All about the barrel, all about the barrel

Life slows down a little bit in Napa Valley in the winter.  The tourists are mostly at home, the vines are dormant, and we get prepare for the coming vintage.  This week Francisco helped worked at a winery clearing out the cellar and moving old barrels out.

 

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Save the wine: storing wine

We’ve had another little heat wave (highs over 100 deg F) this week.  Which beyond the desires for mounds of frozen yogurt and to seek the nearest swimming hole, has brought up the topic of how to store wine.

Wine is fragile.  It’s important to keep it out of direct light and heat – think of the ideal conditions of an under-ground cellar: consistently cool, dark, and damp.  Then make sure you keep the cork wet by storing the bottles on their side or upside down and you’ve got potential to age your wine and enjoy it in the months or years to come.

It’s also important to remember that it can even cook as you’re touring around or on your way home.  Here in wine country there are so many wonderful opportunities to pick up a bottle you wouldn’t be able to get else where.  At temperatures over 70 deg F the wine will start to cook and worse case scenario, the cork will push out of the bottle, the wine leak out, and to say the least your special bottle will be spoiled.  So, save the wine.  Think of it like chocolate.  Don’t put it in the trunk of your car, keep it in the cabin with you and if you must leave it in the car, then park in the shade and crack the windows.

The best article we’ve read about this lately is last week’s article in the Financial Times by Jancis Robinson, How to keep wine.

 

Update: White Wine

This week we racked our white wine.  After aging for 5 months in stainless steel, it’s really coming around.  We’re excited about the color, clarity, aroma, and flavors.  We’re shooting for another month of aging or so, and then hopefully we’ll be ready next month to rack the wine again and bottle our first vintage!

Which leads us to our favorite photo this week: racking our white wine:

white wine

Our Wine Project

We’re working on our dreams not only in the vineyard, but in the cellar too. 2013 is our first vintage as winemakers!  We’re still hard at work; the wines aren’t quite ready for release, but with a little patience the flavors are starting to shine and we’re getting excited.

We’ve got a red and a white going.  Recently sampled our wine and took it to a local wine laboratory.

winesamples

When we received the results and a little insight into how the is wine aging, we racked the wine (moved the clean wine off any sediment that had settled at the bottom) and looking down at the bottom of the empty barrel was one of my favorite photos from this week:

into barrel