My plan for 2017 wine from California grapes

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Ajmassa

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I'm still going to Hartford - it's close and a good value. I'm just hoping that Hartford sources from Musto and will have the expanded selections from Washington, too.


I'm lucky enough to have 2 options for the fall. The one my family has always used in Philly gets their grapes and juice from Regina grapes. It's been around since the 40's and has very good quality grapes and juice IMHO. From San Joaquin Valley, which I know nothing about. They also source other varietals from Italy, such as the Sangiovese grapes/juice. Don't know much more than that.
The other place in Jersey has a long list of different vineyards the grapes and juice are coming from, both Italy and Cali, though they don't specify what comes from where. Neither source anything from Washington....yet.
In years passed I never out any thought into where specifically the grapes or juice were coming from. In the end my main drive is convenience and price-usually. Though Price will take a back seat this year going with all grapes and no juice. I need to stop handing over all my money to the Mrs and start my wine budget.
 

pgentile

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AJ, as you know I get my grapes and juice from the same sources. I too feel quite lucky, now that this hobby has me hooked, what's available in our area. But last year, from our Philly source, I searched the labels on the lugs and the one source had been accused several years back of misrepresenting grapes as far as varietals and quality. Hopefully they don't still do it. With that said I have had nothing but good results from all purchases. Plus enjoy the free Italian cured meats, cheese and bread along with tasting whats in the barrel at that time. Even got to enjoy a tasty glass from a bottle opened by the owner from a prior years batch of Zin.

From the South Jersey source I feel they are a little more up front with the sources, and tend to have a wider variety of California sources in the Fall. They have good Italian eats as well, just none for free.
 

Ajmassa

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YES! It's hard not to have anything but an enjoyable experience when heading down to south philly for the annual pickup. And I take those accusations with a grain of salt. This is old school Italians in old school s. Philly doing old school things. Good grapes, good wine, good snacks, good people - respect The godfather and be happy. Lol.
Ok so we know Jim @jgmann67's fall plans with his Bordeaux. And @heatherd making every varietal under the sun this fall. And I mentioned my Super Tuscan all grape plan. Think I'll need 8 lugs to fill my demijohn. Still unsure of the ratios though. Sangiovese 4 lugs and Cab and Merlot 2 lugs each?? I had a great ST recently at 33% each so who knows.
What's your plan for this fall?
 

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Having followed the Rhone recipe (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) this year, I've learned that the French know what they are doing with complementary grape varieties. I don't think you can go wrong with the combination of grapes/juice you have chosen.

Do you pick up all the grapes at once or are they available when they are available?
 

pgentile

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Everybodies fall plans sound good. @jgman67's Bordeaux, @Ajmassa5983's Super Tuscan, NorCal's Rhone. etc, etc. I just did a field blend Bordeax this spring, so I think I'm going to go a little further up the boot from AJ's Tuscany area and will play with some Nebbiolo this fall. But then again I had a good commercial Grenache last night, so the a Rhone style wine sounds good too right now.
 

Ajmassa

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Having followed the Rhone recipe (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) this year, I've learned that the French know what they are doing with complementary grape varieties. I don't think you can go wrong with the combination of grapes/juice you have chosen.

Do you pick up all the grapes at once or are they available when they are available?


How do the EastCoasters get our Cali grapes? Don't take living in N. Cali for granted. For me I've always been able to pick everything up at once. Since it's a supplier and not a vineyard everything is stored at a frigid ~45° awaiting pickup. I'm sure different varietals availability timeframes may differ year to year. But it's only about a 2 week window for all pickups. (I missed my window last year. You snooze you lose. Which is how I came to giving kits a whirl as well as my 1st spring harvest batch)
Given that small window they may wait until they have everything until they open up for business. Lots of organization required on their part. I bet every supplier handles their business differently though.
I've only done a couple blends so far and have been able to pick up all at once each time. Alicante/Muscat (numerous years) and Sangiovese(which is one of their Italian varietals and my favorite grape) /Syrah.
 

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How do the EastCoasters get our Cali grapes? Don't take living in N. Cali for granted. For me I've always been able to pick everything up at once. Since it's a supplier and not a vineyard everything is stored at a frigid ~45° awaiting pickup. I'm sure different varietals availability timeframes may differ year to year. But it's only about a 2 week window for all pickups. (I missed my window last year. You snooze you lose. Which is how I came to giving kits a whirl as well as my 1st spring harvest batch)
Given that small window they may wait until they have everything until they open up for business. Lots of organization required on their part. I bet every supplier handles their business differently though.
I've only done a couple blends so far and have been able to pick up all at once each time. Alicante/Muscat (numerous years) and Sangiovese(which is one of their Italian varietals and my favorite grape) /Syrah.

At Harford, the grapes and juice sometimes come at the same time, sometimes not. I'm lucky to be fairly close - their supplier has sometimes spread my order over three delivery dates.

They have grapes/juice from California, Maryland, and Italy in the fall.
 

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When do they publish their pre order list. Everything on their site says out of stock

@mainshipfred Be sure to sign up on their website to receive emails from Harford, and they'll typically let you know when the site goes live.

If there's something you're interested in that isn't on the website, send them an email or call and they may be able to get it. I picked up Maryland Seyval Blanc that way.
 

Ajmassa

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At Harford, the grapes and juice sometimes come at the same time, sometimes not. I'm lucky to be fairly close - their supplier has sometimes spread my order over three delivery dates.



They have grapes/juice from California, Maryland, and Italy in the fall.


