The Spring Reboot
Of Frogs and Fermentation
The changing of the seasons from winter to spring is a time of restarting and rebooting in the vineyard. The weather may be damp, gray, and rainy more often than not, but everything here seems vibrant, just waiting to bud out.
There are many signs that the vineyard’s growing season is about to begin. The azaleas and daffodils are blooming, the songbirds are singing like there’s no tomorrow, and the frogs start croaking in the pond next door. When we hear those frogs, we know that spring is here.
Each vineyard in the Willamette Valley experiences bud break at a slightly different time, but I’m happy letting nature take its time here in our vineyard, especially when we’re still getting frost at night.
In the cellar, this is the time when malolactic fermentations are complete and the wines in barrels have developed some great texture and body. I don’t do much sampling of the wines prior to malolactic fermentation, as you don’t get a good feel for where the wines are or where they are going at such an early stage. However, once malolactic fermentation is complete, the wine starts to change in leaps and bounds.
At this stage, I also start thinking about potential blends, and which lots I’ll combine to create each of our Pinot Noirs. This is always a fun process that involves tasting through barrels and conducting extensive blending trials.
We’re also enjoying our two new releases, the Pinot Blanc and the Rosé of Pinot Noir.
Every year, I tell myself, “we should make more of this,” because we always sell out of these wines before the heat of the summer. We all have our own limitations, though, and I suppose that makes these wines all the more special. Come by and visit us to taste them!