Life Is A Cabernet
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Winemaker's Journal: A Day In The Life
POSTED 9/30/2013 7:14:09 PM
Ever wondered what a day in the life of a winemaker would be like during harvest? Read below to find out what Harvest 2013 is like from Daniel Baron’s perspective.
September 12, 2013
6:30 am: Wake up, have breakfast, read sports page.
7:40 am: Arrive at Soda Canyon Vineyard in southeast Napa Valley, meet with Dave Shein (our Napa Valley Vineyard Manager) and Nick Filice (our Grower Relations Manager) to look at grape maturities, tonnages and decide on where to taste that morning.
8:00 am: Begin walking vineyard: Block 26a has shredding skins, great berry flavor and soft tannins. It is ready for Friday or Saturday. 26 b, 25a (not ready – leathery skins, pyrazines) Block 5 (good progress from last tasting).
9:00 am: Leave Soda Canyon Vineyard and head west to Dry Creek Road to taste Petit Verdot with Nick. Skins beginning to shred, great color and varietal character – ready for Saturday. Nick makes call to arrange pick, I make call to arrange tanks.Read more ›
Silver Oak and Twomey September Harvest Update: September 24th
POSTED 9/24/2013 11:41:42 PM
We saw some cooler weather at the beginning of last week that allowed the vines to rehydrate the berries. By Wednesday and Thursday temperatures had risen to the high eighties and low nineties and we saw real maturity with softened skins and luscious flavors in many vineyards. The threat of rain increased as the week drew to a close and while a storm did hit over the weekend, it mainly just refreshed the berries and we saw no damage but we will now wait as the vines absorb the water and regain balance.
Silver Oak and Twomey September Harvest Update
POSTED 9/16/2013 7:32:10 PM
We are excited to announce that harvest at Silver Oak is officially in full swing! We brought in our first Cabernet Sauvignon from a couple of the rocky blocks of our Soda Canyon Vineyard in Napa Valley on Friday, September 6th. A looming heat spell had us worried last week, but thankfully it ended up being a little less severe than advertised and our fruit made it in unscathed by scorching temperatures. Delivery of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and the first of the Cabernet Franc continued to roll in throughout the end of last week from Napa, St. Helena and Atlas Peak vineyards.Read more ›
The Berry Sensory Analysis of Love Potion #2009
POSTED 7/23/2013 9:58:59 PM
Each new vintage presents an opportunity to improve. In 2009, our Director of Winemaking, Daniel Baron, implemented the use of a break-though method called Berry Sensory Analysis to better determine the maturity level of our fruit and ensure we harvest our Cabernet Sauvignon at optimal ripeness.
Traditionally, the decision to harvest was based upon a grape sample’s juice chemistry, specifically degrees brix (% sugar), pH and Total Acidity. However, studies and practical observations have shown that grapes with the same juice chemistry can make very different wines. Indeed, we have come to learn that the quality of red wine is determined by the ripeness of the skins. The color, tannins and aromatics of a wine come from the cell walls in the skins and the first layer of cells just beneath them. When a grape reaches full maturity, the cell walls have broken down, allowing the contents of the cells to enter the wine solution. Therefore, to accurately measure a grape’s maturity, we must also find a way to assess the maturity of the skins.
Berry Sensory Analysis is a process that takes into consideration the pulp, seeds and skin to determine maturity. Through a series of sensory tests using sight, touch and taste, our Winemaking Team evaluates a grape’s softness, color, stalk removal, pulp, seeds and skin. Each element of the grape is given a score from one to six; one is under-ripe, six is over-ripe and four is optimal ripeness. Once the scores begin to align around the number four, the fruit has reached maturity and is ready for harvest. During a growing season, the same blocks are evaluated multiple times a week, sometimes even multiple times a day, leading up to the ultimate decision of when to harvest.
Daniel is excited about the use of Berry Sensory Analysis because it has provided him and his team with a methodology by which to evaluate the grapes. Prior to Berry Sensory Analysis, Daniel had always tasted the fruit to help determine when to pick, but he didn’t have a way to quantify what he tasted. He explains the decision to harvest was less precise and more subjective. Now, he has a specific protocol to focus and evaluate what he sees, feels and tastes.
Our Winemaking Team is energized by the improvements they’ve already been able to make to our winemaking processes with Berry Sensory Analysis. We can’t wait to share the end results with you at our 2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Release Day at our Oakville winery on Saturday, August 3rd!Read more ›
17th Annual Premiere Napa Valley Raises $3.04 Million!
POSTED 2/26/2013 6:04:56 PM
This year’s Premiere Napa Valley auction was a huge success raising $3.04 million, nearly matching last year’s record-breaking event! 218 Napa Valley wineries donated 211 one-of-a-kind wines to be auctioned to members of the trade. This year’s winning bidder of our 20 case Cabernet Sauvignon Silver Oak lot, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, is Total Wine & More. Thank you and Congratulations to Total Wine & More! Our 2011 Silver Oak Jumpin’ Jack Flash is a beautiful wine from an incredible vintage. What makes it even more special is that there is no other wine like it in the world.
Twomey, also owned by the Duncan Family of Silver Oak, donated a 10 case lot of single vineyard Merlot called One. The winning bidder of this unique wine is Republic National Distributing Co. We know this wine will be in good hands and enjoyed by all who have the opportunity to taste it. RNDC - Congratulations and Thank you for your support!
Founded in 1997, Premiere provides funding for the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) to further its mission to promote, protect and enhance the Napa Valley appellation, its wines and its community. Revenue comes from the auctioning of rare, ultra-boutique, one-of-a-kind wines, crafted in as few as 60 bottles and never more than 240. For Napa Valley winemakers, Premiere is a chance to express something they have always wanted to convey in a wine in very limited production for this one moment in time and then never again. For attendees, it's the chance to preview the vintage coming into market.
To learn more about Premiere Napa Valley, please visit www.napavintners.com/pnv/.Read more ›