September 6- Picked our meager two rows of Gewürztraminer. Got maybe 120lbs. Kids helped me get the fruit into the press while Casey was at work. Pressed out to be 7 gallons, just enough wine for two and a half cases. Wonder what we’ll do with it?
September 14- Picked approximately 700lbs of Muscat Canelli. Fruit was in rough shape. Some was beautiful, perfect clusters, great fruit, others were half eaten by raccoons, Casey said some were still slimy from raccoons (eww), and some smelled so bad we tossed them. Good thing about wine, is it’s a natural sanitizing agent, so whatever is on the grapes that could be harmful to people is killed off pretty quickly once fermentation starts. So, now I just need to manage the things that are harmful to wine. We pressed the fruit, and due to our unfamiliarity with our equipment, aerated the crap out of it- exactly what you don’t want to do with your whites. Smells terrible! Hopefully we can get the juice cleaned up before starting fermentation.
September 17- After racking the Muscat twice, it actually smells like Muscat! Starting fermentation and we’ll see how it turns out.
September 20- Three day fermentation on the Muscat! Way faster than ideal, no temperature control makes it hard to slow things down… but it smells great! Like green apples, just like Muscat should (sigh of relief).
September 24- Picked Merlot today and had way more on those bushes than we thought- yes, I said bushes. The vines haven’t been managed/trained in a couple years. Had some friends out to help, which was very much needed. Ended the day with a pasta dinner and wine, it was a great day! Will finish picking tomorrow.
September 26- Bad words, lots of bad words were said under my breath. I blew the press bladder! We had finished picking Merlot yesterday after dark and were up until midnight. Casey worked today, so we pressed after the kids were in bed. Wasn’t paying enough attention and over inflated the bladder and the relief valve didn’t work. Fortunately, the first press load was well pressed, so cleaned up, and went to bed after midnight again- not sure what to do.
September 30- Colorado Nuovo is born! We destemmed the rest of the Merlot, pulled off about 15 gallons of must to add to the Merlot Rosé to boost the gallons, then left the rest in the bin. We received about half a ton of Crimson Cabernet and destemmed it into the bin with the Merlot. I wanted to do an early release red and I think this will make a great one! Nice fruit from the Merlot, acid from the Crimson Cabernet, and not much tannin from either… now just to find a press bladder (back order, of course) or a press I can use so it’s not on the skins too long.
October 1- The deer, raccoons and birds have eaten soooo much of our fruit! The entire back row of Riesling is basically destroyed. The animals have cost us several hundred pounds of fruit, and we don’t have any to spare. I’m already making less wine then I want to. We should have put bird netting up, but we didn’t have a way to do it and thought the noise maker would keep the birds away- but of course, it does nothing for the deer or raccoons. Lesson learned.
October 3- Colorado Nuova is just was I was hoping for- fruity acidity, not much tannin. Still figuring out how to press. Casey’s working 6 of the next 7 days! So harvesting is on hold until the weekend of the 15th. By then, Riesling and possibly Cabernet Sauvignon will both be ready. It’s going to be a busy weekend!