Drinking the Compost Tea
Sep06

Drinking the Compost Tea

Okay, I’m speaking metaphorically. But we are getting terribly organic, sustainable and agriculturally ranch-y around here suddenly. That’s because the heat is shooting up…well…some of the time. And we’re thinking the harvest may not be too far away. The result is a flurry of activity as we get workflow and workspace coordinated and ready from crushpad to canning station. But I lead off with compost tea...

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You Bet Your Grenache!
Oct02

You Bet Your Grenache!

If I were a betting person, I would have bet against this harvest. Everything that could go wrong was going wrong. We even had a dark night of the winemaker’s soul, when we considered just not harvesting the Grenache and chalking it up to a total loss. But we went ahead and harvested, crushed and sent the grapes to primary fermentation. And are we glad we did! Now we think this Grenache may be even better than last year’s....

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Harvest of Shame
Nov25

Harvest of Shame

We did pretty well bumbling through our first harvest from our tiny organic garden. We ate corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and melons all summer from it. In fact, this crazy garden doesn’t seem to know that summer is over. In fact, Fall is just about over. Which is good for me, because I picked a huge basket of produce intending to bring it back to San Francisco and share the wealth. Then I promptly left it on the back steps...

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Life is a Cabernet, Old Chum
Oct25

Life is a Cabernet, Old Chum

Who knew our harvest and crush would stretch over SIX WEEKS as each of five varietals managed to come ripe at one week intervals. After harvest, each grape type has to be crushed/destemmed, then put into primary fermentation vats where they require intense, full time babysitting for a week or so — what with three times daily punchdowns, temperature checks and specific gravity readings. The problem was, every time I shepherded a...

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The Loneliness of the Long Distance Farmer
Sep17

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Farmer

The only thing you can count on with a grape harvest is that you can’t count on it. It’ll happen when it happens, usually at the most inopportune time. There is nothing you can do but stand at the ready, prepared to drop everything so you can pick and crush at a moment’s notice. Compound that by the logistics of having a vineyard in Sonoma when we still live in San Francisco. Then sprinkle in the complexity of one of...

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Cinsault You Asked. . .The Great Grape Hustle
Sep15

Cinsault You Asked. . .The Great Grape Hustle

Just as we feared, the unusually warm spring and summer in Sonoma have cause the harvest to happen early and way too quickly for us as we are still putting the final touches on our crush pad. On a routine check of the Brix level Sunday, we suddenly found that our Cinsault was ready NOW. Nothing to do for it but drop everything and start picking. Of course, that meant no time to get a crew together, so it was Andy and me and the two...

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Hi HO Hi HO, Build a Better Workflow
Sep10

Hi HO Hi HO, Build a Better Workflow

Just realized it’s been more than ten days since I updated this blog. People who don’t keep their blogs current shouldn’t even be allowed to have blogs! It’s not that lots hasn’t happened. It’s just laziness I guess. So let me bring you up to speed on all the frantic preparations at Two Terrier Vineyards as our first grape harvest comes looming on the horizon. Yes, we’ve made wine for two...

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