Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hi All

Winter is here. the weather has turned nice and clear and cold. The vines have dropped all their leaves, and winter pruning is now done.
This heavy pruning removes all the year's growth - back to 4 or 5 arms, which allows the vine to re-shoot next spring. In addition, by selecting the branches to be trimmed vs. removed, it helps to shape the vine into the desired "goblet" shape - a wine glass shape - or - imagine your hand inverted with the fingers extended upward as though you were setting a plate on top.

In addition, I have finished digging up the old dead plants from the main vineyard. I have to get back out and work oin the "Old Vines" in the next week or two - as soon as the weather warms up just a bit to make it bearable to sit out on the backhoe in the wind.

In the winery, the work has been to get the 2010 rose (Vaucluse) and the 2009 Cotes du Rhone reserve cuvee - "Ombre du Chateau' (trans. 'Shadow of the Castle') ready to go into bottles. The mobile bottling truck arrived the morning of the 7th and away we went. Hooked up the hose from my tank to the truck, loaded corks in the hopper, and bottles on the end of the line, and voila - BOTTLED WINE!

In the course of 2 /12 hours, we bottled 1500 bottles of rose and 1500 bottles of the reserve. Wine is resting now, and should be ready for labels and then release by February.

On the personal side, I had to send my US Passport to Marseilles to get it renewed at the Consulate. It takes about 3 weeks, so for the moment, I am With Out Papers. So I need to be sure to mind my manners while I wait.

All for now. Stay Warm

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year !!

Back from the Holidays. Had a great visit in Seattle with friends and family. Also did a small tasting at All Things Wine in Renton on the 23rd. Was great to see all of you who came out to join me - I know it was right in the middle of all your shopping and wrapping and cooking and other preparations for Chrsitmas.

As I mentioned last time, I am getting ready to bottle the 2009 red Cuvee - "Ombre de Chateau" - and the 2010 rose. Corks and bottles arrive today and we will be doing the bottling the end of the week.

On a more somber note, I met with Noble wines while I was in Seattle over the holidays, and they have decided to no longer carry my wines. So I am starting work on finding a new importer/distributor. There is a little of the red and rose left on Nobles' shelf, but when its gone its gone. I want to thank you all for your great support, and I will let you know as soon as I locate a new outlet.

Need to run - the truck with the bottles is waiting.