Monday, October 31, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cold ferment chardonnay

Bucking the no-oak trend, we are letting some nice Russian River chardonnay do its fermenting in French oak that has been used for previous wines. This allows for the benefits of traditional barrel fermentation without risking excessive oak flavors or aromas. And risking a slow (or stuck!) fermentation, we are doing this in a coldroom at 55 degrees in the hopes of preserving delicate aromatics that can blow off at high temperatures. Let's see how it all turns out - stay tuned.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

a harvest saturday

Wine with lunch as the new wine makes itself all around us. 2007 rockroom chard tasting mighty fine these days, as is the Zepaltas 2009 pinot on the table

Key winemaking skill

After driving the truck back from the vineyard with a load of freshly picked pinot noir, Julie Lin hops down from the cab. Can't make the wine unless you can get the grapes! All of the Rockroom California pinot is now safely in the house. Fortunately Julie won't have to drive to Oregon for that fruit - the truck will be bringing it as soon as next week.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Our Russian River zinfandel went to press and then to American oak - our first (and probably only for 2011) move away from French oak barrels. Zinfandel is the "all American" grape (OK, I realize it really hails from Croatia) so thought we should use some Missouri oak. While this bold spicy oak might be excessive for pinot noir it should work just fine for the zin.
Can't wait to find out.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Some special pinot gets pressed

Today we pressed a small lot of pinot noir produced entirely from biodynamically farmed grapes. Beautiful Van Der Kamp Vineyard sits high up on Sonoma Mountain. Here you see a photo from today's result - Luke the master of the wine press hugs a press barrel before it heads to the cellar for a well deserved rest.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

First press of the season

Our first finished fermentation of the harvest is going to barrel bright and early this morning. Russian River pinot noir is in the press. .

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Our last pinot pick for 2011

The pick started at 2AM and by 6:30 we had our fruit. Clone 23 pinot from a Sonoma Coast vineyard in Occidental.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Wine Country Saturday

Weekend at the winery is pretty laid back as we wait for our next pick on Monday: chardonnay from a new vineyard. Meanwhile we enjoy some summer tomatoes from an organically farmed vineyard and farm that we pulled fruit from last week. Van Der Kamp Vineyard - a very exciting source. Cheers.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Sunshine returns - so back to the vineyard

Loading the truck with Russian River pinot noir to sort back at the winery. Hand picked in the morning and hand sorted all afternoon. Between sips of cold beer of course. Hey, it is Friday.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Harvest 2011 begins!

With old vines zin! Each of these old "knarled head" vines struggles to produce 5 to 10 clusters of ripe zinfandel.