Spring is here! Flowers are blooming, days are longer, and it's time to start planning for where all the barrelled wine will go! This is actually part of preperation for the fall harvest. Once grape is crushed, it needs to go somewhere, and that somewhere is currently chock full of barrels of aging wine. This means the tedious job of tasting each barrel one by one, taking notes (of course having a few of us doing this, as each pallette differs, so we want more than one take on it), blending the barrel samples, tasting, tasting, and more tasting, until we've found the exact blend of how much from which barrels, to come up with our summer bottling plan, no that not only do we have room for the 2014 wines, we bottle the best possible wine we can. Yes, we're working hard tasting all that wine to bring YOU the best of the best. Rough job...
Once that's all decided, we must decide the best way to "fine" the wine. Fining is the process of clarifying the wine. To keep our wines vegan, we use powdered bentonite clay rather than egg whites. The yeast bits left behind after racking (siphoning wine from one barrel to another, leaving the sediment behind) stick to the bits of clay powder and settle to the bottom, and the remaining clear wine is racked off of that. But what proportion is needed for clear wine that tastes great? For this, we bottle a few dozen samples in "splits" (375 ml bottles, aka half a bottle of wine), resulting in a table loaded up with little bottles.
Yes, we are open for tasting this weekend, May 3rd & 4th. We will also be at some outside events this month:
Rivers of Chocolate Festival, Saturday, May 4th at Mountain Winery
Saratoga Wine Walk, Saturday May 10
South Valley Symphony Mother's Day Concert at Mission San Juan Bautista, May 11
Los Gatos Wine Walk: May 17