Onward -- Or, More Glamorous Winemaking Tales

It's happened. We've bid adieu to Harvest 2010, after the press and barrel of the last bin of whole-cluster Syrah. That lengthy Friday evening left us with hands stained, muscles exhausted, and a farewell-piece of cellar graffiti that makes me feel poignant every time I see it.

And in the end...

The final barreling of the vintage served as a clarion call for Jody's harvest beard, which actually was his second harvest beard, due to a whole heap of logistical issues I won't get into here, but it should be noted that HB v.2 had only been around since mid-October, and still managed to become fairly prodigious. It's now just a memory, though, as the razor came a-calling and down, down went the brambly thicket of facial hair that served as equal parts manly display, cellar warmth, and crumb trap.

The beardage, whilst, it must be admitted, is swarthily interesting, does cause the cleft chin to disappear.

Once we put 2010 officially to bed, we directed our attention to blending the 2009s. The final outcome?

La Paloma Libresca, a spicy and luscious 100-percent Grenache;

La Belle Rêveuse, a darkly exciting Syrah-Grenache blend; and ... a rather unexpected and delicious cuvée that's headed to our top-secret second label. Keep your eyes and ears open!

Design Time

I am not a designer, by trade nor training, but I have a hopeless affinity for fonts and layout, and also know just enough Photoshop to (1) become convinced I should be able to design our wine label; and (2) become completely frustrated in the process -- yet, somehow, end up with something we really love. A few things, actually. The grind of this creative part of the winemaking life isn't dissimilar to the creation of the wine (although I can tell you that while wine pretty much makes itself: labels? Not so much.)

In any case, the front and back labels for our three 2009 releases are designed, rasterized, and uploaded to the printing company's FTP site. We'll talk to them on Monday about having an embossing die made to add some texture to the logo on the j.brix bottles, and ... wait, is anyone still reading? Sorry about the digression, there. I won't even get into the story about the font designers in Russia who made me some special characters to improve the look of the label. Unless you really want to know. (I told you I had a thing for fonts. Sigh.)

This is the mockup of our corks. They'll arrive any day. Hooray!

And it Brings Us Back To...

Racked and blended wine? Corks? Labels? And, oh, 75 cases of Burgundy bottles stacked on a pallet? Did I mention a sweet little Italian bottle-filling machine has come to live with us? This can only mean one thing:

Mis en bouteille au garage, baby.

This Friday, it's time to bottle the 2009s, and if you happen to be keen to join in the fun, well, let me know!

It's likely to be a fantastic time of filling, corking, and immaculately careful label-applying (if we can get them in time; otherwise, come back for the label-applying party). There'll also be some heavy lifting. And plenty of cleaning. 

It's just all part of this glamorous life.

Until next time ... thanks for reading!