Friday, August 13, 2010

Fine Tuning for Better Wine

Once you have a great vineyard site that has reached a certain level of maturity and begins to produce fruit of world-class quality, subsequent farming and winemaking become exercises in fine tuning.

We have identified several blocks from Ghielmetti Vineyard that provide the highest quality of fruit from the site. Block 5B is the home to Cabernet Sauvignon, Clone 30. This is the best block on the site, and this year we will be looking to build even more intensity of fruit here by dropping yields down to the 2.5 tons/acre level. We'll do this by dropping fruit twice at veraison, lopping off about 15% each time we make a pass so that the remaining cluster (1.5 per shoot) will be that much more consistent and complex.

In the winery, we have narrowed our cooperage choices down significantly. Three French barrels and two American will provide all the wood for Lineage. Each variety, and each clone gets its own mix of barrels to bring out the specific components we want for the wine.

As of mid-August, the Lineage blocks are just now getting a little bit of color. We are, like everyone else in California, a bit behind. There is every reason to believe, though, that by the end of October, the next vintage of Lineage will be safely fermenting away.

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