October 07, 2007

Harvest in the Willamette Valley continues

It's raining tonight in Portland, OR, but that's the first real precipitation we've seen in a few days. Instead, we've had mostly dry weather, with some drizzle but mostly dry if cloudy conditions. It's also been breezy, and there's even been sunshine. Still, temps haven't gone above 65F and, as I mentioned, it's raining.

Down at the winery today we processed a few tons of Pinot Noir from a vineyard out west of McMinnville, in the foothills of the coast range. This was clone 113, and it looked ok. Certainly not overripe, definitely showing more rot than I've seen to this point. We sorted quickly but carefully, throwing out a few 35lb trays worth of junk, and and filling a few fermentation bins. Then up on the board to punch down the bins in the "warm" room where the active fermentations are. I get the vigorous ones, with thick caps of skins, some stems, and seeds.

Then pilsner from Heater Allen brewing, still delicious. And again. I really need to try more of this guy's beer. Wow.

And doesn't that beer taste good, especially after I got news Saturday that I might not get Pinot Noir grapes from the vineyard I'm counting on. Seems the crop yield has been lower than expected, and maybe all the orders of grapes can't be filled, we'll just have to see. Oh, come on. I really want to make wine from the same source as last year, to have some connection year over year. But who knows if it will come through. Today, I got a back up plan from a higher elevation site with older Pommard vines. Ripeness might be an issue, we'll go check it out tomorrow and see how it's coming. Either way, looks like I'm set for grapes. But for a day there things were completely up in the air, and I'm finding lots of high highs and low lows this harvest, with the ebb and flow of weather and grapes. Welcome to my new life.

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