Sunday, September 21, 2008

Crush Has Started!

Like every year, this year is different but wonderful. The Cinsault was ready before any other varietal this year. In fact, weeks ahead of any of the other varietals including our Syrah, Petite Sirah and of course Mourvedre which we always want to be our last. The Mourvedre benefits from the longer hang-time on the vine.

Since we're specializing in small exceptional lots, this lot of Cinsault is slightly more than one ton. (The video below is the Cinsault being harvested) We allow the newly destemmed fruit to cold soak for 48 hours then move it to a room set at about 75 degrees F. After another 2-3 days, it begins natural fermentation. The picture gives you an idea of what it looks like about 3 days into the fermentation with a nice 5-6 inch cap of skins that have risen. I punch the cap down gently twice a day during the most active period, measuring the sugars (brix) and monitoring the temperature.

We can already tell that the rows and vines we picked this year are the best section the vineyard has to offer. As usual, the vineyard owner, Al Bechthold is right again.

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