And now after three years of the vines in the ground, we can claim our first harvest. We have wine in barrel at our dear friends', The Stinson's Winery. Both families were newbies last harvest... sort of like the blind leading the blind throughout "crush", that term used in the industry referring to the period immediately post harvest when we are sorting, destemming, crushing, pressing etc. Fortunately, we were in the capable hands of our dear Monsieur Matthieu Finot, winemaker extraordinaire!. Merci, merci, Matthieu!
Our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are resting quietly in oak barrels, a mixture of new and neutral French Oak. They continue to undergo their transformation. It amazes me, the change in flavor and mouthfeel in these wines from their post primary fermentation period. Currently they are undergoing a process called "malolactic fermentation" in which the malic acids are converted into the smoother lactic acid molecules, changing the mouthfeel and acidity levels. In France they refer to this as the "spring fermentation", as that is when the wines naturally kick into this stage of their cycle of development. It is all just so amazing to me, and I continue to see the comparisons of rearing children to giving birth to wine... Our adolescent wines are now tucked away in their rooms, away from us as they continue their growth and transformation. We only peek in once in a while to make sure they are coming along OK! Our hope, as is every parents' hope, that they will emerge from their adolescence unscathed, mature, and ready to give their talent and gifts to the world. A taste of their talents we will soon enjoy.
In the dark you rest
Transform young, unknowing ways
Emerge, speak our land
Clearing land, Winter 2006-07
Cover crop planted, Aug 2007
Ready, Set.. Plant!!! May 10, 2008 (3,500 vines!)
Baby vines emerge, June 2008
And bless us with their lucious, sweet fruit
The transformation.... the fruits of our labor become wine
Sometimes, when I sit back and reflect, and try to assimilate all that has brought us to this point, I think of it as somewhat of a lofty, dream.... one that I have been delighted to share with you.
I feel very honored to have had one of my photographs selected for the cover of the 2011 Virginia Winery Guide. I thank those who voted for this photograph. I hope through this image, I can do my little part to help promote the amazing wine industry of Virginia!
And Next, Looking Forward...
A winery of our own!