The rewards and frustrations of home winemaking

Monthly archive: 07 2011

Comparing Two Merlots: Same Grapes, Different Yeasts

I realized I haven’t really done a head-to-head tasting of my 2008 Merlot lots A and B yet. After being so disappointed with the barrel batch of merlot from that vintage, I’ve been holding out to wait 2 years to pop the smaller batch of lot A. Happily, the time has come! Tasting notes: Merlot […]

Veraison Starting at Live Oak Vineyard

We went to visit Live Oak Vineyard today to see how the syrah is coming along this year.  Veraison is already starting in the syrah, so harvest might be a little early this year! Here is the second year growth of the Deaver clone Zinfandel, not yet starting veraison.  Check out the giant clusters: And, […]

Oak Trials Continue

The oak trials continue!  All wines were stabilized and cleared about a week ago.  Today I’m racking them all, and the unoaked wine kit will be split into 1-gallon batches.  I had just under 6 full gallons after racking, so I used the little bit left over to top the pre-fermentation oak batches.  I realize […]

Bottling 2009 Vintage Barrel Wines

We finally set a date and bottled the 2009 Merlot and Petite Sirah from Van Alyea Ranch in Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma.  The wines are tasting great, and we could have bottled before now but I realized I didn’t have a spigot to attach a hose to clean out the barrels after they were empty. […]