Tuesday, October 30, 2007


For the second year in a row I planned to do a good job providing regular blog updates, and again, the actual work of harvesting just was too much to get daily blogs done. But, here is where we are at as of Monday night:

We're DONE picking and crushing grapes. 20 tons total picked and 14+ tons crushed. We sold the Chardonnay from Chaine d'Or so that was not crushed by us.

Things really got going nuts last Tuesday when we cleaned the winery and got ready to go for the big load coming in.

Wednesday Millie went off to Eaglepoint Ranch to pick up 3+ tons of Syrah and I headed south to round up 350 pounds of dry ice. We were worried that the fruit would come in too warm to cold soak and I needed to get the dry ice to cool the fruit down. Millie had a really tough day with the trailer but made it back to Big Basin at 5PM We sorted fruit under the lights until after 8PM. (The day started at 3:30 for her, 5:30 for me).

It was a tough, long, tiring day and I really banged up my ring finger pretty bad. The grapes were a bit ripper than I'd have liked, but not bad at all considering the drama of the weather up north. We added a little water to one vat to get the BRIX under 28 and some acid (2 g per liter). The pH was 3.8, but Malo was low and the finished pH would have been over 4.0, with the addition we should finish around 3.6.

The next day we drove all over, picking up bins, dropping off bins, dropping off trailers, and checking on wine. About 200 miles in the truck and a 12 hour day.

Friday we picked 4 tons of Cabernet from Martin Ranch. 2 tons went to Chaine d'Or and 2 tons to Big Basin, so lots of driving again. We decided to not use the trailer since it had been so difficult on Wednesday. Unfortunately there were no 8 foot bed trucks available so we used Millie's truck, my Dad's and a rental. Millie drove hers, I drove the rental and Stef drove mine.

As we filled up one bin we'd load a truck and take off for the winery. As soon as the truck was done at one winery, we'd rush back and pick up another and go to the other winery. It turned into a day that lasted 17 hours. We got to bed about 11:30 PM. The fruit came in good, a little low in TA but Brix was 24.9 and the fruit looked really good. We're treating each of 4 bins a little different to see what gets the best results for the future.

Saturday morning we were back up at 5:30 am for harvest at Chaine d'Or. We had a great picking crew and great help and were able to bring in a very large harvest of 3+ tons before 11am. Everything went smoothly and the wine came in at 24.2 Brix, .66 TA and 3.38 pH! Anne said the fruit was the best looking ans tasting she'd seen there.

It took us a few hours to clean up and finish up but we only worked 10 hours that day!

Sunday I was able to get to emails and shipping and get caught up on the books. Even though I worked about 7 hours it felt like a day off.

Monday we brought in the last 2 tons from Uvas Creek. We had to run a relay again with two trucks, but got it done by 3:45. Millie and I had to run t Chaine d'Or after that to do a pump over and remove about 200 gallons from the tank so it didn't over flow.

In the end we got it all in, 14+ tons and it is all doing well. I'm happy with the wines so far, flavors are great, color is really dark and the numbers needed a little help, but we got them under control. Now that the days are back to 8-10 hours of work, I should get regular updates out more often.

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