Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Midway at Miner

Now that we are well into the 2009 harvest, here is a run down on grapes we've brought in thus far at Miner Family and a quick assessment.

Day 1 of harvest came after Labor Day (a rarity for us) with the arrival of just over 5 tons of Sauvignon Blanc from Oakville Crossroad Vineyard. We will produce 350 or so cases of SB, which is down from the 800 cases we made in 2008. Also during week one, we brought in some Tempranillo and Grenache from Mike Naggiar's Vineyard in the Sierra Foothills. Beautiful, ripe, and tasty, these two reds were pressed off skins and are now in barrel (See Miner's first post, our amateur video of Tempranillo going to barrel).

All of our Viognier from Simpson Vineyard has been brought in: 75 tons this year and down from the 100 tons in '08. Fueled by Rutherford Grill ribs and cornbread, our fierce night shift crew (Wes, Ben, and Gabrielle) pressed Viognier until the wee hours (think 3am) for six consecutive nights. We barreled down some of our Viognier but the majority is slowly fermenting in tanks. After being kept at finger-numbing temperatures, our Rosella's Vineyard “777” Pinot Noir has now started to ferment in half-ton bins in our warehouse. A whopping 325 cases worth of Carneros Pinot Noir from Sunset Vineyard came in this year - an indication that vineyard yields would be up,and indeed yields look like they are up across the board for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Case and point, our first block of Chardonnay to come in from Stagecoach Vineyard yielded 33% more than last year and Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay in Carneros also came in with yields above average. We will have plenty of top notch Chardonnay to go around this year and we're planning on doing 3 vineyard designated Chardonnays: Hudson, Hyde and Genny's Vineyard.

We brought in just over 5 tons of Marsanne from Stagecoach Vineyard last week for our La Diligence bottling (a partnership with Domaine Francois Villard/Rhone Valley, France). As for Napa Valley reds, it's looking like they will be ripe soon and we will be prepared for an onslaught in the next week as Cabernet Sauvignon yields are likely to be high.

The winery is starting to smell good as we approach the harvest '09 half-way mark with around 250 tons in so far. Until next time, when we come up for air... or beer

Gary Brookman
Winemaker, Miner Family Winery

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