Good Thing We're Not Making Rosé this Year...

(... equally good to be drinking it, instead. Our very last bottle of the 2008 Robert Sinskey Vineyards Vin Gris of Pinot Noir. Sigh.) Anyway, why is it a good thing we're not making rose this year? Well, while we're still:

1. working those day jobs;

2. getting used to the new place, after about a million full days of moving out of the old place;

3. getting ready for school to start for the little (just turned six!) and the not-so-little (10 in October!);

4. unpacking endless boxes; and

5. wondering each and every day of unpacking how in the world we ever accumulated so much crap;

the rose harvest has started for some of our favorite people and wineries in our beloved Central Coast. (Go

Wes and Clos Pepe!) But we're not quite ready to shift to harvest mode yet, so I think rosé-crafting will have to wait until we're actually living in wine country. And as a serious rosé aficionada, I'm fully planning on making rosé before I die.

Where You At?

Our Santa Barbara Highlands Grenache and Syrah fruit still is a few weeks out. (Thankfully.) Rockstar Laetitia/SBH Vineyard Manager Lino sent an e-newsletter last week with an update on everything, and it sounds and looks like all is developing well. Take a look at our beautiful Grenache fruit!

Santa Barbara Highlands Grenache, late August 2009.

Relatively speaking, it's been crazy hot up there this past week, just like it's been crazy hot here. (92? On the coast of North County San Diego? As those of you who are my Facebook friends know, I'm looking for my money back. If I wanted this kind of weather, I'd be in Florida right now, living it up on the cheap.)

The ripeness timeline is always a give-or-take-a-week-or-two thing. Still, it should give us just enough days to completely clear out the garage and get it ready to become a winery. (Which, if you saw it right now full of kids' books, random linens and boxes full of who-knows-what, would be something you'd just have to take on faith. That is, if you didn't know Jody. That man can clean up like nobody's business.)

What's Up With the Equipment?

We've got a rented refrigerated truck with a liftgate(!) lined up whenever the call comes. We've gotten a pallet jack off Craigslist to move bins and barrel racks around, and pallets, when the time comes for bottling. Our four neutral oak barrels (three French, one American) -- gifted from a fantastic winemaker friend -- are set up on their racks -- gifted from another fantastic winemaker friend -- in their own corner of the garage. The A/C unit is purchased and ready to set up when the time comes. We're working with yet more amazing friends to see about borrowing destemming equipment.

(Winemaking's really all about the friends. Our back label will reflect this. Remember that for later.)

Fermenting bins are ordered. We just received our thermohydrometer, wine thief and 500-ml plastic cylinder for checking daily Brix readings. We have citric acid for cleaning (winemaking's also all about janitorial work).

Here's what's still on our wish list:

  • That our sweet, Gladys-Kravitzesque next-door neighbor -- who's lived in her home for 30 years -- fully supports our single messy, crazy day of crush (or happens to be out of town that day). (Did I mention we'll be using plastic tarps on the ground, so no square inch of precious concrete will be stained with grape residue? Did I mention Gladys has no idea what we're up to? And that since we moved in a week ago, she's been cleaning out her closets and giving all her treasures to the children? Today, we received a tiny, 15-year-old bird's nest in a Plexiglas box. I am not kidding.)
  • That the destemmer borrow comes through ... otherwise it's going to be a full-on long day(s?) of hand-destemming after the sort ... and gloves make me itchy ...

Keep reading, and hang on, everyone - it's about to get interesting.