I got to sleep in this morning! I was waiting for Whitney Fisher, from Fisher Vineyards, to call me and I knew it wouldnâ€™t be before 8:30am. She had some things to do early this morning at the winery including pump-overs, loading Chardonnay grapes into the press, and putting some Chardonnay juice down to barrels. She called me around 9am, and we arranged to meet at Mt. Veeder Road on the Oakville Grade to look at a vineyard together.
The only problem was the full size bus that was stuck on the second hairpin turn (on the Napa side) blocking the entire road. It wasnâ€™t going anywhere soon, since both of the back wheels were about half a foot off the ground. So I had to turn around and go back (I was coming from the Sonoma side). There isnâ€™t any cell phone reception up there, so I had to wait to get farther down the mountain to call Whitney. Luckily she got the message, as she was coming up the mountain from the Napa side.
We rescheduled, so I went around the long way to check on a Selene vineyard, up at Stagecoach. I tasted the grapes up there and they definitely arenâ€™t going to be ready this week. They are improving in flavor, but still have a little greenness to them. I ran into Jan Krupp, the main owner of Stagecoach, and got caught up with him with what heâ€™s doing, and told him what I saw with the grapes.
Then I went down to Laird to check in on the Selene Sauvignon Blanc that we still have fermenting. I wrote the pumpover requests for the two red fermenters that we picked yesterday, the Frediani Merlot and Cab Franc. They were just yeasted today.
I stopped by Andretti, to check on the Bressler Merlot fermentation. I got there just as they finished a pump-over. It smells really good. Itâ€™s at about 5 brix today, and at 82 degrees. Itâ€™s had a really nice fermentation. I grabbed a sample for Bob and Stacey and headed out for St. Helena.
On the way up to the Bresslerâ€™s I saw the same bus that was stuck on the grade on the side of Hwy 29. It looked like it was seeking some repair.
I arrived at the Bresslerâ€™s, and was able to talk Stacey into getting off the exercise bike and come walk the vineyard with Bob and I. We confirmed a pick for this coming Wednesday. We are going to pick their Cab Franc and the Petit Verdot. We also confirmed that the Cabernet is going to be into the following week before we make a pick decision. It has some nice flavors, but isnâ€™t quite there yet. The both really liked the Merlot sample I brought them. Stacey and I chatted about how unpredictable the football games are this year.
On the way home, I stopped to grab a donation Magnum for our good friend Noel. Sheâ€™s helping to organize an auction for a good cause. I also picked up some â€˜mystery winesâ€™ from my stash, so I can play â€˜stump the chumpâ€™ with Skippy. She does that to me all the time by disguising a bottle in a paper bag. Iâ€™m pretty good at guessing the vintage, varietal and even the appellation. Itâ€™s pretty hard to guess the winery.
I have a pick tomorrow for one of my clients. Iâ€™ll walk the estate vineyards while Iâ€™m there for the picking, and we might do a pressing there as well. That will be a pretty full day.