Thursday, December 18, 2008

Winter in the Cellar...




Today we blended wine from the 2007 vintage, in preparation for bottling next Spring.

This is a significant milestone for all winemakers - for the first time, the wine is combined to form one primary blend rather than multiple varietal lots.

We hand selected the barrels of wine that will comprise the 2007 Vellum Cabernet Sauvignon. One final sample from each of 32 barrels confirmed their inclusion in the final blend. And it's a tasty one!!

It is important for the wine to have enough time to integrate and mix thoroughly - this can only be accomplished by letting the wine sit in tank for a day or so.

So tomorrow we will barrel down the wine and let it continue to age in our French oak barrels.

Only a few months to go before bottling...

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Cheers,

Jeff Mathy

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Second Vintage of Vellum is Finished!

The 2008 vintage proved to be a challenging year for us. We got past many trials and successfully navigated more than the normal share of potential pitfalls.

This year, for the first time ever, it occurred to me that truly great wine is very difficult to make. As my father once told me, "The devil is in the details!".

I suppose its like that with anything one wants to accomplish in life, but with wine, any miscue shows itself boldly and it is almost impossible to undo what has been done.

However, as I try the 2008 lots and then go back to them again, I have no criticisms -this is also a first!

So it leaves me wondering how we got here. Our implemented details collectively have created a wine that exceeds all of my expectations in the face of a less than desirous year.

And... the 2008 vintage is done! The individual lots have completed their secondary fermentations. This is where the malic acid in the wine is metabolised by the beneficial bacteria Oenococcus Oeni and converted into the more stable lactic acid. It is here when we mark the wine's completion and beginning of its maturity.

So, the 2008 Vellum is ready for a long winter's slumber. I suspect it may prove to be my favorite of any wine I have created...My apologies to everyone who will have to wait to find out why!

As an addendum, I want to take this opportunity to thank those who have gone beyond every expectation to help us meet our winemaking goals...You know who are!

I also want to express my sincere wish as we approach the winter solstice and the holiday season that everyone can take time out to look back upon what went right for them this year.

At Vellum we are thankful for everything that fell into place and for this much needed time for rest and reflection.

Cheers to all!

~Karl Lehmann

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