Well we made it back!
What an adventure in truck driving. 5+ hours up to Mendocino County, with the last 5 miles (including 1.5 miles of dirt) on a step mountain road. We picked on the morning of 10/11 before the Sun came up. Four full bins of fantastic Syrah. We had planned on just 3 bins, but I took the fourth just in case Casey at Eaglepoint would let us take more and he did.
The picking crew was excellent and they left any problem grapes on the vine. We loaded back up and drove back to Felton. 6+ hours through 7 counties, across the Golden Gate, through San Francisco, all the way to Santa Cruz to get on a public scale. The grapes went into the crusher with just a minor issue (the forklift got stuck in the field and had to be pulled out). Fantastic fruit, even the crew at the crusher said it looked great.
We 100% destemmed but did not crush the berries, and it went into 3 one ton bins to ferment. I'm using two different yeast this year to see what might work best on this fruit.
The 100% destemming was a hot topic at dinner Tuesday night with Casey and Larry Roberts, a winemaker from Paso Robles. Almost everyone making Eaglepoint Syrah follows Sean Thackery who uses 100% stems, or Wells Guthrie (Copain) who uses 60% stems. I guess I'll just stand out. I love the pure fruit and floral nose our wine developed in 05 without stems, so We'll be the mavericks who will go total destem with Eaglepoint. I think the fruit has good enough tannin and complexity on its own.
We finally got home at 9:45 PM on the 11th, and returned the truck yesterday. Today I'm off to Bonny Doon and Elandrich to check on the grapes, then Uvas Creek to drop off a Bin for 1000 pounds of Cabernet we're getting tomorrow.
And oh yeah some tasting notes have been put up on our 2005's: