Mid-Summer Status Report
August 6, 2015
The strong sun of summer is a welcome blast of energy almost causing us to forget the long cold winter and damp spring transition. We’ve been hunkered down here, with lots in the hopper and are just coming up for air after a season so busy that even the bees would forgive all the cliche. Trying to jump in the river every chance possible now that the weather is warm and keeping up with cool cellar work alongside daily chores, we have managed to accomplish a few things, and are ready to report on the recent past and present future of our endeavors.
Spring frost did a number on the home vineyard and the majority of primary shoots took a real hit, so expectations for crop are quite low this year. With the Willsboro trial vineyard in transition to new plantings, our main source of fruit is gone for another few years. While we may be able to gather some produce from the vineyards of la garagista, Lincoln Peak and private growers ( all dependent on weather and yield ) the hopes are in check and we are fully ready to make cider instead, if that is what the year dictates, and it is looking like a great apple year.
Had a wonderful visit and share a meal with Sicilian cooking sensation Fabrizia Lanza at local Vermont wine sensation la garigista‘s new wine barn right at the outset of summer. The Tasca estate wines served up by Winebow’s Melissa Sutherland completed the sensational experience and left us
I’ve been out of view, but not out of action…we pulled off another spring crush with fruit from Chile. This year the club pitched in fro a Romanian oak half-barrel, destined to hold a northern red blend, but broken in with a mixed-fermentation of Chilean Chardonnay and Viognier ( which I might mention is turning out so well that folks may want to pitch in for a fresh barrel and juice, just to have access to a similar wine again next year ).
Been tasting a bunch of wine behind the scenes, and most of the action is being recorded via the Smart Phone app Delectable which I seriously encourage folks to try out. The label recognition is quite good, and the ability to tap into the reviews of professionals and civilians alike can be both informative and entertaining. It’s also become apparent that the wine community has been making a visible and visual shift over to Instagram and so I will be interested to talk to people about the trend at an upcoming event…
Gearing up for the #WBC15 … the annual Wine Bloggers Conference is being held in the Finger Lakes in just over a week. I’m looking forward to hooking-up with folks I met at the 2011 conference in Virginia and have stayed connected with since then. Also hoping to meet people with whom I’ve become acquainted online and would like to meet and raise glasses with in the flesh. The Finger Lakes has so much to offer wine explorers in the northeast and I have no doubt that this will be an exceptional gathering. Of course I will be toting some libations from the Green Mountains, to share with those coming from more well known regions.
Finally, with respect to Vermont as a nascent wine region, the biggest reason for the recent radio silence is that a big project consumed our winter into spring, and it’s already time to start preparing for harvest. September 14th, 2015 will be the official release date for the book, “Wines of Vermont: A History of Pioneer Fermentation”.
The history of commercial wine making in Vermont may be a bit longer than one would think, and the history that leads Vermont into the making of wine goes far beyond that. This was a project that I found enlightening and educational to engage in, and I look forward to sharing these stories with wine lovers and lovers of Vermont alike in the coming weeks.
And yes, the site is way overdue for an overhaul…stay tuned…