October 11, 2012

Harvest continues

I admit it. I wrote off the SF Giants in my last post. Now they've done the unthinkable and beaten the Reds three games in a row to take their series. According to Giantdynamics, harvest continues.

It turns out that all my Pinot Noir is already in the winery. I had thought the last of it would come in Wednesday, the day I supposed would be the end of the Giants season. Instead, conditions allowed for everything remaining to come in Monday, which worked out wonderfully.

So I'm all in, right? Wrong. I'm making a small amount of Chardonnay this year and that's coming in tomorrow. I'm getting two barrels of chard juice from another winery, just enough to play with for the winter. I've made Chardonnay before but not for a while and not for my commercial label. I'm curious to work with it.

What's in the winery, you might wonder? Six 1.5 ton fermentors full of Oregon Pinot Noir. Three of the bins are from various blocks in Armstrong Vineyard, from Ribbon Ridge. The 115 came in on Oct 2, then the 667 and Pommard came in Oct 6. Brix was a bit high here and acid a touch low, but the ripeness is terrific. It's way too early to tell, but I'd guess the wine here ends up brooding and rich.

My other three fermentors are one each from three different sites in the Eola Hills. All of these grapes came in October 8. Zenith was also a bit ripe and lower in acid than I'd like. Bjornson from higher up in the hills had similar ripeness but stronger natural acidity. And my newest site, Crowley Station, showed the cool west side of the Eola Hills with just 23 brix and 3.35 pH. Fairly ripe in a less warm year but downright modest this year. I'm excited.

At this point, only the Armstrong 115 has begun to ferment. I did 17% whole cluster in that bin, my first experiment with fermenting intact grape clusters amid the crushed grapes and juice. The others are just hanging out in various states of pre-fermentation purgatory, the waiting place.

Lately there's a nice lull in harvest, as a friend put it today. The weather looks grim for the next several days. Glad I just about have everything picked. And Giantdynamics be damned. Here's hoping the Giants can continue their dominance., because I hope the Giants run continues long after all the grapes are picked. Sometimes you have to deviate from the plan.

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