Dateline April 19, 2013
Spring has sprung and although the rainfall has been below normal, there is good moisture in the ground due to the 22 inches of abundant rain received in November and December last year. Our vineyards have all been cultivated to remove competing vegetation for water and bud break on all varieties has begun. An early analysis of the first to break Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grape show multiple clusters which is an indication of another good crop barring some inclement weather conditions. Weather has been cool and windy slowing somewhat the development of Zin and Cabernet but these varieties are coming strong and there is no evidence of bud mite damage. We are off and running for another vintage year and hopefully if it comes close to as good as last year’s great harvest we will be happy campers.
Early strong demand for grapes is evident this year so we expect the market will remain strong with good price support. We are in the process of installing trellis system and drip irrigation in the new 3 acre Pinot block at Russian River and we have completed 535 feet of steel fencing to integrate with our deer fence above the vineyard to provide additional 5 acre pasture for our sustainable goats & sheep. They seem to love their new digs and are fattening up on scrub oak, Manzanita brush and poison oak before hitting hard the wild oat native grasses. For 2 days, however, they disappeared from view and I discovered to my horror they had nudged open the back gate and had climbed to higher elevation up the ridge behind the vineyard exploring new territory. They seemed somewhat lost and confused and were happy happy when I led them back to their home pasture safe and sound from mountain lions that had been recently reported in our area.
Six of our 2 ton SS fermenters have been converted to accommodate a 22 inch horizontal manhole on the bottom. This will enable easier handling of pomace removal after draining free run juice. We decided at last minute to convert all ten fermenters instead of six as SS and labor costs climb each year. You can pay now or pay later and we decided to spread the wealth and pay now. Four more fermenter conversion contracts were issued and are in process. We are anxious to get them back soon as support stands need to be modified, then repainted. We also decided to add to our project list this year a new winery sign to replace the old barrel sign that has served us well for over 16 years. 45% of our direct sales are done in the tasting room. In that our winery tasting room is not visible from the road we are hoping this new larger sign will increase traffic and TR sales. The new lenticular filter system has been received and it is a beautiful polished SS piece of machinery, the old plate filter has been sold to a brewery in San Diego. We are anxious to use the new filter as it will reduce wine loss during filtration.
It has been 3 years since we last produced a Rose wine and this year we will start the bottling season by producing 50 cases of 2012 Paradiso Rosato Tre Viti followed by our 2011 Pinot Noir. Both of these wines show exceptional quality with wonderful vibrant fruit and I am anxious to get them in the bottle as I am sure you will love drinking them. Our unique 2010 Papa Nonno has sold quickly as only 28 cases remain. Act quickly if you want this incredible wine that reflects the elevated temperatures which prevailed for 4 days prior to the 2010 harvest. Only 9 cases of our 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel remain. Hurry if you want the last of the this wine because we will next go into our infamous harsh heat 2010 Zinfandel which you will find interesting, unique and slightly different from past vintages. We worked hard to get the 010 Zin into an acceptable flavor and taste as we had very little whole berry fruit to work with and the wine required extra blending, unusual fining and filtration. You will love the aroma of the 010 Zin as it exhibits the nose of a much older wine. One other alert, we are also close to depletion of our 09 BeauSierra Bordeaux wine which has garnered 4 Gold Medals. Only 38 cases remain of this delicious well balanced wine so you might want to get a case for this summer’s BBQs before we sell out. This is the wonderful world of wine i.e. the diversity in flavors, aromas and style resulting from seasonal vintage.
We are preparing for our largest trade event of the year, the Passport To Dry Creek Valley. This is our 15th year of participation in this highly popular Sonoma County event where we expect to entertain a huge turnout of about 1000 over two days. Please see our Special Event link http://www.forchini.com/events.asp for more info on what we’re serving, the music and how to get last minute Passports if available. Last but not least will be our upcoming Solstice Winemakers Club dinner here at the winery dining al fresco on June 22. More details by email will be coming forward as the menu is formulated. We do know Todd Muir will be back with something special and of course all our wines will be poured.
That’s it for now, have a great spring, get those gardens planted and hopefully we will see you
out our way soon.
Jim Forchini, Editor