Monday, December 26, 2011

The best and worst of 2011

2011 was the year of my discontent. There were things that were absolutely awesome and some things that rocked me to the core. As far as awesomeness goes, my boys got to go on a trip to Hawaii with the HS band and that was absolutely great for them. I watched my youngest son get his black belt in TaeKwonDo. I had the opportunity to taste some really great wines and I put a few bottles in the cellar that I won't touch for probably 15 years, mostly vintage ports that my daughter's boyfriend brought back from Portugal when he went there to visit his relatives. What a thoughtful gift.

On the downside, I am sorry to say that my wife and I are divorcing after 25 years. Its a long story and not for the blog, but regardless it has been extremely hard for me to get my feet back under me after having been knocked on my ass.

Anyway I am looking forward to 2012. I have committed to doing the Tough Mudder endurance race in May, and I will begin training in earnest for that starting the first of the new year. I am putting in some new vines this spring and the promise of a new rebirth in the vineyard is therapy for the rebirth that is going on with me personally.

I rejoice in my children. They are my greatest fans and I theirs. My sons are becoming men and my daughter is now a successful young woman looking to put her mark on the world.

I don't dwell on years past much. I am ready for 2012 if I make it because a man far wiser than me once told me that its important to live for the day. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come.

I think I will go down to the cellar now and see if I can find a wine to suit some
Christmas leftovers for dinner tonite.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Crush is over and the Wines are sleeping

The madness is over and the pressure is off for the time being. This was a difficult crush and harvest because of the weather conditions during September. Ripeness was a challenge but we have wine in process that is sound. 2010 was the greatest vintage I have ever worked. 2011 actually had more ripening degree days than 2010 but the timing of rain made for diluted grapes that had less sugars, lower acidity and higher pH. I lost a lot of my early season grapes to birds, and the late season grapes were difficult to get ripe. In the end I picked defensively and brought the fruit in based on avoiding a complete loss. Fortunately I have considerable 2010 wine in bulk to help put a bit of depth into what I think are going to be considerably leaner 2011 wines.

The whites are going to be OK. I have Niagara, Cayuga, Traminette, Vidal and I took the first harvest of Gruner Veltliner off of vines I planted 3 years ago. I ripped out my Riesling and Gewurtztraminer to plant GruVee three years ago. Riesling and Gewurtz were not suited to my site, so we will see how GV does. So far so good, the vines seem to be easier to grow, and are less prone to disease than the former tenants of my small vineyard.

I am going to replant some of my reds as well. I am pulling some of my Cab Sauv because it is just too unreliable due to its late ripening. I am leaving enough to make about a carboy to use in a good year for a reserve wine. I took out all my Chancellor and some of my Chambourcin. I am replanting with Dornfelder and Lemberger. That will leave me with Cab Franc, a bit of Cab Sauv, a bit of Chambourcin, plus the Dornfelder and Lemberger.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Fresh Beginning

After much time away from blogging I have decided to return and share some experiences that I have had over the past year or so. Wine has become central to my life and I am looking to pursue a second career in wine when I retire from Big Corporation. For those who read my blog before I took it down, you know that I both grow grapes and make wine on a moderate scale for an amateur. I focus on minimalist techniques and believe you get what your vines decide to give. The images are some that I have used to design my labels.