Stay up to date with what we are working on, talking about and exploring. From grapes, wine, travel and fun!

Gary Zucca
October 19, 2011 | Gary Zucca

Nitrogen testing, another way to look at the grapes

We are working on a research project that will extend our previous work on how small wineries can measure manage nitrogen during the winemaking process. The new study will examine winegrowers use and measurements of nitrogen in the vineyards and will measure the nitrogen in grapes as they arrive at the winery. This measurement will provide growers with critical information on the nitrogen level of the grape must as they enter the winemaking process and will allow them to adjust their viticulture practices so they can deliver the grapes at the optimum nitrogen level.

Time Posted: Oct 19, 2011 at 2:50 PM
Carol Zucca
October 16, 2011 | Carol Zucca

Another crush update

This is definitely a strange year. I am playing musical grapes with crush dates due to different changes in grape ripeness, etc. It looks like we will be pressing the final grapes into the second week of November. This is a record for us. During our 15 years of making wine here in this area, the latest was the end of October. However, if things continue to move along, it should be a great harvest with super flavors.

Now down to the details. Pressing the Syrah is a go for Monday, Oct 17th. The Grenache will be crushed on Tuesday, Oct 18th. We have had to postpone the Malbec crush until the following week since the brix is only at 22.2

Tentative schedule for the week of Oct 24-28 is Tuesday, Oct 25th, press the Grenache. Wednesday, Oct 26th, crush the Malbec and Friday, Oct 28, crush the Barbera. Of course, all of the dates (except Oct 17 and 18) are subject to change depending on the flavors, etc. Thus updates to follow. Talk soon

Time Posted: Oct 16, 2011 at 3:16 PM
Carol Zucca
October 15, 2011 | Carol Zucca

Syrah Press

The Syrah is fermenting nicely with great colors and flavors. Looks like we will press it on Monday, Oct. 17th. It is a bit of a messy job but fun to watch. As a matter of fact, both Tasha and Cari were covered with skins and juice as our press spit out pressed berries.  I will sample the Grenache and Malbec on Sunday, Oct 16th. If all goes well, we will crush Grenache on Tuesday, Oct 18th and the Malbec on Thursday Oct 20. I'll let you know for certain about the crush on Sunday after I sample. 

Time Posted: Oct 15, 2011 at 7:58 AM
Carol Zucca
October 13, 2011 | Carol Zucca

Big Red Grenache crush

I sampled grapes yesterday. It looks like the rain postponed the crush of some varietals. The brix on the Zin was way low and we won't get to that grape until the end of the month. I will sample the Grenache and Malbec again on Sunday but, so far, it looks like we may be able to crush the Grenache on Tuesday, Oct 18th and the Malbec on Thursday, Oct 20th. More to follow 'cause crush dates are always VERY flexible. I will post again when the crush date is confirmed. However, I am pleased with the grape flavors in the field and the Syrah we crushed tastes great.

Time Posted: Oct 13, 2011 at 10:11 AM
Carol Zucca
October 9, 2011 | Carol Zucca

Syrah crush

Looks like tomorrow is a go to crush 4 tons of Syrah. I sampled it today and although not quite the brix I wanted, it has very nice flavors. I think the sugars will increase with overnight soak. The rain changed things a bit but not much since there was not much flavor dilution in the berry. We are looking forward to getting started with the reds and getting crush into full swing before it cools down again. We will get the grapes from Canterbury Vineyards between 7-7:30 AM and probably start crushing around 8:30 to 9 AM. We are off and running!

Time Posted: Oct 9, 2011 at 11:33 AM
Carol Zucca
September 30, 2011 | Carol Zucca

Syrah crush postponed

A crush date is a bit of a moving target.  I just sampled the Syrah this morning and it is not quite ready.  The sugar is OK but the acids need to wait a little while.  We are now aiming (aiming is the operative word) for Monday Oct.10th

September 29, 2011 |

Test the power of your sniffer

We are bringing back Wine Aroma Exploration!

Open to anyone who wants to come explore and learn about the different aromas of wine and chat with our winemaker. These community education workshops encourage people to be curious and get engaged in the world of vino.

We will be featuring them on wine club pick up weekends in the Toscano Room (upstairs tasting room). So if you are in town during Grape Stomp, come test out your sniffer!

Time Posted: Sep 29, 2011 at 3:18 PM
Carol Zucca
September 28, 2011 | Carol Zucca

Crush Syrah

We just got a call from Mark Skenfield who manages the Canterbury Vineyard where we get our Syrah. He thinks we could have the fruit Monday by 9:30 AM. I think that date would be a good one for us since rain is predicted Wed and Thurs. I will check the sugars, etc, Friday and let you know for certain. 

Carol Zucca
September 27, 2011 | Carol Zucca

Sampling again

I was out sampling grapes yesterday.  What a beautiful time of year.  As I go from vineyard to vineyard, the roads take me into the back country that few see and I only see once a year during crush.  I have a great job.  It looks like the Sangiovese and Grenache have a while to go.  We will probably crush the Syrah next week.  I will sample it again on Friiday

Time Posted: Sep 27, 2011 at 9:33 AM
Carol Zucca
September 19, 2011 | Carol Zucca

Crushing Grenache

I sampled the Grenache from Vallecito Estates today. The brix was 24.2, Total Acidity 7.05 and pH 3.23. It looks like Thursday, Sept. 22nd is a go if Steve Collum can get the pickers. This wine is for the rosato so we will have to sort grapes, crush and press on the same day, which is a pretty daunting task. I also sampled the Syrah and Malbec from Canterbury Vineyards. The Syrah is a couple of weeks away and the Malbec more than that. I'll keep you informed.

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