We picked the Bressler Cabernet this morning. It was pretty fun. It was the first time Iâ€™ve seen David Abreuâ€™s crew night picking. I arrived there about 6:30am, when itâ€™s still really dark out, so I knew Iâ€™d get there before they started picking. I was driving down South Crane and I see these big lights, and think those guys are night picking!
Sure enough they had started a few hours earlier under the cover of darkness. Itâ€™s the thing people are doing these last few years. They can fit in more picking and get the grapes really cool. With the advent of sorting tables, itâ€™s a little less important to pick so clean. However, Davidâ€™s crew picks amazingly clean under these lights. It was a nice situation to pick under, and it was great to see it.
They shut down the lights about 7am, because the sun had come up. They finished within an hour after that. We got just over 9 tons of fruit. It went down to Laird to get crushed. We were first to get crushed at 11am. Stacey worked the little bit of sorting we can do before it hits the crusher. She was pulling out a few leaves here and there.
It looks really good in the tank. Itâ€™s the biggest tank that the Bresslerâ€™s have had to date. They are in a 10 ton fermenter with 9 tons of grapes. Itâ€™s pretty exciting for them. Iâ€™m really happy with how the fruit looks. Very little shriveling, and very good quality. We are going to let that soak overnight, and see what numbers we get tomorrow.
I also had a chance to taste Bob and Stacey on the Cab Franc and Petit Verdot blended with some Cab Franc. (The Petit Verdot is such a small lot that we have to combine it with something. Last year it was Cab, this year it was the Franc.) Both taste really good. It was good to let Bob and Stacey taste it while itâ€™s still on skins and fermenting away.
The Blue Oak Cabernet that we crushed for Selene on Tuesday is just getting started with its fermentation. There are some bubbles and a cap formation. It smells really good.
The Selene Merlot that we pressed out that same day is also doing really well. The press wine is just a touch sweet still, but boy does it taste good. The free run part of that will go down to barrels this Sunday.
The Frediani Cab Franc for Selene is still on skins. This is the two-week mark on skins. I think it needs about another week. It tastes good and itâ€™s nice and dry, but the tannins need to develop a little bit more. Maybe next week we can press it, or the following week.
The Sauvignon Blanc is all put to bed. We will probably rack a few more oak barrels late this month or early in November. Then we prep the barrels for the reds. I use a lot of my Oak barrels to ferment the Sauvignon Blanc. It only spends 4 to 8 weeks in the oak, and then I rack it up to a tank. Then the barrels are used in the red wine program.
Palmaz is doing very well. They picked a little Cab Franc today. It was looking good when I was out there with Tina on Wednesday. Iâ€™ll be out there again tomorrow to see whatâ€™s left.
We have the possibility of some light showers. I do see some scout clouds that come before a storm, and some fog coming through the Petaluma gap that looks pretty thick. They say if we get any rain it should be a trace up to a Â¼ of an inch. It should just settle the dust. Then they think it will warm up again, mid 80â€™s, which is good enough for grape ripening.
As of now, the Bresslerâ€™s are done, Dalla Valle is done, the Fisherâ€™s have a bit out, Palmaz has a bit out, and Selene has one vineyard still out. Iâ€™m going to stop by Stagecoach vineyards tomorrow to see how the Cab for Selene is doing. Weâ€™ll see if we canâ€™t get these last few grapes in the barn, so to speak, and get everyone finished off.
Once you have the grapes in, the scariness of the weather verses the quality of the grapes becomes less of an issue, and you are a little less at the mercy of nature and the universe. You can actually begin to schedule things, rather than having things have to happen right now, as with picking. Itâ€™s a very humbling thing to be at the mercy of weather (nature).