Harvest 2013 Update

October 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

October 21st, 2013

This morning we started in on our final blocks to be picked for the 2013 harvest – the “’01” and “’02” Petit Verdot blocks at Shenandoah Springs.  Most likely it will take us three days to pick through these, and also three days to destem them at the winery.  I am excited to see this fruit – it is ripe and quite excellent for a dense, juicy style of Petit Verdot that most likely will be used for the base of a varietal bottling.  It will be a good way to finish harvest, and will give us some fermentations to last into November.

Not so pink wine.

Not so pink wine.

As in most years, we have a number of exciting experiments bubbling away in the cellar – four different rose wines, more specified block separations, diversity of fermentation times and temperatures, larger use of uninoculated fermentations, etc.  I won’t even tell you what all we’re doing with Chambourcin.  It’s been an exciting vintage not only for these reasons, but because we’re seeing considerable elevation in fruit quality in vineyard blocks which we were working with in hopes of achieving better balance and more uniform ripeness.  It will be some time before we can make any concrete conclusions on these wines, but the work seems to have promise.

Cabernet Franc press wine.  Or is it Burdeas Tinto?

Cabernet Franc press wine. Or is it Burdeas Tinto?

The weather has cooperated very well for the 2013 vintage.  We only saw one strong rain event – about 4 days in which we got 4 inches – but this came at the tail end of harvest and did not affect much.  It was a cooler ripening period for us, punctuated by a spurt of warmth in early October, which we were able to take advantage of to heat fermentations and push our Cab Sauv blocks into fuller ripeness.  All in all we have a lot to be thankful for.

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