Sunday, July 6, 2014

Making a Change

This blog has worked great for the past several years, but in order to simplify matters, I have started a new blog Making Wine 2014. 

If you wish to continue following our wine adventures you can reach the new blog at or on the bar at the top of Day by Day:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

April 6, 2014

Another busy week in the vineyard and the winery.

The grafting project appears to be a success. There are still six plants that have not had bud break, but it is obvious they are right on the verge.

Stanley has tied up all the vines and weeded both vineyards. It all looks very orderly.

He applied the Bayer insecticide.

We have a broken gate post on the lower vineyard and that will have to be addressed as soon as we return.

In the winery, all the wine has been racked at least once except the Sangiovese. That will be a high priority when we return.

I overshot on the metabisulfite. I was aiming for 20 ppm, but I got a consistent 32.

Petite Syrah 32ppm
Jardin Botanico Cabernet (6 1/2 glass carboy) 32ppm
Joint Barrel 32ppm

Stanley retested the 2013 Blend It has 24ppm
Jardin Botanico Shiraz 44ppm
Sangiovese 12ppm.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

March 2, 2014

A busy, busy week. We racked the Hecho a Mano blend and bottled what we needed for the "Taste of Parras" and a few bottles for us. It is delicious!

Raul came to do the grafting. We grafted 44 Zinfandel vines. Out with the Zin and in with more Cabernet.

Stanley has pruned all the grapes except for the remaining arm on the newly grafted plants. The vineyards are almost weed free. Ferdi sent a helper to finish up the weeding. We're leaving the vineyard in good shape.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 10, 2013

Racked 2013 Blend into a 60 gallon barrel augmented with 5 gallons of Joint Barrel.
Added the oak spirals.

Bottled 5 gallons of Vendimia Alianza 2013 wine.

Eduardo visited the winery with Sr. Morales and two other gentlemen.

Later, we had a great visit with Eduardo, Magalie, Conchita, her son, and Antonio to determine how funds from the Alianza should be spent.

Friday, August 16, 2013

White Zinfandel 2012

July 15, 2013

We added sugar, yeast, and Bentonite to the five gallons of racked Zinfandel from 2012.

August 16, 2013

After a full month, there has been no evidence that fermentation has restarted.  Our second attempt to make sparkling wine seems to have failed.  However, the wine is delicious!  It has been racked into a clean five gallon carboy.  It is racked and stored under the sink.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Hecho a Mano Sangiovese 2013

August 8, 2013

39 pounds.  Set to ferment in a small container.  The very disappointing small harvest is due - at least in part - to some corrections Stanley made in the early spring in the pruning process.  Not only were there fewer grape bunches, but the bunches were smaller and the individual grapes were smaller than in the past.  Low Ph is too low and has been corrected by adding just less than two quarts of high acid grapes.

Brix 26
Ph 4.12
Acid 6.0

There was insufficient juice to take any off for fermenting as white wine.  Sigh . . . . .

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hecho a Mano Petite Syrah - 2013

August 2, 2013

234 pounds
Brix 23
Ph 3.4
Acid 8

The grapes were not as ripe as we would have liked, but they had begun to shrivel significantly and were falling off the stem.

We found 10 different bunches with the beginnings of rot so it's a good thing we picked today in spite of the lack of intense ripeness.  The grapes taste good and the seeds are beginning to turn brown.  Another few days might have made a huge difference.

August 9, 2013
Pressed the Petite Syrah.  It is in a 25 gallon barrel.  We were short five gallons.  Made up the difference with 5 gallons of Jardin Botanico Merlot.