It's an annual tradition! Enjoy an afternoon of live bluegrass music, a grape-stomp competition, lawn games, hay rides on a tractor through the vineyard, face painting, freshly-pressed juice, and wine tasting. The Bunk Truck from Bunk Sandwiches will be on site selling food this year, so be sure to bring an appetite! The stomp competition starts at 12:30. We strongly recommend that you reserve your team's slot in the competition ASAP. The event is family-friendly and free. Call the tasting room at 503-359-5012 x 3 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional info and to reserve your spot in the bracket.
We have been lucky enough to have some beautiful clear and crisp days to close out October. The wines are safely tucked into their tanks and the Pinot Noir has begun to go in to their barrels for the winter. We are really happy with the quality of fruit that ended up coming in, and the vintage will be similar in style to 2010, but of equal of better quality!
This year the gewürztraminer is especially abundant and the grapes that came in this week are really beautiful. Inspired by a recent trip to Alsace, Rudy came back with an idea on how to rework the gewürztraminer. We changed the trellising to a loop style trellis to encourage more clusters to grow. This was risky, but we are happy with the results, as the Gewürztraminer was some of the pretties fruit on property. We just picked the last of it yesterday and Stephen has begun his meticulous process and care for the grapes.
One of the most obvious signs of fall's arrival for us is the leaves changing at the nursery across the street. Even when we are in the dead heat of summer, the tops of the trees will start to turn and we will know that autumn is creeping slowly around the corner. We are now in full swing of fall, and are graced with exceptional color from across the street.
The 2012 "Red Cap" Pinot Noir made its debut at our Crush Party last weekend, and we couldn't have been happier with the reception! As 2012 was a storybook vintage, which yielded perfectly balanced fruit due to a long dry season followed by an Indian summer, the "Red Cap" is just bursting with ripe flavors and rich concentration.
We built this Tasting Map to give you a visual idea of how the 2012 Red Cap Pinot Noir is currently tasting.
Wednesday morning a group of the winemaking team (along with our two new harvest interns) met with Rudy to work on Prep 500. Known as cow horn manure, preparation 500 is basically fermented cow dung. It is the basis for soil fertility, and the renewal of degraded soils. It is usually the first preparation used during the change over to the organic/biodynamic system. Preparation 500 is made by filling a cow's horn with cow dung, and burying it in the soil.
This will be dug up next spring and will be used for the 2015 vintage. The preparation when ready after 6 months should have turned into dark humus and should be sweet smelling. It should be stored in a cool place and in glazed pots or in glass jars with insulation. It is sprayed up to four times a year and used in small quantities being dilluted heavily by water.
This is one of our principle preps that we use every year and it increases in all soil bacteria and earthworm activity. Absorption and retention of water is greater. International research has found that BD soils require 25% to 50% less irrigation than conventional soils and it helps to develop a deep rooting system.
We look forward to the October issue of Portland monthly every year, it is a great round-up of the past vintages in through out Oregon state and it is great to see our colleagues given much earned accolades. This year, we are thrilled to be included as one of Michael Garofola's (a Court of Master Sommeliers-certified pro from Southeast Portland's Genoa) picks as a best biodynamic wine, with our Swan Song 2010! Unfortunately, we only have 30 more cases of this showstopper in the tasting room and it keeps flying out the door.
We got hit with a heat wave last week, which helped fight of the possible turn to fungus on the grapes after the rain showers previously. This week we are carefully watching the grapes and the wind and rain that has returned to tell us precisely when to start bringing in fruit. It should be any day now!