2020 Fall Grape Season Coming Up

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mainshipfred

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I'll be doing a Zinfandel and Touriga from Cali but everything else will be local. More than likely a Voignier and Petit Manseng for whites but might sub a Vidal Blanc or Albarino for one of them. Those will be 6 - 8 gallon batches. For reds I'm going to make less varietals but larger quantities of Norton, Tannat, and Petit Verdot, thinking 20+ gallons of each. If I can get my hands on some Cab Franc or Nebbiollo I might do that as well. I already have 14 or so gallons of Cab and Shiraz from spring.
 

Boatboy24

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Assuming I'm gainfully employed, I'm leaning in a similar direction to Fred. Will probably do another 'double' batch of Zin/Petite Sirah field blend. In fact, my 2019 version of that needs to come out of the barrel and be replaced with my Touriga. For my second red, I'm not sure yet. And if I can mooch off of Fred's connection again, I'll probably do local Viognier and Petite Manseng again.
 

CDrew

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I feel like planning is virtually impossible! There is no way to know when grapes will be ripe, what grapes will be available and what my schedule will look like! With that said, I have goals, rather than plans. Plans will need to wait a few years until I semi-retire.

I honestly think most "Field Blends" these days are a myth. They are fermented separately and then blended. The one notable exception I know is the Lytton Springs vineyard at Ridge. That vineyard has numerous red grapes (Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, Carignan, alicante, mourvedre) all randomly planted in the same field and harvested at the same time.

For 2020 my goals are: (aiming for 60 gallon total production plus or minus)
Primitivo/Zinfandel-This will be my 4th year making grapes from this vineyard and since it belongs to a friend, there's always a friendly wine competition on pick day.
Cabernet Franc-This will be a new one for me, but @NorCal is managing the purchase and I'm hoping to buy 1/2 ton (split with 2 other wine makers).
Sauvignon Blanc-This is a request from my wife, no source of grapes yet, but working on it. White wine is new territory for me.
Syrah-A maybe this year, but since I have vintages from '18 and '19, I'd like to keep the vertical going.

Wish list for 2020-
Barbera-One of my favorite food wines
Rose-Was fun and tasty 2019-
I'll be opportunistic depending on what is available in September and October.

Good luck everyone!
 

The Dutchman

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My plans for this fall are:

6 gallons of Noble Muscadine. I know not everyone is a fan of muscadines, but I have made some really good dry versions of it in the last years.
This year will be the first time I adjust acidity downward for it, to see what that does to this variety.

6 gallons of Noble Muscadine Rose. Got to press it as fast as possible because the muscadine skins will give of their color really fast.

6 Gallons of Tempranillo. Getting 4 lugs and do 1 lug Saignee method, then add those skins to the rest.

6 gallons of syrah. Same as the tempranillo do 4 lugs.

6 gallons of Muscat juice. Was very happy with last year, so I will make it again.

6 gallons of Chenin Blanc juice.

and 30 to 34 gallons of a red blend consisting of 3 buckets of Sangiovese, 2 buckets of Syrah, and 2 lugs of Carignan.
And to that, I will add all the Syrah and Tempranillo skins after I press those, so I can do an extended maceration of about a week to 10 days on those skins.

Also not necessarily trying to promote my business, but I got set up to be a local distributor for F Colavita & Son this year in Northwest Arkansas.
Just throwing it out there because last year there was no distributor for this entire region, so if there are people in this area wanting grapes or juice, feel free to reach out to me.
 

Ignoble Grape

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Went to visit the grower last weekend. First outing in 3 months. Cabernet all the way!

The plan so far:
  • 500 lbs Cab Sav. I'll be breaking this into 3 batches: 2 for me to play with yeast, 1 for The Girl. She's going to be in charge of making her own wine since she's stuck at home from college this semester. It will be ready for the big 2-1.
  • 400 lbs of Merlot - Standard.
  • 200 lbs of Petite Verdot.
I have to say, I'm really happy I have a hobby through all of this.
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CDrew

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You know it’s serious now!

Time to get yeast for this year so I went down to Lodi Wine Labs. They had fully restocked the central table with this year's yeast. 500gm packages of almost every yeast ever mentioned here on the forum. So I got 500gm of fresh Avante but still have about 50-60gm of last year's which I am going to see if it survived and can still be used. Really starting to look forward to fall and wine making as it's a beacon of hope in this COVID trainwreck.

Also heard yesterday that both the Primitivo and Syrah vineyards are in great shape and a good harvest is anticipated.

So wishing everyone the best wine season which will start for some in August and for me in September.

B48342FB-6319-416C-A059-961A25D9F347.jpeg
 
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Johnd

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I'm really on the fence about winemaking this year. I've got a full 60 from 18 ready to bottle this fall, plus a 60 and a 30 from 19, and still have three carboys of wine left from 19 that I've yet to do anything with. Think I might just do a small batch, enough to add to the 18 gallons I have to fill up the 60 that'll empty in the fall. Some sort of blend, I've got 12 gallons of cab and 6 of petit verdot. Should be able to make a go with that............
 

CDrew

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I'm really on the fence about winemaking this year. I've got a full 60 from 18 ready to bottle this fall, plus a 60 and a 30 from 19, and still have three carboys of wine left from 19 that I've yet to do anything with. Think I might just do a small batch, enough to add to the 18 gallons I have to fill up the 60 that'll empty in the fall. Some sort of blend, I've got 12 gallons of cab and 6 of petit verdot. Should be able to make a go with that............
But...You need to keep your West Coast pipeline running smoothly! My vote-do at least a 60 gallon barrel worth! Your future self will thank you.
 

mainshipfred

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I keep wondering if wineries will make the same quantity of wine they previously made this year. I know, at least in my area, the wineries were struggling with sales and probably have more inventory than normal. I guess it depends on how much storage they have. I see it being excess grapes at a reduced rate or elevated prices to make up for the lost revenue. Will know soon!
 

