Saturday, October 15, 2011
The Cabernet grapes tested at 22 brix and a pH of 3.13. The Sangiovese, from which we will make a rosé, as usual, tested at 20 brix and a pH of 3.10. One school of thought says grapes for red wine should be picked when the square of the pH times the brix reading is around 260 and that whites grapes (or red grapes for rosé) are optimally ready when that formula yields 200. Using this method, the Cabernet grapes are at 215.5, the Sangiovese at 192. If the grapes were at the targets I usually use (the Cabernet at 24.5 brix, the Sangiovese at 22 brix), the Cabernet would be about right if by that time the pH had risen a little--say, to around 3.3. The Sangiovese grapes are closer. In any case, I think waiting is the right decision for both. So far, there is no sign of mold or other damage to the grapes, although I did notice a yellow jacket in a grape with a broken skin. Vigilance is in order. What we really need is a few days of temperatures in the upper 80s (which may be wishful thinking--the 10-day outlook is for cloudy skies and temperatures mostly in the mid-70s). The past four days of dry warmth have done little to raise sugar levels. The waiting game continues.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
On Sunday, we began the day at Wellington, where we tasted the entire range of available wines, which included some interesting port-style dessert wines. A newly released 2009 Chardonnay was a standout along with the current vintage of the Morhardt Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon. I like this winery for its high-quality wines, reasonable prices, and unpretentious tasting room staffed by genuinely friendly people. The 1920s Carignane vines in front of the tasting room were heavy with fruit and beginning to show autumn color in the leaves. We tasted next at Enkidu before having lunch at Café Citti. After lunch we tasted at Chateau St. Jean. On the way back to the airport, we detoured to do some quick shopping at Dean and Deluca (a small part of the cheese selection is shown below) and then stopped briefly at Gloria Ferrer just to take in the view (bottom photo). The deck was packed with visitors taking in the same view along with some sparkling wine. It's always a pleasure to show visitors our beautiful wine country.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
For more information about bird watching in Sonoma County, see my Website Sonoma County Bird Watching Spots.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
For more found art, see my blog Serendipitous Art.
Monday, October 10, 2011
I hadn't been expecting rain again today, but it was raining when I got up and it's been drizzling on and off all day. Not good for the grapes, but it's supposed to be warm and sunny for the rest of the week. We'll see. An additional 0.6 inches fell, bringing our 2011-2102 rainy season total now to 2.3 inches, which is well ahead of the historical average for October 10 in Santa Rosa, which is 0.69 inches. So, we're off to a wet start.