Winemaker Jitters?

Winemaker Lisa here with an insider's preview of harvest 2009... I've been visiting our vineyards over the past few weeks to check on crop size and fruit development, all the while hoping that harvest would hold off until the end of August.  Harvest really is an exciting time, but there's always so much to do over the summer like bottling and making sure last year's Cabernet lots are in good shape.  Any extra time we can get goes a long way.  So, of course, as I was roaming through our DCV7 ZVeraison in the Vineyard - click photo to enlarge!infandel vineyard in front of the winery last week, I spotted a beautiful cluster with lots of purple berries.  Woo Hoo!  Being the proud owner of a new iPhone, I took a great picture to show my cohorts at the winery.  Wilma asked if I have “winemaker jitters” (not really, after 20 some odd vintages) and then asked if I'd write about what's going on in the vineyard for her blog.

What is going on is known as “veraison,” or the beginning of ripening, when the berries start to soften and change color.  Harvest usually starts six weeks after veraison, which puts it at the end of August or first week of September.  Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc come in first, with Zin following closely behind. I've been making wine for a while and every vintage has been unique.  We do the same things and bring in fruit from the same vineyards each year, but it always seems new.  I'm certainly still learning and hope never to stop.

Well, the '07 Cabernet is bottled and the '08 Heritage Zin will be done this week. There are a few more small bottlings for August, and last year's Cabernets are definitely in good shape.  We're ready!

| | Comments (5)


CHUCK JOHNSON Author Profile Page said:
August 9, 2009 9:46 PM

Hi Lisa,

Good luck with your harvest this year. The photo of your grapes looks amazing! How do the grapes taste?


LisaBForbes Author Profile Page said:
August 10, 2009 12:47 PM

Hi Chuck,

Thanks for commenting. I visited some of our vineyards this morning and they're tracking right along. Sauvignon Blanc looks good and is just starting to get a bit of flavor. Our Chenin Blanc is at 13 Brix. We pick at about 21.5, so we have a ways to go. Generally the crop is balanced and not too huge, always a plus!

CHUCK JOHNSON Author Profile Page said:
August 17, 2009 9:20 PM

Sounds good!

Let me know when you guy's decide to pick. What methods do you use to harvest your grapes?


LisaBForbes Author Profile Page said:
August 21, 2009 4:16 PM

Hi Chuck,

We might have something in by the end of next week. Nothing is quite ready yet. I'll keep you posted. Some of our vineyards are hand-picked and some are machine harvested. Both work well.


CHUCK JOHNSON Author Profile Page said:
August 23, 2009 9:03 PM

Hi Lisa,

I've got some vacation time coming up in late September & early October. Is it possible for me to come to your winery & get a tour of your harvesting practice? I'm also a concierge for the Donatello hotel in San Fran so I can (and currently) send guests to your winery. I would love to see your approach to harvesting your grapes, if you allow it.


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This page contains a single entry by LisaBForbes published on August 3, 2009 3:06 PM.

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