News from the Vineyard
Temecula & Paso Robles
During my time at the winery as Executive Chef for special events and catering, the asst. winemaker Sebastian Noel and I decided to branch out and do our own vintage.
Truly a labor of love, but there's definitely work involved. Also, plan on throwing whatever you were wearing away after being stained permanantly purple.
Working quickly, fermentation starts almost immediately once a grape breaks and it's juice is released. This is because of all the natural yeast that just floats around, looking for somewhere called home...
So, after sorting and crushing, a week in plastic barrels, cold fermentation.
Using methods not enjoyed by large volume wineries, we pressed ours slow and messy. It was a sight to see, of course.
And there she lay for almost two years, one barrel among many other varietals, waiting for her time to shine. Of course, as time passed, liquid evaporates since wood is semi-pourous. Juice has to be added to keep as much oxygen off of the surface of the wine. The barrel was "topped up" with Paso Cabernet juice, ending up with about a 15% Cab blend with the Syrah.
And then it was Finished. Twenty eight cases to be shared my partner and I. He's in Paso, working with a new venture with another winery, and I, down here in Orange county, with not too much wine left to show for it. Funny how that happens.
I'm proud to say that after entering our wine in two pretty big CA wine competitions, we did better than expected. Silver in both judgings. We had to enter amateur categories, since this was all done non-commercially (even though it was produced in an actual winery). High Five!