Saturday, November 18, 2006

Deep Autumn Settles

Autumn settles fully on Chez Ray, leaving the bare vines to watch a few robed trees slowly shed remaining leaves.

Color vanishes from the hill, with only an occasional showy red or orange popping through.

Three dozen bare root thornless blackberry plants sit tucked in the earth waiting for another weekend for planting. In coming years, they'll produce an outstanding jam and a pleasant sipping sweet red wine.

In the winery, glass carboys have been sanitized and drained. As you can see here, my carboy draining technique may not be exactly earthquake-proof. Don't try this at home!

Separated buckets of destemmed and stemmed Lodi zinfandel have been pressed and blended with approximately 20% Lodi petit syrah (for color and depth).

Cleaned carboys have been filled with the Lodi zinfandel/petit syrah blend. With oak staves now inserted, they sit quiet and undisturbed in the cellar.

The cool fermentation and extended maceration seem to have produced a rich young wine. I like what I'm seeing so far. My Napa and Sonoma grapes, when they arrive, will receive the same treatment.

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