Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Wine Things Happening / Random Notes for BC

Here at Township 7 we've crushed our Sauvignon Blanc. A good but tiny crop. I've got a question: How could we project 10 tons, then the grower suggests it will be a little light then we adjust to 8 tons then we actually receive 3.5 tons? That's about a ton/acre and while it was nice fruit it certainly didn't taste/look like super low yield stuff. Where'd the other 60% go?

Anyfreakinhow: we're in a little lull while we wait for Chards and some Semi to slide in over the next 5 - 10 days. Then probably some Syrah followed by Merlot and then whatever Cab manages to ripen.

Desperadoes and such: Lots of talk around the valley and across the wine growing province about cash rich newbie wineries offering ridiculous amounts of money to growers for fruit that is already contracted. When you first hear the $$ mentioned the reaction is: no, that's not right, you misunderstood. But after awhile you hear it from other sources. In the last 18 months there's been some boat rockin' by the new breed of wine folk. Who knows how it will all shake out.
Here's one scenario: grower A decides to cash in and sell to the young and the trendy. New winery fails to produce the kind of quality that cements a relationship with the consumer and after a year or two is no longer a happy camper. The honeymoon is over. Now what does Grower A do?

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Absent - Caught in Whirlpool of Life

I haven't dropped off the face of the earth but you can imagine what this time of the year is like for a winemaker in the northern hemisphere. Add to that a change of residence, change of employer and the consulting side of things expanding and you may get some appreciation of what is up!

A quick vintage report: We're on the cusp of crush here in the Okanagan Valley. Some early varieties have started to pick but the great majority are waiting for a couple of more points on the Brix chart before harvest can commence. A cooler September than we've been used to has slowed things nicely and it looks like we'll have a well-paced crush with various varieties arriving at the winery in intervals rather than all at once in a hot year. The long range forcast today shows a sharp temperature upswing at the end of the month. If that holds we can expect a flurry of activity in the first week of October.

This slight delay has been personally beneficial. I've used the extra time to get used to my new environments at Township 7 and elsewhere. I toured a few other locations and, frankly, it's a little late to be pouring concrete and expect to use it this autumn.

I'll try to update when I'm able.