Sheldon Haynie
 
August 27, 2014 | Sheldon Haynie

Crush 2014

We're nearly into harvest, the Brix samples are coming in about 21 degrees for the Merlot and Viognier, and the pickers are texting every few days. Its been a different year with the drought, and  irrigation issues from low well levels to breaks in 4" lines. Fortunately the fruit seems to be doing very well, a good sized crop and flavors developing nicely. We're hoping to start harvesting in 2 weeks which would be consistent with last year's 9/7 kickoff. 

Our plan this year is a bit more modest, we're only managing 20 acres and have a 45 ton plan to cover our needs, an affiliated startup we manage and the fruit sales we have on the books. Last year we did 36 acres and 60 tons, which was quite a stretch. An upsized destemmer replaces the last of our "hobby" equipment and we have now have forklift & flatbed truck which will reduce the efforts substantially. The only issue has been that due to family issues, bottling was delayed, and we are scrambling a bit to get our tanks and barrels empty in time for the new juice. This year we have about 1000 cases to bottle, including several new blends and varietals, and we've definitely seen the speed of our process improve, with peaks of a case per minute and averaging 30 cases an hour for the shift. Tha'ts all done with hand labor, the stacks of full cases in the cold room are quite impressive to behold. 

Look for releases of new wines in the next months, as the Sangiovese, Tuscan Blend "Fascino" and Dijon Clone Pinot Noir come through bottle shock. The 2013 Chardonnay and Colombard will be un-oaked and we will have both as an alternative to the 2012 vintage. 

Jane's planning at least one rose, and possibly two, and its going to be a busy 6-10 weeks from here out. 

 

 

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