Would you drop everything?

Renuka and Bob Dayal
Renuka and Bob Dayal.

When I realized we had two tons of Syrah coming in last week with neither winery wanting to claim it there was a revelation that with some fast planning and good luck in getting supplies locally this could be a fun project.  I decided I was ready to make this happen.  Half of the wine will go to the owners of the vineyard, Bob and Renuka Dayal.  This week I was able to meet them and see their two acres of Syrah for myself.

Originally from Fiji, Bob grew up on a large farm planted with peanuts and sugarcane.  Renuka, his wife of 30 years, was born in Fiji but raised in Oregon and California.  They moved from California to Walla Walla in 2004 with three children and no plans to grow grapes.  A year after arriving, Bob took classes from Stan Clarke at WWCC’s EV program; Stan eventually helped put their vineyard in.  Grapes would be the least water intensive crop over time, same with workload, heavy in the beginning then maintenance, and besides, they love wine.  In 2010 Renuka took a few classes from Jeff Popick and Tim Donahue.

Dayal Estate Vineyard

They have had many wineries make them wine, something they don’t want to do themselves.  I feel fortunate to have an opportunity to play with these grapes this year.  The local supplier had just what I wanted in stock, my family has stepped in to help make this wine (juggling schedules and making sure everything got done), and this coming weekend we will press the wine from the skins with the Dayal’s on-hand.

Making Syrah grapes into wine:

Dayal Syrah, nearly finished fermenting.
Primary fermentation is done, secondary fermentation is underway in the Dayal Syrah.

Yup, I was ready to drop everything to make this wine.  I topped the barrels again this week, which I did when we first began harvest two months ago.  As we began sampling grapes and anticipating their arrival at the cellar I had no idea there would be such a prize at the end of the season.  With a bit more patience we will see how this wine comes together.  Cheers!

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