Grapes coming in!

<p>You can’t believe the weather here. Absolutely stunning. Warm, sunny days and cool evenings. Harvest 2009 is shaping up to be a beauty.</p><p>SO.. Here’s a look at the work involved in receiving grapes.</p><p>Step 1: You get a trailerload of beautiful Sauvignon Blanc, freshly picked…</p><p><a href=”; style=”display: inline;”><img alt=”No1″ border=”0″ class=”at-xid-6a00e553ed63f088340120a5401a36970b image-full ” src=”; title=”No1″ /></a> </p><p>You <em>could

Welcome to the first grapes of 2009…


This is some lovely Sauvignon Blanc, freshly picked at about 8:15am Manzano-time. These are grapes from the famous “Petr” rental property we have. If you think this looks good, wait ’til we go and get his Friulano…

The vineyards were sun-drenched and cool, with a hint of a breeze. Very nice picking conditions…


The fruit is really healthy and ripe, with nice acidity. I don’t have any numbers yet for the geeks, but I’ll post them when I get them.


The picking team this year is a nice mix of folks from last year and some new, young faces…


I said this last year (and it’s worth repeating) that picking isn’t just picking… Pickers need to know how to look at a bunch and get rid of anything that isn’t close to perfect. Here’s Greta picking…


…And here’s Greta cleaning off the imperfect grapes…


That’s the kind of vendemmiatricce you want. Someone who cares enough to do the job right.

The vendemmia has begun!

</em> send these grapes through a crusher/destemmer (More on that later…) or you can toss them in the press in<em> whole bunches</em>, which is a nice way of really getting to the pure flavor of the grapes. This is best used only on perfect fruit. Since these grapes will probably go into <em>Vespa Bianco</em>, we’ll press them whole. (Stems also act as a sort of &quot;drainage mesh&quot; allowing juice to drain more easily.)</p><p>Step 2: Into the press!</p><p><span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><a href=”; style=”display: inline;”><img alt=”No2″ border=”0″ class=”at-xid-6a00e553ed63f088340120a597073e970c image-full ” src=”; title=”No2″ /></a> </span> Andrea is up on the trailer putting the grapes into the press. On the ground you have Ettore and Cristian waiting to rinse the grape cassettes with our home-made, hi-tech, semi-automatic hi-pressure cassette washer (TM).</p><p>Step 3: Toss the empty cassette to Ettore…</p><p><a href=”; style=”display: inline;”><img alt=”No3″ border=”0″ class=”at-xid-6a00e553ed63f088340120a5401e96970b image-full ” src=”; title=”No3″ /></a> </p><p>… And Ettore runs it through the washer…</p><p><a href=”; style=”display: inline;”><img alt=”No4″ border=”0″ class=”at-xid-6a00e553ed63f088340120a5401f50970b image-full ” src=”; title=”No4″ /></a> </p><p>and the rinsed cassettes are stacked into 3-packs…</p><p><span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><a href=”; style=”display: inline;”><img alt=”No5″ border=”0″ class=”at-xid-6a00e553ed63f088340120a5970e16970c image-full ” src=”; style=”width: 212px; height: 311px;” title=”No5″ /></a> </span><a href=”; style=”display: inline;”><img alt=”No6″ border=”0″ class=”at-xid-6a00e553ed63f088340120a5403b45970b ” src=”; style=”width: 209px; height: 311px;” title=”No6″ /></a> </p><p>…and then the clean cassettes are taken back out to the vineyards to be refilled by the pickers…</p><p><a href=”; style=”display: inline;”><img alt=”No7″ border=”0″ class=”at-xid-6a00e553ed63f088340120a5972526970c image-full ” src=”; title=”No7″ /></a> <br /> </p>


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