Thursday, September 22, 2016
Winespeed is packed with fascinating wine facts and tidbits of vinous information. It's a fun, snappy read; included therein is a weekly wine recommendation, a 'Wine Question of the Week' and the 'Verbatim' feature - a quote from some or other wine-personage. And other good stuff. So what was so interesting to me about the 'Go Vatican!' item in Winespeed? Everything, it's the type of wine-factoid that I just geek-out on.
"16. Number of gallons of wine consumed per person annually in the Vatican City State--the highest per capita consumption of any country in the world. Only 836 people live in the Vatican, but the country's voluminous wine usage is partly the result of the Catholic celebration in which bread and wine are consecrated during the Mass. By comparison, U.S. per capita wine consumption is about 3 gallons."
Anyone interested can subscribe to Winespeed here.
Oh, and happy first day of autumn!
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Good fun and good wine.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
This year we experimented with rice hulls as a press aid and they really seemed to help with the extraction of more grape juice. There was plenty to go around, enough to share with this thirsty honey bee.
Whites down, reds to go.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
The weather has cooled down considerably the past two days and it's suddenly feeling quite autumn-like. I am glad that it has cooled down, (though, it has been quite chilly at breakfast the past couple of mornings), as it will buy me a little bit of time to get things organised for picking. Never a dull moment.
Friday, September 09, 2016
Even though it was a bit toasty out in the vineyard (especially yesterday afternoon) I had an enjoyable time and was even able to stop and have a look at the fruit, the odd insect (including the really odd insect that unexpectedly jumped on me, but which I reflexively flicked away before I could ID it) and the dark red leaf (in the photograph) with the telltale girdling on its petiole. Darn insects!
Tuesday, September 06, 2016
My niece, the one who sketched a glass of pretend wine for me when I was back home last April, and who is now 7 years old, recently presented me with another wine-themed drawing. Should I be worried, or at the very least slightly concerned, that each time this child wants to draw something for me it involves wine? Hmmm. I have been blogging for longer than she has been on the planet so I'm just going to blame it on osmosis. Or something.
Thanks to everyone for commenting on, and thus contributing to, Vinsanity.
Roll on year 9!
Sunday, September 04, 2016
With loud music for motivation, the bottling event went rather speedily. Vinomaker had done a lot of prep work yesterday, so things moved along at a brisk pace. I think I may have worked even quicker if I had had the musical accompaniment of The Ramones. But, instead, I acquiesced to Vinomaker's choice of music, Lynyrd Skynyrd, as he is the winemaker after all; I am just chief cook and (almost literally) bottle-washer.
Saturday, September 03, 2016
The 2016 growing season has been uncharacteristically cool and rather reminiscent of the 2010 growing season, methinks. The month of August has been much cooler than is normal, so ripening has slowed down for everyone in the Napa Valley. But the fruit looks great in Vinoland, so I think the future is looking sweet.
Friday, September 02, 2016
I usually like to post photographs of all four of Vinoland's grape varieties going through their particular physiological stages, but I was a bit busy this summer. I totally missed the Cabernet sauvignon (CS) grapevines going through veraison.
Vinoland's CS vines are 100% through veraison, as they should be this time of year, yes, even my little slowcoach Clone 4. And I missed it all. Now I have to get my head out of holiday-mode and into harvest-mode. (TWWIAGE harvested their first grapes of 2016, Sauvignon blanc, on August 25th.) The grapes themselves will keep me on schedule: I am now on their timetable.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
A quick trip out of Napa with Thud and his three oldest children found us at the Jelly Belly Candy Company (located at One Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield, of course). I just love seeing things being made and packaged (love bottling-time at TWWIAGE) and so I found the Jelly Belly factory very interesting. One can witness the entire jelly bean making process at this very busy production facility. We all had lots of fun, but at the same time learned a lot about food manufacturing.
Perhaps in an attempt to attract more adults, Jelly Belly are now offering wine and chocolate pairings in a '21 and over' tasting room. And grown-up jelly bean flavours like 'Champagne' and 'Draft Beer'. The champagne jelly beans tasted like stale, still white wine to me, but Thud thought the draft beer beans actually tasted like beer: my taste buds were not that convinced. Weird. I'll just stick with Juicy Pear, my favourite flavour.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
I had one glass of wine last Friday night, which was my and Vinomaker's anniversary, an agreeable 2014 Chenin blanc from Vinum Cellars (Clarksburg AVA). I had half a glass of beer at the Main Street Reunion car show on Saturday. And on Sunday, in celebration of Thud's birthday, I had two bottles of beer; a bottle each of the Kona Brewing Company's Castaway IPA and Fire Rock pale ale. Both beers were very pleasant and paired well with the tasty BBQ fare on my plate. I'm not complaining, I'm having fun.
This evening, my family and I are planning on throwing an Earthquake Party: it is two years since a rather angry temblor shook the Napa Valley to its roots. The little ones have suggested that we all eat jelly (Jello), popcorn and Pop Rocks. Kids!
Saturday, August 20, 2016
At the conclusion of the event we all lingered in one particular area to watch, and listen, as many of the cars and trucks fired up their engines and rolled out into the greater Napa Valley. Very impressive.
Friday, August 12, 2016
I had a quick taste of some secondary clusters, that I removed as I worked my way down the rows, and I have to say my little grape-babies have quite a bit of flavour already. And the crop looks beautiful. I can sleep soundly tonight knowing that my grapes are safe from hungry birds. Thanks kids!
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
It was a perfectly gorgeous day for sitting back, enjoying the views and being waited on hand and foot - for three hours. I did not really have anything to drink, well, just a small glass of Chandon bubbles, because I was driving. But I sure ate a lot. A very enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.
Tuesday, August 09, 2016
George MacLeod and his family bought acreage back in 1974 without really knowing anything about winegrape growing, it seems. But he brought plenty of passion with him. If one is in doubt as to Mr. MacLeod's romance with the land, his inscription to me, at the front of the book, says,"To Vinogirl - Here is a true vineyard love story! With affection, George, grower". Case closed.
The Land Remembers has some interesting sections on soil, topography and water, with accompanying charts and photographs - all the vine-geeky stuff I love. There is a short chapter on 'Microbial Terroir' which has really piqued my curiosity. I am really enjoying all the viticultural reading I have been doing of late. This book is a lovely addition to my humble reference library.
The book was written with Arthur Dawson, and other contributors. One of the contributors is yours truly: yes, I contributed a photograph of a smudge pot (page 79). Ta da! That's my 15 minutes of fame done.