What have you done in this situation? Just start em as you get em and blend later (if part of a blend)? That could be frustrating and bust up my groove. With life/work I like to pickup early Saturday so yeast is pitched by the time I'm back to the grind on Monday.
 

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What have you done in this situation? Just start em as you get em and blend later (if part of a blend)? That could be frustrating and bust up my groove. With life/work I like to pickup early Saturday so yeast is pitched by the time I'm back to the grind on Monday.

@Ajmassa5983 It's tough, because there's typically a week between each delivery. Sometimes the juice pails and the grapes are one or even two weeks apart. When that happens, I just have to ferment what I have on hand and blend afterward.
 

Boatboy24

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At Harford, the grapes and juice sometimes come at the same time, sometimes not. I'm lucky to be fairly close - their supplier has sometimes spread my order over three delivery dates.

They have grapes/juice from California, Maryland, and Italy in the fall.

Yep. I did 4 varietals last fall and made 4 trips. The year before: 4 varietals and 1 trip. Both years from the same grower. We'll see what happens this year. Mom and Dad just sold their house and the new one isn't going to be ready until Nov or Dec. We'll be hosting them for a bit, though not sure when yet, as they'll be spreading time between me and my sisters and traveling a bit. Perhaps I can convince them to be here during fermentation and get Dad to handle the punchdowns. :i
 

Boatboy24

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@Ajmassa5983 It's tough, because there's typically a week between each delivery. Sometimes the juice pails and the grapes are one or even two weeks apart. When that happens, I just have to ferment what I have on hand and blend afterward.

I do the same. With the exception of my 2014 Chilean Cab/Merlot (which was a field blend), I just make things in 6+ gallon batches and then I don't have to worry about it.
 
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Mom and Dad just sold their house and the new one isn't going to be ready until Nov or Dec. We'll be hosting them for a bit, though not sure when yet, ...

We have an extra couch if you need a place to sleep. :h

I think we've turned the corner on our finances (I think) and if things work out I'd love to do a Cab Sauv batch from Lanza, we'll see how things go the next few months. Might have to save money for airline tickets to see our Son graduate from AF basic training in October.
 
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heatherd

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Yep. I did 4 varietals last fall and made 4 trips. The year before: 4 varietals and 1 trip. Both years from the same grower. We'll see what happens this year. Mom and Dad just sold their house and the new one isn't going to be ready until Nov or Dec. We'll be hosting them for a bit, though not sure when yet, as they'll be spreading time between me and my sisters and traveling a bit. Perhaps I can convince them to be here during fermentation and get Dad to handle the punchdowns. :i

Here's hoping you'll have a wine helper!

I had separate trips for the muscat canelli juice and the traminette grapes.
 
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@mainshipfred Be sure to sign up on their website to receive emails from Harford, and they'll typically let you know when the site goes live.

If there's something you're interested in that isn't on the website, send them an email or call and they may be able to get it. I picked up Maryland Seyval Blanc that way.

If everything goes as planned I won't need anything this fall. Getting everything local. It would be nice though if everyone's schedule worked out better then it did this past spring. I would come to Harford anyway just to meet everyone.
 

jgmann67

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Looking at my supply list for the fall...

* Yeast - I used the D254 for my PS last year. We're doing Cab, Merlot and probably Petit Verdot this year. I was thinking about the BM4x4 or RC-212. Thoughts on yeast selection??

* MLB - I have the VP41 stowed in the freezer. The instructions say one 2.5g packet is good for 66 gal of wine. Really?

* Need to pick up some Lallazyme-EX, Opti-Red and Tannin FT Rouge.

* I have plenty of Hungarian and French Oak cubes - they're medium plus toast.

* I think I need another Brute container - the three lugs of Merlot will do fine in the 20 gal brute I have from last year. But, I should probably pick up a bigger brute for the Cab (planning 6 gallons of juice and 3-4 lugs of grapes).

* Will 2 lugs of PV or CF fit in a 7.5 gal primary fermenter bucket?

* Every time I look at my supply of carboys, I can't help but think that having a few more is a good idea.

What am I forgetting???
 

Ajmassa

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Vp-41 packet enough for 66 gal. Trust it. Every time I see this questioned it's always met with the same response by everyone.
How bout some opti malo and acti-ml to go along? And go-ferm and Fermaid-k as well. I like the $5 Brehm additive packs from morewine. They supply enough for a 6 gal batch. Nice and easy. Includes the yeast nutrient and starter, llalyzyme ex, opti red and ft rouge. I'll just get 3 packs for only $15 total and have all my additives aside from ML handled

I'm also getting a bigger brute. It seems like roughly whatever amount of gallons you will yield in wine is close to the same amount in gallons the skins will take up.
So for me 15 gallons will be 7 lugs for 250 lbs. means 15 gallons of skins. Means 32 gallon brute is way too close for comfort so I'm grabbing a 44 gal.
And I just did 54 lbs of cab grapes in a 7.9 pale and was very near to the top. 72 lbs sounds like it would not fit.
 

jgmann67

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Vp-41 packet enough for 66 gal. Trust it. Every time I see this questioned it's always met with the same response by everyone.
How bout some opti malo and acti-ml to go along? And go-ferm and Fermaid-k as well. I like the $5 Brehm additive packs from morewine. They supply enough for a 6 gal batch. Nice and easy. Includes the yeast nutrient and starter, llalyzyme ex, opti red and ft rouge. I'll just get 3 packs for only $15 total and have all my additives aside from ML handled

I'm going to look this up right now.
 
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