2024, What are your plans?

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BarrelMonkey

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We're 2 weeks into the New Year already - what do you have in store? Revisiting familiar wine(s) or trying something new? Any new gear on the horizon?

I'm going back to pinot noir this year - I last made red pinot noir in 2021, then made sparkling and still pinot noir-based whites in 2022. This year I plan to get 1/2T grapes and press out about 25 gal for white wine, then use the pomace to add to the remaining grapes which will be crushed for red.

Also on deck, 5 gal elderberry and probably 3 gal sparkling elderflower. I'll also be disgorging 2 cases of my 2022 blanc de noir some time in the fall.
 
This year is the year of the barrel for me. I’m starting off with a 5 gallon and a 10 gallon. I have a Cab/Zin mix in the fridge destined for the 10 gallon and a Sonoma for the 5 gallon. Learning those before seeing what’s available in the fall from our local vineyards.
 
I've got a lot of ideas for the coming fall and am discussing with my son & niece. Current ideas:
  • Northern Rhone -- Syrah lightened with Roussanne or similar grape.
  • "Italian" blend -- Zinfandel based with Muscat, Alicante, or similar mixed in. While the availability of grapes is key, I'll be guided by the blends made by some of my early mentors who purchased CA grapes that came in via train.
  • Pinotage -- I've made the kit twice and would like to make it from CA grape.
  • Montepulciano -- possibly blended with a lug or two of other Italian varietals.
We'll do 2 batches, roughly 8 lugs each, to fill our older barrels. For the newer barrel we'll buy 2 juice buckets, type determined by the grapes. These will be fermented with the pomace from whatever grapes we make.

If @VinesnBines has grapes available, something from her. Last fall I purchased Vidal and Chambourcin. I'll see what she has for other whites, and consider a Chambourcin or Marechal Foch based blend.
 
Do you have a source for CA pinotage? I've always enjoyed it but as I'm sure you know it's fairly unusual in CA. I know of a few wineries that make it but don't know where I could get just 1/4 or 1/2 ton...
Last fall Pinotage was on Gino Pinto's list. The AVA is:

METTLER FAMILY VINEYARDS
LODI A.V.A., CALIFORNIA MOKELUMNE RIVER Sub A.V.A.
 
2024 New Wine Plans

Black Iris Framboise 2024
- wild blackberries, pitted wild cherries, organic homegrown raspberries and dried elderberries with Chambord black raspberry liqueur on medium toast American oak with 71B yeast to make a low SG table wine. 71B is perfect for raspberries. The 2023 version of this is delicious so I can't think of any reason why I wouldn't make it again. I'll try to make 50 bottles of this. Iris is my neighbour who has 1 of 4 wild cherry trees in my neighbourhood that I get to pick alone or with friends.

Framboise 2024 - organic homegrown raspberries with Chambord black raspberry liqueur. The 2023 version of this is delicious so I can't think of any reason why I wouldn't make it again. I'll try to make at least 15 bottles of this. Fermented with 71B yeast.

Tripleberry Chambord 2024 - fruit port made with EC1118 yeast from wild blackberries, homegrown organic raspberries, dried elderberries with 1 bottle of Chambord black raspberry liqueur on medium toast American oak in a 15 bottle carboy.

Tripleberry Cassis 2024 - fruit port made with EC1118 yeast from wild blackberries, homegrown organic raspberries, dried elderberries with 1 bottle of Cassis black currant liqueur on medium toast American oak in a 15 bottle carboy.

Russet 2024 - organic homegrown Russet apples (with or without organic homegrown Cox and King apple and Moonglow pears) ground and pressed chaptalized with cane sugar as table wine with 71B yeast as dry table wine to make 25 to 50 bottles.

Russet Cyser 2024 - organic homegrown Russet apples (with or without organic homegrown Cox and King apple and Moonglow pears) ground and pressed chaptalized with unpasteurized cranberry or blueberry blossom honey with 71B yeast as dry table wine to make 25 to 50 bottles.

