A Quiet Harvest
Word on the street says this is how you say Telve di sopra (Tell vay de soap rah).
Hello and welcome to the Telve di sopra Vineyard newsletter, addition number two. We’re trying hard to keep this rolling along and we hope you enjoy what we have to share!
Harvest was a couple of weeks late compared to an average year and the yields were down considerably due to mold in the fall and poor flowering in the spring. We received a lot of rain off and on for ten days at the end of September just when the Pinot Noir and Marquette grape skins were starting to get soft. When this happens, you can get botrytis mold on the clusters. At that time, I wasn’t saying politically correct words like heck darn, dang it, and shoot!
The pinot noir clusters were small with small berries which will result in a high skin to juice ratio that produces intense color and fruit flavors. This will also lower your yield, but so far in the barrel the wine is showing lots of flavor and structure. Keeping our fingers crossed!
The starlings were nuts this year, we’ve never seen them so aggressive. Huge swarms (murmurations) were seen all September long and into October. On about thirty rows we were too late getting the nets on so these rows were completely stripped clean by the starlings. Thanks day job!! #$*&^@!!!
We did get the electric fence up in time and didn’t have any racoon damage this year, wooohaaaa!!! I would love to see their greedy little faces when they grabbed ahold of that hot wire. It’s shocking, I know, I kept forgetting the fence was active and shocked myself 10 times this year.
The Pinot and Marquette that we picked were clean and ripe, but the clusters we left on the vines or on the ground were not. We really need to give a great big shout out to all the volunteers that helped pick grapes this year. Without their help we would not be able to make wine!
The Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling were really clean this year and it was my first harvest for the Sauvignon Blanc, I guess we need to stop calling them baby vines. The Siegerrebe was low yielding, but what’s in the tank is tasting good.
For the first day of picking Estate Pinot Noir it was quite warm and when we got back to the crush pad and were finishing destemming the last bin late at night I dropped a stainless steel hose cover into the receiving bin of juice and destemmed grapes. It was very warm down there when I reached in to pick of the hose cover, meaning the native yeast had fired off already. we were hoping to do a cold soak, but we had to let it ride this time. The next two days of picking were colder, so we were able to do a 5 day cold soak on those fermenter tanks. Maybe we were just excited and looking forward to that one time a year when we get to use the chiller. Fermentation was quick at 13 days, one day of setting after pressing then quickly to freshly steamed neutral barrels using gravity to fill.
The Estate Marquette just makes itself. Destem it, let if fire off, press, then to barrel.
We are still waiting to see how the Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Siegerrebe turn out. I will say I think we’ve finally figured out how to grow Riesling in the Puget Sound AVA, the trick is to plant the vines two feet apart, only head prune to a few three bud spurs, train the shoots straight up and do not hedge.
Ethan came home for a weekend and helped us clean, install a new 20ft long pallet rack, and reorganize the winery.
The county was nice enough to let us pay someone to install a brand new septic system in place of the septic holding tank that we played for three years ago! It’s installed now, so I guess we don’t have to worry about filling up the holding tank anymore. wooohaaaa!!!
Still working with the County on getting all the sinks and food prep equipment approved and installed.
Right now, I’m trying to decide if we should invest in crypto or rob a bank, so we can finish this thing in time for our wedding in August.
More bear poop! Lots of Coopers Hawk sightings, which are really cool because they only seem to eat birds and they love the taste of Starlings. Also, lots of Red tail and baldies every day, and at dusk the coyotes are singing their songs of love. Minks got into the neighbor’s chicken coop and wiped them all out, and down the main road someone had all four of their goats killed in their pen, probably a cougar.
End of the Day…
We called this newsletter “A Quiet Harvest” because we only harvested estate grapes this year, which was the first time in 4 years that we did that. It was not as hectic, but I do miss some of the fermentation smells from grapes like Malbec or the fresh tropical fruity esters in newly fermented Chardonnay. That reminds me, our Estate Chardonnay won’t be ready to harvest until 2025, so stay tuned!
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