I know its harvest time when I catch myself asking my wife “What day is it?” at least three times a day. The months of August and September fly by in a surreal blur as my mind becomes highly focused on the thousands of details of wine making that need attention and action. These two months have become known as the “Harvest Widow” months in our home. Sometimes within the surreal harvest blur I do get messages from the outside real world like – “Remember we are babysitting the grandchildren this Thursday,” and “Your newsletter article is past due – we need it now.” HOLY COW! The newsletter article, yes, yes, I shake my head clear and quickly sit in front of the laptop. My mind goes blank and I’m back inside the surreal harvest blur again thinking about the “Yes Dear” Chardonnay. So, if you don’t mind, I’m going to give you a little peak inside this world….
The chardonnay came from two vineyard blocks with slight differences in flavor. I decided to treat each block different. The block that highlighted the Chardonnay’s fruity character is barrel fermented in French oak puncheon barrels. Whereas the chardonnay highlighting its acidity is fermented in stainless. Two different yeast strains were chosen one for barrel fermentation the other for the tank. The yeast strain chosen for the French oak puncheons is special in that it ferments slowly and the spent yeast cells breakup quickly releasing its creamy flavor into the wine. I’m very excited about using the puncheon barrels this year. What is a puncheon you ask? Take a peek inside the barrel room and you will see them, eight barrels that are twice the size of a normal barrel (barrels on steroids). These barrels will incorporate the full richness of the oak into a full mouth creaminess. With the correct conditions will produce the correct amount of butteriness. Do you think the “Wilson ladies” will approve? I certainly do!
~ Gus Vizgirda