Siegerrebe Reichensteiner 2024 - homegrown organic grapes at SG 1.083 or higher i.e. spatlese or auslese 25 to 50 bottles

Ortega 2024 - homegrown organic grapes at SG 1.083 or higher i.e. spatlese or auslese (15 bottles)

Madeleine Angevine 2024 - homegrown organic grapes at SG 1.083 or higher i.e. spatlese (15 bottles)

Marechal Foch 2024 - homegrown organic grapes at SG 1.092 or higher (25+ bottles)

Regent Rose 2024 - homegrown organic grapes crushed and pressed at SG 1.086 or higher (25+ bottles)

Edelzwicker 2024 - 2nd run homegrown organic white wine grape skins with sediment from 1st run pressing un-chaptalized with or without Russet apple wine (25 plus bottles alone or blended with Russet apple wine or both) soaked for 48 hours on pectic enzyme. Edelzwicker means premium blend, in this case skins and first run sediment after 24 hour juice settlement treated with pectic enzyme together with 1st run press sediment i.e. Siegerrebe, Ortega, Reichensteiner and Madeleine Angevine.

If I make anything else because my son in law wants to do it I'd make hand destemmed and uncrushed Dineen Vineyard Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre or Malbec (probably 50 bottles in total). We've had sensational 8 year old Washington Grenache, Mourvedre, Malbec and pure Washington Malbec. If he wants to make Chardonnay from fresh grapes e.g. Washington Sheridan Vineyard Chardonnay I'd make 25-30 bottles and mix it with my Siegerrebe Ortega at 80 parts Chardonnay and 20 parts Siegerrebe/Ortega.

This is a lot of wine. I may make less of my son-in-laws wines because I have a ton of wine going forward from all of the fruit that I grow or can pick locally. I am totally happy making wines going forward from fruit that I grow or that is wild that I can pick where I live.
 
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Here's another one I found that's fairly local to me, though I don't know if the vineyard would be open to selling home winemaker quantities. I guess it doesn't hurt to ask, though probably way to early right now.
500 lbs or more. They will especially if you give them a deposit e.g. 25% of the ultimate price. We got Petit Sirah from them.
 
Hi All,

Remember now, I am a 2 year old novice. This year will be a "training year for my new Pino Noir Precoce vines. I left some Merlot vines in the ground, I'll nurture them again this year. And within the next couple months, get brave and start working with the 4 gallons of Merlot I have aging in the carboys to try and salvage them into something drinkable. :)
 
Hi All,

Remember now, I am a 2 year old novice. This year will be a "training year for my new Pino Noir Precoce vines. I left some Merlot vines in the ground, I'll nurture them again this year. And within the next couple months, get brave and start working with the 4 gallons of Merlot I have aging in the carboys to try and salvage them into something drinkable. :)
Are the Pinot Noir Precoce (Early burgundy or Fruhburgunder) grafted? Good luck with them. Where do you live?

1705604793431.png
 
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Not sure about the grafted part, but they come from a nursery local and are certified. They are very successful here in western Washington. A professor from a WSU extension service locally turned us on to them after hearing about my Merlot growing woes. I live in Stanwood, WA.
 
Not sure about the grafted part, but they come from a nursery local and are certified. They are very successful here in western Washington. A professor from a WSU extension service locally turned us on to them after hearing about my Merlot growing woes. I live in Stanwood, WA.
Looks like a good spot for it. Probably too cool for Merlot, You can also consider Marechal Foch or Regent. The Precoce skins will be soft so will need dry weather during ripening.
 
2024 New Wine Plans

Black Iris Framboise 2024
- wild blackberries, pitted wild cherries, organic homegrown raspberries and dried elderberries with Chambord black raspberry liqueur on medium toast American oak with 71B yeast to make a low SG table wine. 71B is perfect for raspberries. The 2023 version of this is delicious so I can't think of any reason why I wouldn't make it again. I'll try to make 50 bottles of this. Iris is my neighbour who has 1 of 4 wild cherry trees in my neighbourhood that I get to pick alone or with friends.

Framboise 2024 - organic homegrown raspberries with Chambord black raspberry liqueur. The 2023 version of this is delicious so I can't think of any reason why I wouldn't make it again. I'll try to make at least 15 bottles of this. Fermented with 71B yeast.

Tripleberry Chambord 2024 - fruit port made with EC1118 yeast from wild blackberries, homegrown organic raspberries, dried elderberries with 1 bottle of Chambord black raspberry liqueur on medium toast American oak in a 15 bottle carboy.

Tripleberry Cassis 2024 - fruit port made with EC1118 yeast from wild blackberries, homegrown organic raspberries, dried elderberries with 1 bottle of Cassis black currant liqueur on medium toast American oak in a 15 bottle carboy.

