Today is Saturday and the rain is once again falling hard and slightly sideways as there is a strong wind accompanying it. The past few days have been busy with harvesting and processing fruit and the weather was almost cooperative. On Wednesday we brought in the last fruit from the Bergström Vineyard in Dundee ; the Wadenswil and Dijon 115 blocks. The fruit was small and concentrated with an almost negligible percentage of botrytis and little bird damage (which for this time of year is great news!) Earlier on in the year I might have added more whole clusters into these fermentations but now with the risk of bunch rot inside the clusters and molds on the rachis of the cluster, we will carefully sort and de-stem 100% of this fruit.
On Thursday we harvested the first fruit from the de Lancellotti Vineyard and all of the fruit from Palmer Creek . The Palmer Creek fruit is grown by Janet and Larry Richards down in the northern part of the Eola Hills and is always gorgeous Pinot Noir which has made up a great percentage of our Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and Cumberland Reserve Pinot Noir over the past few years. The de Lancellotti fruit looked to be in
excellent shape with a small percentage of botrytis, which was easily sorted in the field, and no signs of dilution. This wine should be a great example of the 2005 vintage as the brix level was 23.1 and pH was 3.3 (excellent numbers for balanced Pinot Noir with acid and low alcohol!) We also harvested the Eyrie Chardonnay on Friday. These old vines planted in 1966 by David and Diana Lett had very low yields this year and we were thankful to have received 1.5 tons of good looking fruit. Our good friend Jason Lett even hand delivered them in his pick up truck two bins at a time (his harvest truck broke down.) The Chardonnay is whole cluster pressed for 3 hours with no tossing of the skins and stems. It is then racked to tank where it will settle cold for 48 hours before being racked into stainless and oak barrels for fermentation with 5 different yeast types.
On Friday we harvested the Cherry Grove Vineyard which is a new vineyard we are working with near Forest Grove, Bishop Creek and Canary Hill. The fruit that is arriving is showing some wear and tear from such an extended hang time but the flavors are great, the skins and seeds have ripe tannins and the berries are leaching out dark color almost immediately.
Today is Saturday and we are not harvesting fruit because of the rain. Sunday through next Wednesday is forecasted to be very beautiful and dry so we will resume picking tomorrow and finish up most everything by Wednesday of next week. We still have Hyland, Nysa, Maresh and Temperance Hill Pinot Noir to come and Wahle, Vigna Giovanni, Chehalem Mountains , Cherry Grove and Five Mountains Pinot Gris and Riesling as well as the Wren Chardonnay. For now though, we are going to spend the day cleaning up the winery, racking new wines to barrel and feasting! Our good friend Michael Denton from Merenda Restaurant in Bend Oregon is bringing us fresh king crab, shrimp bisque, crab cakes, crusty bread and Champagne for lunch. After all, all work and no play..