Tuesday, October 4, 2011

All Whites Are In, Reds Begin at Peju Province Winery

Yesterday, we processed the last of our Chardonnay. All of our white grapes, both Sauvignon Blanc and Chard., have now been plucked from their vines and have begun their journey to becoming delicious white wine.

The first bit of Sauvignon Blanc that we picked on September 6 and inoculated on September 9, allowing a few days for the lees to settle out, is dry! (‘Dry’ in winemaking means that all of the sugar in what was once juice has been converted to alcohol in what is now wine. In wines with what we call ‘residual sugar’, not all of the sugar was converted to alcohol, and the wine remains ‘off-dry’ or slightly sweet. There are a number of reasons that this will occur, some intentional, some not…) With much of our Sauv. Blanc dry, this means that technically, we have 2011 wine!

But it’s not quite finished wine. It’s baby wine. Born and alive, tangible and functional, but so fresh off the boat (out of the womb/off the vine and the lees) that it hasn’t really come into itself yet. Foregoing a discussion (monologue) on nature and nurture, suffice it to say that wine and humans make for amusingly comparable subjects for consideration. The point is that you take what ‘God/Nature/Insert-Name-Here gave you’ and then you take advantage of what Life throws your way. You try to cultivate your best self and you enjoy pondering how you got to be that way. Wine lacks the ability to introspect, of course, so we have to ponder its constitution for it.

Our 2011 Sauvignon Blanc has been born tasty, bright, and fresh. Soon a small percentage will hang out in neutral oak barrels for complexity, flavor, mouthfeel and structure. Then it will be time for Sara to work her magic, blending from the different tanks of S.B. separated by vineyard blocks and ripeness-levels-at-crush, to create what we are proud to call Peju Sauvignon Blanc. Forgive the shameless self-promotion, but it really is delicious!

The first Zin to come in (hill-side vineyard block - less water retention in the soil)

Oh, and also, we brought in our first red grapes on Friday, which was very exciting, as it has been a long time coming. The reds still aren’t quite there yet, however, in terms of ripeness. And the rain yesterday and today has everyone feeling a little nervous. As long as we get sun after the rain though, all should be well. Friday, we brought in the little bit of Malbec and Petit Verdot from our Rutherford property. Yesterday, it was Zinfandel grapes from the Persephone Vineyard. Friday, I’ll be working crush with the crew so stay tuned! Can’t wait!

- Britt Starr at Peju Province Winery

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Pablo, Lony, Juanito & Frankie wave 'Hello!' from the sorting table

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