Dropped of my first batch of "Commercial" grapes at the custom crush today

I have to say it felt a bit weird leaving my grapes with someone else. In fact, not unlike the way I felt the first time my kids went to daycare. I need to get my own bonded place ASAP. I don’t like not having my hands on the grapes/wine.

Still, its a nice feeling taking my first baby steps to us having our own wine label.

Congraulations Berry!

Thank you Brian.

411 bitch. What are you producing? Vineyard source? Elevage? Winemaker/s?

Give us a taste man.

Hey Glenn,

This year I am doing two wines commercially (about 10 total but 8 of them are just wines Im making at home to test vineyard sites). The first commercial wine is a Primitivo from Sutter County (that’s what I dropped off today) and the second is a Zin from Fair Play. Both grown organically. In terms of elevage Im having a hard time deciding between a flex tank and neutral oak for the wines (but I need to decide ASAP). My home winemaking experiments have convinced me that I really like the style of Zinfandel when made with lower ripeness, gentle extraction and no oak aromas/flavors. My experiments have also shown me its possible to extract too little so Im trying to find a good balance. I found a place to custom crush for me and then if I can ever find a location within my budget Im going to transfer the wines in bond to my location and finish there.

Hope all is well up in Oregon. Drinking the local bounty?


Sounds good man. Plenty of great Zin in/around Fair Play! You get time up there you have to seek out La Clarine Farm and taste with Caroline & Hank.

When the FP Zin comes for sale do let us know, would love to try some.

OR is really fun still, been drinking a lot of Burgs as local spot - Anna’s by the Sea - has a very advanced list for a rural town like ours.


That’s a better list than anything in Sacramento, that’s for sure

Hey Berry, didn’t know you were “ITB”! All best with your winemaking.

Glenn, that’s quite a wine list for the “boonies”–IIRC that part of the coast is pretty isolated. I like the “not yet tasted,” that’s really honest of them. But what is “Nouvelle Canadian Prairie Cuisine?” Sounds a bit over the top–Maybe I’ve spent too much time on the East Coast :wink:.

Well I wasn’t until yesterday really. I was thinking of starting next year but I made a very recent decision to do two barrels custom crush this year to get a head start. I guess I add ITB to my signature.

Thank you

Peter - Anna’s is a great small joint run by a chef named Peter; whose philosophy is to serve food that doesn’t F up the wine! Of course the food is considerably better than that with an amazing home-made cheese platter for $14, seriously could be $30-40 if served in SF.

Peter is Canadian but the original Anna’s was in/near Phoenix hence the prairie reference. Well that and a lot of cowboy music is played there.

Scallops, fish, duck, lamb, filet all strong entrees. No garlic in cooking. FWIW Peter has become a friend but I thought all of the above after two meals there.

A gem.

Berry, sounds exciting - and 2013 looking like a good pinot year to boot. Hey, Kevin Harvey noted that like 20 acres of additional vines are coming into production this year at Bear Wallow. Maybe you can source from him next year. [cheers.gif]

Good luck and congrats! Very interested in Zin with lower octane in Flextank/neutral oak. All the Zins we made at Joseph Swan while I was there were aged in neutral oak and I think it really lets the fruit shine thru.

Im throwing everyone for a loop apparently, but Ive decided to focus on Zinfandel from my neck of the woods. Zin can actually be quite elegant depending on picking maturity and winemaking decisions. I guess my challenge is giving people who like the wines I usually drink to give Zinfandel a change. I think a lot of people will be surprised.

Thank you

Agreed. Joseph Swan zins were one of inspirations for sure. People are always shocked how good Rod’s zins are when I open a bottle for them. One of the great QPRs from Sonoma.

I think both Cab and Pinot wear oak better than Zinfandel.

No doubt about that!

Good luck berry. You are about a year ahead of me. Look forward to learning from your experiences and coming along for the virtual ride.

Thanks. When I get my place set up I’ll invite you out

CONGRATULATIONS BERRY! champagne.gif I expect great things from your wines! I think you made a great choice with Zin, there are so many great sites out there with quite a lot of history, let along impressive vine age. Once again, Congratulations!! All the best for you, Kim and the rascals!

Thanks for the kind word’s Ray. Im not quite as sure as you though about the wines. I’ve lucked out that the winemaker at the winery doing my custom crush was the winemaker at Ridge Vineyards for 10 years so my wines are unlikely to have any technical flaws and he has given some great guidance, but until the wines go through malo Im going to be nervous.

Congratulations on your first commercial harvest - always so exciting to get the first one done!