Friday, December 19, 2014

Miscellaneous: Kitty Knows Best

Cats always find the coolest spot in the house or garden in the summer. In winter, they always find the warmest spot. If our cat, Milo, isn't curled up on someone's bed, he's always outside. In the hot summer months he sleeps under tall bamboo clumps in the side yard. In the cold, wet months he's just as likely to be outside. When I pull into the driveway at this time of year, he often hops up onto the hood of the car and sleeps there until the engine cools. Sleep is good anywhere the temperature is right. I understand this. It reminds me of lying out on the sun-heated concrete around the swimming pools of childhood.

Wines I'm Making: Bottling and Racking (December 19, 2014)

Busy yesterday and today doing wine chores. I bottled our 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc yesterday. We made 40 bottles in 2013, which is fairly normal, although in a small harvest year like 2014, we make only about 25 bottles. 2013 was our tenth vintage. I've just designed a label. I'll be taking it down to the printers to be printed this afternoon.

This morning I racked and sulfited the 2014 Cabernet wine, which has been undergoing malolactic fermentation since the middle of October. I didn't bother to test it. I'm assuming the fermentation is finished. I also racked and sulfited the 2014 rosé from our Sangiovese grapes. As usual, racking was a breeze. A layer of tartaric acid crystals always forms over the lees in this wine (below), which means there's no danger of picking up unwanted sediment during racking. Next I will have to design labels for the rosé. I also have a hard cider fermentation ready for bottling, but that will have to wait until another day.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Rain: Yet more rain (December 15, 2014)

It rained much of last night and most of today (December 15, 2014). There's another 1.1 inches in the rain gauges this afternoon. That brings our total for the 2014-2015 rain year to 16.40 inches--now well above normal, but it's still early and we haven't by any means made up for the drought of the past two years. That said, this is good. Let it keep it up.

[Update: Another 0.2 inches overnight. Our total as of the morning of the 16th was thus 16.6 inches.]

[Update: By the morning of December 18, we had had another 1.25 inches of rain at my location, bringing our total to 17.85 inches. Right now the forecast is for more rain tomorrow and again on Saturday, December 20.]

[Yet another update: As of the evening of the 19th, we had received another 0.85 inches. Total now stands at 18.70 inches.]

[There's more: As of the 21st, we'd added another 0.35 inches. It just keeps raining--which is great. We need it. People are even beginning to get tired of it. Total is now 19.05 inches at my location.]
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