Notes from the Winemaker…

Michael in the Lab - FEAST Magazine
Michael Rouse – Winemaker

Harvest update from our Winemaker, Michael Rouse.

We’re on the down-hill side of harvest season now. All of the white grapes have been fermented, with the exception of a small amount of Vidal, which is at 1/3 sugar depletion. We harvested the first of the Norton grapes today, Monday, October 5, 2015; and will continue harvesting Norton’s through the end of next week, most likely. The early season rains made it difficult to keep the early-ripening varietals in good health; but we were able to get them all harvested in acceptable condition. But it is not a stellar year for the white grape varietals. On the other hand, the red grapes are showing great promise as we’ve experienced dry and mostly warm weather conditions during the past few weeks.  Animal pressure on the vineyards has been high at most sites. We’ve been doing our part keeping the local wild-life well-nourished, but production yields have been generally up from last year’s crop. It’s a busy time in the cellars, the work load is heavy and time is at a premium. Hey, it’s “Crush”! That’s the word that wine production workers everywhere use in reference to harvest season. But our production crew is doing a great job and morale is high. “Crush” is challenging and hard, but fun too.