Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Berry berry good!

This year, we're slicing and dicing our vineyard blocks even smaller - picking smaller sections of the vineyard separately - which now requires a bit more berry sampling than years past (37 to be exact). I'll give a more detailed report at "Crush Time" about how many individual fermentations we get going. It will definitely beat last year's 22!

Our cozy lab is nothing to write home about, but it gets the job done. Here Alan measures the sugar levels (degrees Brix) in the berries, and also can check pH, TA (titratable acidity), sulfur (free SO2) and the fancy microscope is used so Alan can get a closer look at any bugs to determine if they are harmful pests or beneficials.

For berry sampling, individual grapes (or berries) are collected from different clusters to get a sense of ripeness in one area. The grapes are then stored in little sandwich baggies and lightly pressed to allow the juice to run.

In this photo, Alan was just starting his berry sampling in a few sections, and had nearly a dozen more to go!

Results? Wait, wait, wait. There are a few sections that passed the "taste test" and are reaching phenolic ripeness. For many other sections of our mountain vineyard we're close, but no cigar.

Janet Viader, sales & marketing at VIADER

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