I borrowed Josh’s truck Thursday to run three picking bins up to the vineyard. Will be taking back about a ton and a half and then (aggressively) sorting/selecting down to a ton… Median brix at 23! Some 90+ degree days projected through Friday, turned on water for four hours (.5gal/hour drip) Wednesday 9/9, these vines have very young canopies. Colder though this weekend. Tentatively putting pick on Thursday 9/17. Have I mentioned that Stan is an apple grower?
The Amber Ridge fruit came in Friday 9/11! Am making a barrel of the 115 clone and a field blend barrel of 2/3 667 and 1/3 777, which I’m hoping will make a magical final blend down the road…. Fruit was gorgeous and tasty, as usual, a pleasure to sort and eat! Nice intensity in the smaller-berried 667, brighter candy notes from 777. Awaiting better photos, here’s a crappy one from my phone, hands slick with grape juice. Haven’t been posting my Amber brix readings but it’s been climbing steadily since the beginning of the month, very even and warm weather in Windsor. We picked at 26 brix, 3.45 pH, and 8.00 TA. The must has risen a few brix; will do some minor amelioration. Everything was 100% destemmed; the 667 I lightly crushed to release some of the nice tannins I was tasting, maybe give the 09 a little more traction than the 08 in the mid-palate? Will be cold-soaking for five days, then inoculating next week with RC 212, my usual Burgundian yeast. (One day will go native when I have a more controlled facility!)
Friday, September 11, 2009Posted by Bobat 6:14 pmin blog0 comments
Just a quick catch-up post here: on 9/2 I met with winemaker Chris Nelson at the Devoto Garden vineyard to take more measurements and get his impressions of the progress. I measured median brix at 21, and we both thought that pick was still a couple weeks off, e.g. 9/15-9/20. Chris agreed that this site has the potential to be great in a few years. Right now though the vines are young and the variation in the vineyard is going to make the winemaking this year challenging — will definitely require some aggressive sorting. Finding great flavors right at the swell in the 828 block. Eastern edge is sparse; western edge seems to be the last to ripen but showing better berry canopy development.
Friday, September 11, 2009Posted by Bobat 6:01 pmin blog0 comments
Have been slow to post this, a formal announcement of our relationship with Devoto Gardens is here! http://www.sfwineassociation.com/article/22/Wait_Cellars_to_Produce_New_Green_Valley_Pinot_Noir.html San Francisco, CA (1888PressRelease) August 25, 2009 – Wait Cellars announced today that it will produce a new wine from Pinot Noir grapes purchased from Devoto Garden Vineyards of Sebastopol, California, located in the acclaimed Green Valley appellation. “We’ve been looking for premium, cooler Russian River Pinot [Noir] from a small, careful grower, and I think we’ve found it here at Devoto Gardens,” said Wait Cellars’ founder Bob Wait. “Stan [Devoto] has been farming this ridge for 30 years. It’s beautiful soil, a fine expression of Green Valley. He takes a sustainable, low-impact approach, and I think that’s coming through in lean, concentrated berries. I’m very excited about this fruit.” The Green Valley AVA is one of the smallest appellations in Sonoma County. The fog and soil give a distinctive nuance to Green Valley wines. Green Valley Pinot Noirs are especially prized. For more information, visit http://www.greenvalley-russianriver.com. Devoto Gardens produces primarily heirloom apples and cut flowers, but recently turned over several acres to Pinot Noir. The Wait Cellars Devoto Garden Pinot Noir will be the first commercially produced wine from their planting […]
Was a characteristically foggy morning on 8/20, the sun just starting to make advances. Here’s a shot of the charming, unassuming Devoto sign. Looking north over Sebastopol from the 828 block on Gold Ridge. Weather’s been steady, grapes look great; since last week the median brix has risen 1 degree to 18.1. Am anticipating harvesting around 24 brix; flavors, weather, and pH will be other big considerations. (I don’t have a great way to measure TA in the field, but may also be taking samples in to the lab in SF). Next week Stan will be going through the block and dropping green clusters like those pictured here. He will likely be cutting the water to these guys in the next week or so. (This “deficit irrigation” approach is pretty standard for premium fruit). I’m not the only one enthused by this fruit; note the damage done by uninvited beaks on this cluster (which measured 20 brix — can the birds sense which clusters are sweeter?). Consequently, Stan’s begun putting reflective tape up to discourage birds, and is considering an investment in netting for next year.