Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Meanwhile, back at the winery . . .

All play and no work makes Swilly a dry boy?
Lab minions analyzing Verdejo before move to bottling winery.  That sample looks a mite large . . .
The phenomenal 2012 Colossus of Rhones Syrah, just pressed.  Once again, only one ton per acre fruit . . .


Three nights, six bands, two Elvis impersonators, zero DUIs . . . well, nobody I know, anyway!
Flip Flop Frank aka The Captain, the great Rudy Castellanos of Meth Leppard, and some old guy . . .
The Dancing Cage of Swilly:  I've got the best pants, but Alexis and Christine are somewhat hotter.
 Elvis Kokopelli the poet, Donald-Elvis the orthodox Presleyterian, and Roman Salvador, not in the band!
Alexis taunting Greglebert Torteldink of Pete The Butcher.  Notice my color coordination and branded hat!
Mini- and Maxi-Minionettes, outside Mordor Studios, listening to the awesome Berzerks practice.
Sunday morning breakfast at Schooner's, with Pete The Butcher.  We seem to be short of meat.  Why???

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My busiest week in fifteen years.

Well, fifteen years ago I worked a 150 hour week, but I was only forty then. And it was only harvest - this time it was harvest, a series of birthday parties, and a bottling for dessert.  Here's what I did yesterday:

89% Verdejo, 11% Poubelle Blanc*
Alc. 12.7%, pH 3.55, TA 8.1 g/L
97 cases bottled from 1.6 acres, 2nd year graftover from SB to Verdejo.
Tank fermented, aged one month in French oak puncheons, bottled!

     The first Verdejo** in San Luis Obispo county, and possibly the first from any coastal county in the state, this Spanish variety known for dry Rueda whites (thanks to Emile Peynaud, my first wine instructor) proved to be very low yielding and thick-skinned in my friend’s Paso Robles vineyard, so much so that an acre of vines made less than a hundred cases of wine.  Green apple, mineral, grapefruit and lemon with good acidity and a very long finish.  I always said that Paso whites were best before they were bottled, and this is my proof, six weeks from harvest to bottling! 
     It’s vanguard, true, but it’s $30 retail because it tastes awesome.

* A little joke.  Sauvignon Blanc (added to keep storage puncheons topped for one month).
** Not to be confused with Verdelho, Vermentino, Viognier or the V-1 buzz bomb.

Okay, here's what I did on Friday morning and afternoon:  picked the Colossus of Rhones Syrah at an unbelievable ripeness.  I know how to deal with ripeness, of course:

4.06 tons from 3.7 acres, 34.2 brix, 3.9 pH and 5.5 TA.  All fixable - but lack of flavor ripeness is not.

Band practice

Band practice