Russet 2024 - organic homegrown Russet apples (with or without organic homegrown Cox and King apple and Moonglow pears) ground and pressed chaptalized with cane sugar as table wine with 71B yeast as dry table wine to make 25 to 50 bottles.

Russet Cyser 2024 - organic homegrown Russet apples (with or without organic homegrown Cox and King apple and Moonglow pears) ground and pressed chaptalized with unpasteurized cranberry or blueberry blossom honey with 71B yeast as dry table wine to make 25 to 50 bottles.

Siegerrebe Reichensteiner 2024 - homegrown organic grapes at SG 1.083 or higher i.e. spatlese or auslese 25 to 50 bottles

Ortega 2024 - homegrown organic grapes at SG 1.083 or higher i.e. spatlese or auslese (15 bottles)

Madeleine Angevine 2024 - homegrown organic grapes at SG 1.083 or higher i.e. spatlese (15 bottles)

Marechal Foch 2024 - homegrown organic grapes at SG 1.092 or higher (25+ bottles)

Regent Rose 2024 - homegrown organic grapes crushed and pressed at SG 1.086 or higher (25+ bottles)

Edelzwicker 2024 - 2nd run homegrown organic white wine grape skins with sediment from 1st run pressing un-chaptalized with or without Russet apple wine (25 plus bottles alone or blended with Russet apple wine or both) soaked for 48 hours on pectic enzyme. Edelzwicker means premium blend, in this case skins and first run sediment after 24 hour juice settlement treated with pectic enzyme together with 1st run press sediment i.e. Siegerrebe, Ortega, Reichensteiner and Madeleine Angevine.

If I make anything else because my son in law wants to do it I'd make hand destemmed and uncrushed Dineen Vineyard Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre or Malbec (probably 50 bottles in total). We've had sensational 8 year old Washington Grenache, Mourvedre, Malbec and pure Washington Malbec. If he wants to make Chardonnay from fresh grapes e.g. Washington Sheridan Vineyard Chardonnay I'd make 25-30 bottles and mix it with my Siegerrebe Ortega at 80 parts Chardonnay and 20 parts Siegerrebe/Ortega.

This is a lot of wine. I may make less of my son-in-laws wines because I have a ton of wine going forward from all of the fruit that I grow or can pick locally. I am totally happy making wines going forward from fruit that I grow or that is wild that I can pick where I live.
slacker..... hehehe
 
Plans for 2024 - well, I need to learn from this year, and not make so much wine.

We ended up this year with 245 gallons of wine being made in our garage, spread across 7 varietals and 11 different batches. Much of that wine - 210 or so gallons is group wine but I’m still going to end up with a lot of wine!

One of those wines, not so affectionately known as The Problem Child, has been a battle from day three in Mid September when the Brix went up to 31. It has been stuck at least four times…. a long story, worthy of its own thread, but let’s just say it is now fermenting in our laundry room as the garage was too cold at night. Fortunately, it’s now down to an average of 0.3 Brix spread across six kegs, having dropped from 3.5 January 1. I’m completely over it and can’t wait for it to get moved over to another group member‘s wine cellar where it will be put into a barrel. The funny part is that it actually tastes pretty good despite all the twists and turns.

So, 2024…

Assuming all goes well in the vineyard, with this being our third leaf, I’m hoping to primarily focus on making wines from there. I have a good friend with a Grenache vineyard which ripens earlier than my Grenache so we will probably collaborate on making those two wines together.

I will also make probably two other collaborative group wines - hopefully a Petite Syrah and something with these people I’ve collaborated with this year depending on level of interest and availability of interesting grapes.
 
2024 is the year to learn about wild fermentations.

Most of 2022’s harvest, the first big apple harvest has been dealt with but everything with apple in it had the pH creep up close to 4. The 2023 is following a similar pH trend with lots of creep and a big oh sh #%*$@#%=£.

Meanwhile I am putting the red flesh apple grafting wood order together. Rootstock survived the dry ‘23 spring but all the ‘23 grafts failed. Is this a sickness where the fever hasn’t broken yet?
 
My plans for this year include a focus on low ABV "cooler" type fruit wines. Which is to say, to make country wines without chaptalization (the addition of sugars), not because I don't like 12-14% ABV country or grape wines but because I really want to see what I can do with cider-type wines made from a variety of berries and stone and other fruits.
 

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