that makes good Pinot. Being an assistant winemaker in Paso, it is almost ironic making Pinot Noir here because of our sun drenched landscape, (avoiding terroir purposely) but site, or place, is everything. With the correct elevation, proximity to the ocean, well drained soils, and viticulture, it is possible to produce a wine of correct typicity and overwhelming individuality. Tomorrow will be the first glance at 2012, cheers!
Tractor, check.... Bins, check..... Truck, check....Here we come!
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