We frequently get asked wine quesions in the tasting room and we thought we could share some of the information we know and researched. First of all, wine "legs" do not mean wine quality or sweetness. Legs just refer to the alcohol and water in the wine and the vapor pressure of each liquid in the mixture. Meaning, the water and alcohol evaporate at different rates and flow up the wine glass by capillary action. They drop back into the wine of their own weight e.g. legs or tears. The quantity of legs depends on the alcohol content of the wine and may be eliminated by covering the glass and preventing the evaporation. Was that helpful?
Our group just attended a seminar presented by ABC (Alcohol and Beverage Control) about civil and legal issues regarding serving wine in our tasting room. DON'T MESS WITH THE ABC. The guy was carrying a gun and told us that they can enter our premise anytime they want to inspect anything related to our business without a warrant. They can even enter our house, also without a warrant, since we have some records pretaining to our business in the house. How did we ever allow them to have these rights, I would like to know?
Anyway, we received lots of useful information. We will certainly be more careful carding people who look young. If one of us serves a drunk and he goes out and is involved in a fatality, we are liable. If someone under age is served in our facility and is involved in a fatality, WE ARE DOOMED. However, some people go too far. Gary and I were in an airport restaurant a while back and we were carded. That was rediculous. We are so far past 21 we can't even remember what it was like to be that young. Talk soon.
There was alot of talk about the weather last year at the Symposium and challenges with the mold, Botrytis. Optimum temps for mold growth on grapes are 75-82 degrees F. I don't blame the mold. Those are my optimum temps also. Above 95 degress, the mold dies. Last year was optimum for growth. Usually it is warm enough that Botrytis is not an issue.
The mold can be controlled if you start spraying early enough and about 4X during the growing season. However, if you are not expecting the issue and don't spray early, it rapidly takes hold and can't be stopped. Apparently the mold starts on the decaying flowers from the grapes and then gets into the clusters, especially if the berries are close together. It works from inside to out and within a relatively short period of time, the berry cluster turns to mush.
Oh, the joys of farming. We were told to spin last year as exciting not challenging. Marketers can do a lot with words to create images. Actually last cursh was exciting. I had to use different methods during the fermentation process and the wines have been lovely flavors so far. Time will tell and we will watch the wine develop.
I will interview growers from both Calaveras and Amador County and get their take on last year and what they did in the vineyard. I'll let you know.