Posted by Brian Loring November 10: Fermentation is in full swing. The CO2 generated by the yeast lifts the skins to the surface to form what’s called the cap. All the fermenters have good, solid caps right now, so we know that the yeast are doing their job.
Posted by Barbara Kronenberg-Widmer Once harvest is completed, you might think that the work in the vineyards comes to a standstill. The grapes are all in the cellar, and we can't start pruning the vines after they have lost all their leaves and after their sap has retreated back into the roots and they go into "hibernation.
Posted by Brian Loring November 6: When I lifted the lids of the fermentors this morning, I noticed a couple telltale signs that the must was starting to ferment. There were bubbles forming around the edges of the fermentor, and it smelled like it was starting.
Posted by Adam Lee Let’s talk about California Nebbiolo. Yes, I really mean it, California Nebbiolo. Nebbiolo in California certainly isn’t a burning topic of conversation on anybody’s mind. A search of WineSpectator.
Posted by Stéphane Ogier I can see now that to be a good journalist or wine writer, it is probably better not to be a winemaker at the same time. Well, especially not during harvest! So a month after my first blog contribution, let me tell you a bit on what is going on in the Côte-Rôtie.
Posted by Brian Loring November 5: The must has now been cold soaking for five days, and we've been regularly taking Brix and pH readings and making water and/or acid additions as necessary to the fermenters.
Posted by Josh Bergström Tomorrow we will be pressing out our final Pinot Noir fermentations, and the winemaking season will slow down—for now. Barrels that were filled with wine earlier on in the harvest period are now safely tucked away in the cellar.
Posted by Brian Loring November 2 (continued) : Since we had to allow the Mourvèdre to hang on the vine so long in order to get the fruit ripe, we ended up with higher sugar levels and lower acid levels than we'd optimally like.
Posted by Barbara Kronenberg-Widmer The alcoholic fermentations are done, both at Brancaia in Chianti Classico and in the Maremma, so our principal task and decision-making process during the next 12 to 20 months involves when, for how long and in what kind of oak we barrel all the different young wines.
Posted by Brian Loring November 2: We didn’t touch the fermenters on Saturday because we don’t take any Brix or pH readings until the must has been allowed to soak for two days. We know that the juice will always extract more sugar and acid from the skins than what we would see right out of the crusher, so there’s no need to fool ourselves by taking measurements early.
Posted by Adam Lee As I have mentioned is some of my earlier blogs , I believe 2008 will be a vintage where blending will play a major part in determining the overall quality of the wines. Dianna and I briefly tasted through a selection of our 2008 California Pinots at the end of this past week, and I am convinced, now more than ever, that blending decisions will be paramount.
Posted by Jeremy Seysses Much to my horror, my recent trip to the United States and Canada revealed to me that some people have actually been reading this blog. While it was not a shock that people visit WineSpectator.
Posted by Brian Loring October 31: We picked the Mourvèdre yesterday, just a few hours ahead of a rainstorm in the Paso Robles area. We’d originally scheduled the pick for today, but once we saw the forecast change, we moved the pick up one day.
Posted by Brian Loring I’d originally hoped to videotape a lot of the Pinot Noir harvest this year. Unfortunately, I underestimated how much work that would entail. But now that we’re just about done processing the Pinot Noir, I find myself with enough time to document the Mourvèdre harvest.
Posted by Tim Perr In prior blog posts, I mentioned that with the 2008 vintage, we are introducing our second (yet-to-be-named) label. This label will focus on $15 table wines; we're bottling several varietals sourced from Central Coast vineyards.
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