October 24, 2007
I am expecting one more load of grapes from Walla Walla, this one from the Dwelley Vineyard owned by the Jones family. One of the family members, Bob Jones, lives on the island.
He is driving over tomorrow morning to bring the grapes back.
It is late in the season but I am sure that his brother wanted to make sure that the grapes were ripe. I haven’t heard the latest numbers yet but I am sure the sugar measurements are going to be quite high.
Crushed and pressed cider apples. One of my friend’s sons organized a cider pressing day at the winery. About twenty-five people showed up and helped, either press or drink wine. It was fun and they pressed about 100 gallons of juice. It is just starting to ferment after about a week of no obvious activity. Same as last year.
I have about four pressings that I will have to do, probably starting in about a week, maybe two. The first will be the Accidental Wine, then a Cabernet Sauvignon, then the Cabernet Franc. And then finally the Dwelley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Speaking of Cabernet Franc. I got grapes from two different sources. Most came from Desert Aire in Grandview. The grapes looked great. The other came from Upland Estates vineyard in Sunnyside. I am most excited about this vineyard as it is planted at the original Upland Vineyard planted by Mr. Bridgman back in 1912. They even still have some Black Manuka grapes. The vines are nearly 100 years old.
I am looking forward to doing business with them next year and plan to expand my purchases; more Cab Franc and more Merlot.
That was a tough week. I had to drive to the Yakima Valley three times, the first time, Tuesday, to take picking lugs over for the Semillon which got picked the next morning. I drove over then to pick them up on Wednesday. Then with help from friends we crushed and pressed the Semillon the next day at the winery. And then finally I went and picked up Cabernet Franc on Friday and crushed it on Saturday. I was pretty wiped out on Sunday.
I am so small. I can’t imagine what it must be like at some the bigger wineries crushing 50 or 100 tons per day, though most of their equipment makes it easier, and they probably don’t drive back and forth.
I’ll let you know how the pressing goes over the next month.