Harvest 2019 schedule was dictated by mother nature this year. Last year grapes came in a nice orderly manner all spaced out. Not this year a week after we processed and started fermentation of ton of Malbec I get a call from our vineyard manager Sunday night. He apologizes for calling me on a Sunday. He tells me a major freeze is coming in on Wednesday and it was going to rain on Tuesday. They are goring to pick the Syrah at Eritage and the Rocks vineyards Monday morning.
I jump on the internet reserve a U-Haul truck in Walla Walla and book a flight for Monday morning. My friend Manny picks me up at the airport takes me over to the U-Haul place. We grab a bite and head out to the Rocks vineyard. My vineyard manager brought the Syrah down from Eritage and finished picking the rocks Syrah. We load the four pick bins into the rented truck and headed for Tacoma. After driving through a major rain storm on the pass I get home around 8 pm.
The next day we setup and start destemming and crushing. This year we upgraded to one ton fermenters, Well we have over two tons so the fermenters fill up and we adding rounding up our small fermenter we use for our home made wine a couple of years ago.
A week later we brought in two tons of Cabernet Sauvignon . These grapes were at a higher elevation (cold air drains down the hills) and are hearty grape survived the freeze.
They winery is now completely full of fermenting grapes. We have to get creative to do punch downs.
This year we did around six tons of grapes resulting in about 870 gallons of wine. We were given the chance to buy Rocks fruit, something you don’t turn down. The Rocks is a special AVA in Oregon, a few miles south of Walla Walla, that several premier wineries make some very high end wines.