And just like that it’s over… Well, almost. We’re planning to take Thursday November 11th off as “End-of-Harvest” Day – sleep in, clean the house, get at haircut… a blissful day of not thinking about grapes or wine!
It was a strange harvest – but I guess we always say that. The grapes were not plentiful or spectacular so worked extra-hard to create excellent wines for you. The Grenache noir came in first and fermented perfectly. The Syrah was next and it exhibited a low sugar, high pH characteristic that was alarming back in September but became the “norm” by the end of October. A high temperature spike during the first week of September caused the grapes to basically shut down. To further complicate the issue vineyard managers immediately began pumping lots of water onto the vines to save the canopy (the leaves) which caused the brix to drop more and the pH to rise further. In the end it became a game of “how long can we let the fruit hang?”. The reds did pretty well with the Mourvèdre being better than usual and the Carignane (a first for us) being spectacular. On the white side of the house the Viognier came in early and clean, fermenting into an exceptional wine. Marsanne was next (yes, we’re planning to recreate the “Audition” that everybody loved so well) and then we waited to the very end of Harvest to pull the Roussanne, the Grenache blanc, and the Picpoul blanc. The whites are being carefully watched over and should make it through well but all-in-all it was an awful lot of work to produce such a little bit of wine.
Lots of work has and will be happening on the Tasting Room. The outdoor tasting area is pretty much complete except for the final tables. Inside the insulation and walls should be installed in the next 30 days or so. We know everybody likes our “rustic” style but we’d like to have it a little more finished (and warm) for the winter. The holidays are just around the corner and we’re looking forward to our next Wine Club release on November 18th and the Christmas Eve-Eve party on December 23rd. We’re expecting a lot of rain this winter but don’t worry, we’ll be snug and warm inside.
Well, we’ve made it to “Half-Time” in the game of harvest. Due to the way Rhone varietals tend to ripen in the Santa Clara Valley we usually get 75% of our grapes arriving on the crush pad in mid-September. These grapes are processed, fermented, and moved to settling tanks by the first week of October. The remaining 25% of the grapes – the whites strangely enough – don’t arrive until the last couple weeks of October or even early November. This gives us about 10 days in the middle of October to catch up on paperwork, clean up the winery, take the dog to the park, maybe even sleep a little before it’s back to the harvest grind. So right now we’re at half-time; Grenache noir and rose, Syrah, Carignane, Viognier, and Marsanne are all in and done. Next week or the following we’re expecting Grenache blanc, Picpoul blanc, Roussanne and hopefully Mourvedre (if it ripens fully this year).
So far harvest has been pretty smooth. The fruit’s been a little uneven due to the huge heat spike we had in the first week of September but good winemakers will make good wine, even in off years. It might be the experience of several more harvest behind me talking but I think this has been the easiest one so far and we’re on the downhill slope. Famous last words.
Sounds like we’re just lazing around in the October sunshine, laying in the grass and watching the clouds, right? Nope. This weekend is the Fall Passport for the Wineries of Santa Clara county so there’s that craziness to prepare for as well as a few projects we’ve been putting off around the winery. We’ve gotten rid of the old carport cover that we were using for shade in the outdoor picnic area and replaced it with a number of “Shade Sails”. We put them up yesterday to check the layout but right now they’re only attached using cheap line that’s way too small for the job… and here comes the first of the winter winds. We’ve also put together a list of “Winter” projects for after harvest. On the top of that list is “Finish the Tasting Room” which includes running power and lights, insulation, heat, and a fancy ceiling. I know everybody likes the “rustic” look, and we promise not to get too far away from that, but I’m looking forward to being a little more like a nice winery and a little less like a tractor shed.
Stop by and try the La Vie Dansante wines every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5pm.
We pour at “Blended, a Winemaker’s Studio” located on Dryden Ave east of Hwy 101 just north of Gilroy. Our tasting fee is $10 (refundable with the purchase of a bottle).
If you work the weekends give us a call at (408) 852-0779 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a weekday appointment.
10/07 – Release of the 2015 Roussanne and 2014 Syrah
10/13-15 – Wineries of Santa Clara County 2017 Fall Passport. Reina Carillo from GVA Café is busy working up a special recipe incorporating fresh grapes (remember last year’s pizza?) for this fall’s Passport. We’ll have food to purchase and live music by… TBD for now but stay tuned and we’ll let you know as soon as we figure it out.
11/18 – Release of the 2016 Grenache Rose.
11/18 – Winter Wine Club Release for La Vie Dansante Wine Club Members. This is a release for the 12 bottle club members only but members of all clubs are encouraged to stop by and try the new wines.
11/25/26 – We will be open normal hours, noon to 5pm on Thanksgiving Weekend.
12/2 – Release of the LVD Wine Company “Stage Left”, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and a touch of Syrah.
12/23 – Blended Christmas Party! Last year was casual and a lot of fun. We’ll be showing Christmas cartoons and movies all day and enjoying holiday goodies with all of our friends.
12/24 – We’ll be closed on Christmas Eve to allow our staff to enjoy the holidays with their family.
12/30-31 – We’ll be open normal hours, noon to 5pm, on New Year’s Eve Weekend.