Sales trip to Toronto

I spent the better part of  last week working in the Toronto market. Because the sale of wine and spirits is controlled by the Provincial government it is a very involved procedure. That said, Malcolm Cocks, our representative there,  and I had a very productive sales effort over the four days we worked together. Lots of nice restaurant throughout the city as well as social clubs and country clubs that do a lot of business with both old world and new world wines. Similar to the US, Rhone wines are a fairly tough sell in Toronto while bourdeaux wines are in more demand.

While I was there Pam, Vidal and Scott  harvested the first of our 09 vintage fruit. The Viognier we use in Prelude came off of Ken Riding’s new vineyard on Adelaide and it looks good. Today we will harvest  the Rousanne, tomorrow a little more Viognier from Don and Barb’s vineyard and possibly some Grenache at the end of the week. Only another couple of months and we’ll be wrapping up the 09 season!!

Always lots of work to be done here at this time of the year so if any of you are in the area, give me a call and stop by.

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Blending the 2008 Vintage

One of the really fun times of the year is when we get all the barrels down, get a 375 ml sample bottle of each wine, taste through all of them and then start to blend. If it weren’t for Scott Hawley’s superior palate  it would be the same as the room full of monkeys, typewriters and best sellers. Scott and I spent the better part of Monday trial blending all of our 2008 wines and we’re hyped about what we can all expect when the wines are released in October 2010. Because the yields were so low in 2008  the color and fruit intensity is extremely good. Our straight varietals are going to be fabulous and the blends will mature into some of the best wines we have made. We’ll be ready to barrel taste these wines in a month or so; stop by and give them a try.

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The Worry of the well

After successfully irrigating Sat am. I set the timer to irrigate another block that evening. While checking for any major leaks I noticed that not only were there no leaks but there was no irrigation taking place. After unsuccessfully trouble shooting it on Sun. I was convinced that the well was going dry!! The trusty folks from F & T Drilling showed up on Wed, pulled out the pipe and pump and found a bad check valve. And I learned that the water level was 220′ above the pump, a good thing. So, after a couple of sleepless nights, all is well re: water on the Lock Vineyard.

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How far off is harvest?

Went up to visit a new vineyard from whom we are sourcing Grenache for our 2009 Rendition and Viognier for the 2009 Prelude, our white Rhone blend. The vineyard, owned by Ken Riding,  is located on Adelaide Road close to Halter Ranch. The Viognier is maturing nicely and may be ready in a month or so. Its hard to believe that harvest is just around the corner. I’ll try to keep info current here so that if anyone is available to help during harvest you’ll know when to come!

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A Week of good weather

We are really enjoying some nice weather with early morning fog and temps in the low nineties. This enables us to cut back on our irrigation and conserve water for later in the year. We have our three new (used) stainless tanks ready to move into the barrel room in preparation for trial blending our ’08 wines in a few weeks. We will spend a day moving the barrels out, topping them all up  and checking the SO2 levels before moving the tanks in and replacing the barrels. It’s not a real busy time here but there’s always something to do.

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Vineyard activity

We’re just beginning to see veraison in some blocks of  the vineyard so from now on the focus will be on maintaing sufficient water to the vines. Due to the hilly nature of the vineyard we have closed the irrigation valves for the vines on the lower hillsides and will more heavily water the vines on top.

Checked the vines where we grafted some our Syrah to Petite Syrah and we have a good “take” with about 95% of the news grafts beginning to sprout.

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