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2019 Q1 0048

Video: 2020 Winter at our Vineyard & Winery

Posted: Jan 28, 2020

The hec­tic har­vest and hol­i­day sea­sons have end­ed. The New Year has brought a sense of seren­i­ty to our estate — along with beau­ti­ful, lush green views — which reminds us why we love the cycle of wine­mak­ing so much. Watch what’s hap­pen­ing this time of year in our win­ter vine­yard and win­ery update.

In our Estate Vineyards

Wine­mak­ing is a cycle, and as we enter the new year the cycle con­tin­ues with prun­ing all 150 acres of Beck­men grapevines. Our crew pass­es through the vine­yard twice: once for the ini­tial pre-prune of the canopy — clear­ing out the tall canes and brush — and sec­ond for the crit­i­cal final prune cut. Prun­ing is a very impor­tant task as it sets up the crop size on each vine for the year ahead. Each bud we leave behind will hope­ful­ly pro­duce a cou­ple of grape clus­ters come spring. A lot of oth­er fac­tors will affect the crop size through­out the grow­ing sea­son, but this is the first step to set the stage for the 2020 vintage. 

The grapevines may be bare and dor­mant, but our cov­er crops are grow­ing beau­ti­ful­ly due to the good rain­fall we received in the end of 2019. Every Decem­ber, we plant an organ­ic cov­er crop between the rows of grapevines as a nat­ur­al way to feed and add nitro­gen back into our soil. The crop is a mix of grass and legumes, includ­ing climb­ing peas, vetch, and beans, which we will con­tin­ue to grow until they start to flower. After flow­er­ing, we will mow each row and run a disc to incor­po­rate the ben­e­fi­cial, organ­ic plant mate­ri­als into the soil. The legumes have nitro­gen fix­ing nod­ules on their root sys­tems, which improves the health of our soil the most nat­ur­al way possible. 

Inside our Winery

We are gear­ing up for bot­tling sea­son! A lot of work must hap­pen before the wine goes into the bot­tle; we are busy fin­ish­ing blends — some­times a blend of all one vari­etal or some­times a blend of dif­fer­ent vari­etals — emp­ty­ing bar­rels, fill­ing tanks, and fin­ish­ing wines. We will be bot­tling dif­fer­ent wines for two to three days every month for the next six months. Our wines are bot­tled via a mobile bot­tling line, so if you see a semi-truck parked next to the win­ery you know what we are up to! 

Bar­rel man­age­ment is also an impor­tant task dur­ing the win­ter months. We taste every bar­rel of wine, mak­ing sure the wines are devel­op­ing well as they age and mature. We check the sec­ondary fer­men­ta­tion (mal­o­lac­tic fer­men­ta­tion, where mal­ic acid is con­vert­ed to lac­tic acid) which hap­pens after the pri­ma­ry (alco­hol) fer­men­ta­tion. This sec­ondary fer­men­ta­tion enhances the tex­ture and feel of the wine, adding a rounder, creami­er qual­i­ty. All our red wines will go through this sec­ondary fer­men­ta­tion, but we inhib­it it in most of our white wines.

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