In the Vineyard
It’s winter, or so the calendar says, but you couldn’t prove it with the dry and sunny weather we’ve been having! Pruning is happening at a rapid pace out in the Bartholomew Estate vineyards, as we need to get it done before budbreak. In fact, if timed properly, late pruning will set budbreak back a bit, thereby reducing the chance of frost damage if the vines push a bit too early.
This year we are converting our Viviano’s Block Syrah from cordons to canes. This means that instead of two permanent arms, from which each year’s new growth emerges, there will just be a trunk and a “head.” Then each year two of the strongest shoots are kept and tied to the wire to become next year’s temporary arms. This cycle is repeated every season. We already train our Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon this way. It requires more skill and time on the part of the pruners, but it results in more consistent crop levels of high-quality fruit.
In the Winery
It still feels like winter in the cellar, because we have a lot of cold wine. 2021 Zinfandel Rose, Sauvignon Blanc, and Marsanne/Roussanne will be bottled in at the end of February. They are out of barrel, blended, and sitting in chilled tanks as I write this. My office is about 55 degrees as a result!
White and pink wines often form crystals of potassium bitartrate (known to cooks as cream of tartar) when they are chilled. We “cold stabilize” the wine ahead of time to prevent the crystals from happening in the bottle later. There is no change to the flavor from this process, it just keeps the wines looking their best. All three of these wines are tasting, as well as looking, wonderful. I look forward to sharing them with you!