Johnd

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But...You need to keep your West Coast pipeline running smoothly! My vote-do at least a 60 gallon barrel worth! Your future self will thank you.
Actually, the owner of the winery where I have my grapes delivered offered to let me buy grapes with him from Oregon and Washington. I believe the quality will be a step up from my Lodi source, so I’ll probably be taking the year off from them anyway. No worries there, they’re second generation and won’t be going away any time soon.
 
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mainshipfred

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Actually, the owner of the winery where I have my grapes delivered offered to let me buy grapes with him from Oregon and Washington. I believe the quality will be a step up from my Lodi source, so I’ll probably be taking the year off from them anyway. No worries there, they’re second generation and won’t be going away any time soon.
I remember you feeling differently and maybe it's the supplier I get my grapes from but I have never been very keen on the Lodi grapes. I have a 2018 Washington Cab Franc that the grapes were shipped to a local winery the day they were harvested that is very nice. It's also my understanding Oregon has a nice climate for Pinot Noir.
 

Ajmassa

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It's also my understanding Oregon has a nice climate for Pinot Noir.
It’s my understanding that if ya get grapes from Oregon and they are NOT Pinot then you are a crazy! 😁
If Washington? I’m doin Cab all day
Hard not to go with a regions go-to varietal. That’s exactly why I’ve done the Malbec from South America twice now.

my fall plan still wide open. Though a Washington Cab does sound very appealing
 

CDrew

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Not that it will sway you guys, but I just got back from a road trip to Eastern Washington and they are making some great wine there. It's a little expensive and I went over the usual wine budget, but despite the COVID precautions everywhere we had an excellent time. And it isn't just cab. Great barbera, terrific Syrah(L'Ecole) at several places and really nice cabs at Canvas Back. Even had some very nice( bought a case) Sangiovese at Reininger Anyway, I can recommend Walla Walla and the Columbia River AVA as a surprisingly nice wine growing area. I didn't have a single Pinot. Lol.
 

mainshipfred

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It’s my understanding that if ya get grapes from Oregon and they are NOT Pinot then you are a crazy! 😁
If Washington? I’m doin Cab all day
Hard not to go with a regions go-to varietal. That’s exactly why I’ve done the Malbec from South America twice now.

my fall plan still wide open. Though a Washington Cab does sound very appealing
Chili is also gaining popularity with their Pinot. I have a 19 that is a little hotter (I made no adjustments) and darker than you would expect from a Pinot but I would put the nose and palate against any I've had, especially for a young wine.
 

mainshipfred

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Not that it will sway you guys, but I just got back from a road trip to Eastern Washington and they are making some great wine there. It's a little expensive and I went over the usual wine budget, but despite the COVID precautions everywhere we had an excellent time. And it isn't just cab. Great barbera, terrific Syrah(L'Ecole) at several places and really nice cabs at Canvas Back. Even had some very nice( bought a case) Sangiovese at Reininger Anyway, I can recommend Walla Walla and the Columbia River AVA as a surprisingly nice wine growing area. I didn't have a single Pinot. Lol.
Mine came from Horse Haven Hills AVA and paid $2.00 per lb so they were expensive grapes.
 

CDrew

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HHH, Red Mountain, the Rocks (actually Oregon) lots of great little AVAs.

Unfortunately they are charging close to Sonoma prices but at least are doing a great job with the wine. I already want another visit.
 
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Johnd

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I remember you feeling differently and maybe it's the supplier I get my grapes from but I have never been very keen on the Lodi grapes. I have a 2018 Washington Cab Franc that the grapes were shipped to a local winery the day they were harvested that is very nice. It's also my understanding Oregon has a nice climate for Pinot Noir.
I‘ve been pretty satisfied with the Lodi haul thus far, especially when considering that they’re under $1.00 per pound sitting in my truck in Louisiana. There are lots of solid red varietals from the northern reaches, cabs, cab franc, just gotta be from areas where they can ripen sufficiently. Can’t forget about Syrah, there are world class syrahs from up there, big and bold as you please. I’m kind of excited to see what he’ll have to choose from, I’m supposed to call him in August to talk about the selections.4314206F-6C7D-4A8F-BD24-6EAC6C0A0E02.png70D53A17-2D4F-4DCB-A3AB-2C683C891A3D.png
 
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GR!

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I keep wondering if wineries will make the same quantity of wine they previously made this year. I know, at least in my area, the wineries were struggling with sales and probably have more inventory than normal. I guess it depends on how much storage they have. I see it being excess grapes at a reduced rate or elevated prices to make up for the lost revenue. Will know soon!
Where do you get your VA grapes from?
 

CDrew

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We should have a whole discussion about Syrah. Such good wine. Maybe better than Cabernet. Grows so well in Northern California, and apparently eastern Washington. I have not been a huge fan of the Australian Shiraz but that's just me. My own Syrah the last 2 years has been fun and so far, great.

@Johnd We went to Cayuse. Great winery. Expensive but very good. Everyone needs a visit to Walla Walla.
 

Johnd

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We should have a whole discussion about Syrah. Such good wine. Maybe better than Cabernet. Grows so well in Northern California, and apparently eastern Washington. I have not been a huge fan of the Australian Shiraz but that's just me. My own Syrah the last 2 years has been fun and so far, great.

@Johnd We went to Cayuse. Great winery. Expensive but very good. Everyone needs a visit to Walla Walla.
Definitely on my list when I get up that way. Was supposed to go up to the corner this year for a week in April, the Covid took care of that plan.
 

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