|Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2014 12:08:24 -0800|
Subject: PV November newsletter
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▪ Schedule: Pourings in Seattle & Gig Harbor
We have several special events this month. Mike is pouring wines at City Cellars in Wallingford tomorrow (Fri 14-Nov) starting at 5pm. And next Fri (21-Nov) I'll be pouring at The Wine Studio in Gig Harbor starting at 5pm. Our next all-Bainbridge-wineries-open event is this weekend, Sat, Sat 15-16-Nov.
And as always, Mike is at the winery pretty much 7 days a week, so if you're in the neighborhood, call/txt my cell - if I'm around, I'd be happy to greet you and give you the private vineyard tour, or just stop in for a minute to buy wine!
▪ iPhone earbuds
▪ Holidays White Sale continuesWe've dropped the price of several of our white wines. They're all still doing great, but are likely to begin to fade in less than a year so we want to make sure people have time to enjoy them. Our Dry Orange Muscat is now $11, the Isletage 2012 is now $12, and the Madeleine Angevine is now $14. If you buy a case (12 bottles), with our 10% discount, these wines are about $10/bottle!
After the panic of harvest, many wineries take a week or so off of winemaking just to relax. The weather has been so fabulous, that instead of relaxing, I've been out working in the vineyard (more on that below). So it's time to get back into the swing in the winery. I need to rack almost every wine, and add sulfites to protect them from spoilage. This is not really an exciting task, nor does it help much to have additional help. However, if you're interested in learning about winemaking, this is something you should be a part of. Reply to this email if you're interested and let me know your schedule - as I have several days of work to do, I can probably work one to have you join me.
▪ Winery: Racking, sulfiting, yeast trials
Another really fun task is to evaluate our yeast trials. Each year when I bring in the grapes, I pull aside a few gallons of juice and make some test lots with different yeasts. It's really interesting to taste how the different wines turn out. If I find any that I really like, I'll consider using that yeast for the main batch in future years.
▪ Vineyard: Our Methods
I'd like to take this chance to talk about the methods we use in our vineyards.. I haven't really talked that much about this sort of thing in these newsletters, even though it may be quite important to some of you.
Our grapes are entirely hand maintained, the only equipment we use is a tractor for rotovating (weed control), and for spraying. Our sprays are all organically certified materials, only fungicides in order to to control Powdery Mildew and Botrytis mold. We do not use any herbicides.
This month we'll be visited by a representative from Salmon Safe Certified. I've been listed with them for several years now, and am looking forward to being certified again this year, as my methods have not changed This is an important one here on the west side of the Cascades, and especially in my case where we have a seasonal stream which runs very close to my vineyards, that directly feeds a salmon stream.
Also along these lines, all our methods are organic. However, we are not certified as organic, due to the cost (many hundred dollar annual fee), but mostly due to the onorous reporting tasks. There is a possibility of getting a grant to cover the money part, so maybe this may this year I'll decide to make the time for reporting/documenting and maybe we'll get certified!
Another facet of concern in commercial vineyards is soil salination, a problem that can be caused by modern irrigation methods. In Western WA, we do not have to irrigate our vines. There are also other facets that affect salinization, we'd encourage you to read more about it - Wikipedia is a good start.
▪ Vineyard: Transplanting and other tasksOur current task is planting new vines. We had a row (only 25 plants per row) of Pinot Noir, and a row of Pinot Gris. They were originally planted in 2006, and there were 5 different rootstock/scion combinations from which we've learned which rootstocks work best for us. However, 25 plants is nowhere near enough to make a commercial quantity of wine, so beyond the learning factor, these two rows take labor resources without contributing to our production. At the same time (2006) I planted a row of a red grape from Austria called Zwiegelt. This grape has shown to be a notably better choice for me, with earlier ripening and a resulting wine that is more to American taste than a delicate cool-climate Pinot Noir. Last year I also gave up on another experimental row of a white German grape called Schoenberger as it never ripened once, thus is simply too warm-climate a grape for Puget Sound. (Not to mention the fact that I already have 4 whites, I just don't need a 5th!) This means I now have two rows of Zw. So I'm in the process of ripping out the PN and PG rows, and replacing them with Zw. It'll take several years to grow a good strong plant, and another year to make the wine, so start checking back in a year or so for our first locally grown red wine! If you're interested in coming out and working in the vineyard on one of these fantastic sunny afternoons (I'm out in a T-shirt, it's really that nice when you're working), reply to this email or if last minute call/txt 206-200-5902.
Now that we've had a good freeze, yesterday all the grape leaves suddenly turned brown and dry, the plants will go dormant. This means we'll be able to start pruning soon, if the weather is nice like we've seen up 'til now, I'd anticipate we'll start by 2nd week Dec. This is a job I can use all the help I can get, and if you want to learn about growing grapes, this is the most important job you can learn about. You might wish to consider joining our pv-helpers email list to be notified of these opportunities.
We're also planning to take down some trees allowing us to expand the vineyard. There will be plenty of work clearing brush and bucking up firewood. Perhaps we could trade some labor for firewood... After that we'll have to amend the soil and put in plants - this will be a big project, so again consider joining the pv-helpers email list.
Now that you've got your new iPhone 6... Do you use the earbuds that came with it? If you've visited the winery you've probably seen me with earbuds hanging from my shirt. I use these when I'm working in the vineyard, working in the winery, just working at the computer - most all the time. With this much use they always eventually fall apart - I get maybe 3 months out of a pair. I'll give you $5 cash, or $10 off any wine purchase for your unused iPhone earbuds. I'd be willing to bet that your old iPhone 5 box is still sitting with it's earbuds unused too... I'll take 'em! (Has to be iPhone - from iPhone 3 onwards - iPad, iPod, Nano won't work as they do not have the microphone.) You can swing by the winery with them, or just drop them in a padded envelope and mail them to me and I'll send you $5 for each, plus your mailing costs.