I would think everyone has heard “Life is what happens while we are busy making plans” by now; that is how Crush 2014 is starting for us. Friday morning the flatbed truck that was scheduled back in January, repeating the order from the previous year, was interpreted as a box truck by the rental company! I took my midterm, blithely unaware of this hiccup, and discovered my afternoon wasn’t going to be booked after all. It frustrated me to know the Sauvignon Blanc grapes were hanging, ready and ripe for us to begin crush as we had planned. Texting my husband with requests for him to see if his employer had a truck or trailer we could borrow, texting the wine maker, Jason, with my different ideas and questions probably didn’t make either one of them happy with me as both were busy. Thankfully, Jason was able to redeem the afternoon – we took samples from the local vineyards!
Picking four samples from three vineyards we headed back to the Locati Farm where Locati Cellar wines are made. Crushing the sample bags, running acid and pH levels. When we discovered the densitometer had grown legs we had to press as much juice from each of the sample bags as we could to use the hydrometer to get Brix. Note to self, always get a sample large enough to use a hydrometer! Locally the acid levels were running high and Brix were still too low, so we know we aren’t going to have more than one grape to crush at a time right now.
Saturday morning we were able to borrow a trailer to bring the bins to Sagemoor
Vineyards to be retrieved Monday mid-morning. Being so close to Red Mountain AVA the three of us decided to spend some time at the local wineries exploring the Red Mountain AVA fruit at the source. Five wineries, some lunch and lots of craziness ensued as we visited with each proprietor or staff member and sipped the offerings. From a very new, young couple with the zeal and energy to push their dreams forward to some of the oldest vineyards on the southwest facing slope being made into wine by those responsible for planting them. It was a good learning decision; it was a great experience. We will have to make time to visit a few wineries we didn’t have time for this time.
Sunday morning, bright and early, a few of us headed into a small vineyard to thin fruit. This entails removing the majority of the grapes from the vineyard to give the remaining fruit time to really ripen and hand the fruit.
It was several hours with four of us working. Then it was time to clean and move equipment at the Lagana crush pad so we are really ready for the fruit. Now we pronounce ourselves ‘ready’ for fruit; now we expect the flatbed trailer to show up this morning so we can bring back our fruit to press. Monday will not start before dawn, but it will certainly be a late night.