Monday, September 21, 2009

Petit Verdot Harvested

What a beautiful morning in Napa Valley!! Bright and sunny, with a slight breeze and cool was a fantastic way to begin VELLUM's 2009 Vintage.

It's hard to believe that we are working on our third vintage of VELLUM.

This year has gone by faster than ever - and our inaugural 2007 VELLUM is making its way into wine glasses of oenophiles all over the planet.

It's probably evident, but Karl and I find deep satisfaction in making wine and sharing it with all of you. We are excited to see a new vintage of fruit start its transformation from sweet juice into succulent wine.

Over the course of the next month, we will harvest grapes from 4 vineyards. Each of these vineyards contribute fruit/wine to our VELLUM blend. Our Bordeaux style is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, with small amounts of Merlot and Petit Verdot blended for added complexity, depth and aroma.

Today we hand-harvested our small lot of Petit Verdot. Petit Verdot is a darkly pigmented grape variety that imparts distinct characters of blueberry and spice to VELLUM. The vineyard - located on the eastern hillsides of Napa - yielded over 8000 pounds of fruit, a small amount more than last vintage, and we hand sorted the grapes 4 times before they reached the de-stemmer and stainless steel fermentation tank.

Notice I didn't mention crushing? VELLUM grapes are never crushed - they enter the tank as whole berries, one of our signature methods for ensuring gentle extraction of tannin during fermentation.

The juice tastes super-sweet with great acidity...and I can't wait to see how this develops after the addition of yeast. But first we will let it sit in tank, cold soaking for 48 hours.

Our next harvest day will probably be next week - as the Merlot and Cabernet blocks are quickly approaching full development.

Stay tuned as we dive in to HARVEST 2009 !!

- Jeff Mathy

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