So what's happening in my world? Well, we are finishing off some whites, mostly dessert wines and coarse filtering them to clean them up a bit. We actually bottled this years Chenin blanc last week. The reds are settling in tanks before we move them to barrels and I'm going to innoculate all the reds tommorrow with malolactic bacteria...I'm thinking it's going to be a busy day.
I have never been to France, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't look anything like eastern Washington, so in France they don't let you water your grapes. Two points on this; I'm not sure who the "they" is that won't let them water their grapes, but "they" don't sound nice or fun even. Second, I can neither confirm nor deny the presence PVC pipe in France, I think "they" call that, having a bad attitude. Relying on mother nature to supply you water at just the right time is like playing Roulette, really? do you ever see anyone win at that game. certainly not me. So OK, the water thing can affect a season quite a bit, not only quality wise, but also economically, but this is not France, welcome to the good old USA.
Let's talk specifically about Red mountain, I promise, I will not get all Viticulture on you, apologies to you botany geeks. We can water whenever we want, as much or as little is needed. The soil out here is pretty much a beach, with little, to no organic material to it, in other words, lousy, but perfect for growing grapes. Red mountain is one of the warmest growing areas in the state, never have, we ever had a year when we couldn't get our grapes ripe.So in challenging years like 2011, we have the tools to respond to those conditions and still make good quality.
I look at winemaking, the same as I look at cooking a good meal, the better your ingredients, the better your meal is going to be. Sometimes the Bok Choy at the grocery store looks like it's been there for a while, or the watermelon's not sweet.. so you adjust your recipe, maybe you substitute, or maybe you just leave it out all together. 95 percent of the time our grapes are perfect, but the 5% of the time their not, we adjust. Our winemaking philosophy has more or less been; just don't screw it up. I know some winemakers are tinkerers, but that's never been us. However when we need to, when our grapes need a helping hand, I think we have done a good job of still putting out quality Kiona wines.
So yes, although I say every year is a good year, it's not a line I am handing you...with a smile and a hand shake, it is something I truly believe. One of the many things that is great about working at Kiona, for me anyways, is that we have never put a bottle of wine out that I have been embarrassed to say that I hand in making. Actually one of the things that attracted me to winemaking in the first place, was the self gratification I get from it. I don't have to rely on other people to tell me I'm doing a good job, I can just grab a bottle of wine, open it and taste it.. smile...and say " I made this".
Have a great Thanksgiving everyone, I know I am looking forward to it at the winery, there will be lots of food, family, wine and of course...cards! Carrie and I will miss you on Thanksgiving, Erica, Sean, David, Kate and of course Cora June. Love guys see you soon!
Thanks again for taking a few minutes out of your busy day to read this. All the best to you all