For all the returning wine club members, I hope that you enjoyed the last year in our inaugural Zinfandel Vintage. I also hope that you are patiently waiting for your bottles to age though I’m sure you’ve had one or two by now. But that is the past, and our attention shifts to the future, and the next vintage, Cabernet Sauvignon.
I have arranged the purchase of another 1,000 pounds to play with this year. Since we just had a really big bottling party a few weeks ago, Leah and I are not going to have an official welcome party. Instead, we’re going to request that some of you come over for some of the work days, which is more fun anyway. Feel free to bring a +1. There’s a lot of work to do, and Leah and I can’t do it by ourselves. I understand that some of you live farther away, so these are optional. Please only come if you want to. Here is the schedule for the coming weeks. Keep in mind the dates are subject to change based but should be accurate within a day or so.
9/17 (estimate) – Merlot Crushing and Destemming
Since we have a few new members, I’m trying to get some more grapes. I’m dealing with the farmer directly, which is difficult, so this part may not happen. I’ve found that Merlot is a very common blending partner of Cab, so I’m going to get about 300lbs of Merlot grapes to blend with later. For the Cab, I’m paying a small fee to get them crushed and destemmed. But the Merlot vineyard I found is not providing that service. Soooooo, I need to (a) crush the grapes and then (b) destem them. I’ve never done this, so this is going to be a new adventure. We’re going to do the classic Foot Stomping method, hopefully better than her. I’m looking forward to this one! If you come to this one, please cut your toenails prior, and prepare to scrub your feet. SWMBO is going to have very strict cleanliness requirements before your feet go in the grapes.
9/18 (final) – Cabernet Sauvignon Delivery
The grapes are scheduled to arrive on the 18th. Last year I did this by myself, and it really really sucked. My order had way too much weight in too few containers (300lbs in each fermentor). So I have a few more smaller containers this year, and hope to move them back to our apartment a little easier. Leah and I are going to rent a Zipvan and pick them up at after 6pm or so. This is by far the least fun job, and I might enlist Ben’s help here, if he’s willing.
9/29 (estimate) – Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot Pressing
This is an estimate, the primary fermentation took ~10 days last year, and we’ll see how long it takes this year. It might move up or down a day or two. At this point, all the juice will have turned to wine, and we need to press the wine out of the grape skins. This job is probably the most laborious, and fortunately the most fun. I really need volunteers for this one. I had a lot of help last year, and everybody had a great time. I’m going to rent the press for the evening, and we’ll press it all until it’s done.
That’s it, that is the schedule of events for the Fall. Again, the dates are variable, and I’ll update this as they become more defined. Everything will start roughly after work, around 7pm or so and will go until the work gets done. We’re looking forward to seeing you many of you at these events. I need the most help on the final pressing.
Keep in mind these are optional; come to work, come to hang out, and only come if you want 🙂