Tuesday, October 5, 2010

2010 Harvest & Fermentation Plan

Oh faithful readers, you've been patient. Took a little break from winemaking this fall to focus on completing my new entry sidewalk project. Doesn't it look fantastic?

Back to the wine...

While that was going on, I was planning my Fall 2010 Fermentation plan. As usual it started out reasonable, but has mushroomed with the passing weeks. Harvest on the West Coast has been delayed for 2-3 weeks this year due to the cooler summer. That's given me time to plan and get ready, but also time to think (bad combination).

The initial plan was a focus on a Right Bank Bourdeaux blend of merlot and cabernet franc using grapes from Two Mountain Vineyards in the Yakima Valley of Washington. Something akin to a fine claret from Pomerol. Don't I sound like the snooty wino... Seriously, I was really impressed with the wines and vineyards at Two Mountain after I visited and meet the very nice Rawn brothers this spring, so wanted to try making wine from their grapes.

Of course, I have to make a zinfandel ('cause that's just my favorite grape ever) and something completely different. After my trip to Washington this spring, I really wanted to try a unique varietal called Lemberger. It's a red grape that comes from Central Europe and also goes by such names as Blaufränkisch, modra frankinja, and blauer lemberger. For one special person who might read this blog, it's the dominate grape in Hungary's famous Bull's Blood wine! Tannic and typically spicy, I think it makes wines akin to a good Chianti. I ran into several folks on my trip that talked about crushing and pressing off the skins to make a white Lemberger. Another intriguing idea...

So here was the initial plan:

540 lbs of Two Mountains merlot
324 lbs of Two Mountains cabernet franc
288 lbs of Two Mountains lemberger
270 lbs of CA Amador County zinfandel

Looks pretty impressive, eh? I reserved my grapes with M&M Wine Grape in Hartford, CT and sat back to wait. In the meantime, I started to work on the business plan for Aaronap Cellars as a commercial operation and started thinking. I'll post more about that, but to make a long story short, I decided that if I wanted to focus on a particular mission, I needed to make wine from the grapes that define that mission.

You see where this is headed, don't ya...

Last week, I called M&M to see if they would have any extra Lanza Vineyards carignane when it came in. They did, so I ordered some.. another 324 lbs.

The schedule:

Lanza Vineyards Old Vine Carignane ETA 10/08
Amador County Zinfandel ETA 10/14
Two Mountains merlot, cab franc, & lemberger ETA 10/20

Going to be a little bit busy the rest of the month!

Ooh boy,

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