Now the Merlot fruit is in the press and the morning light shines through the wine as it leaves the press on it’s journey to those fabulous barrels. They now will begin the long doze there for 18-20months. Can you possibly stand the wait?

Check the color of the Rua 2011 Merlot as it starts it’s journey to the press -well this free run juice ain’t gonna need any pressing! Juicy Juicy goodness in a vintage when folks were really concerned about ripening.

Shake, Rattle and Roll - how we ensure the best fruit ends up in the picking bins during a tough season - Survival of the fittest!!

winelibrary:

ivegotafoodbaby:

Kit Kat Wine by Plaid Ninja on Flickr.

How come we don’t get cool KitKats like this in the states?

winelibrary:

ivegotafoodbaby:

Kit Kat Wine by Plaid Ninja on Flickr.

How come we don’t get cool KitKats like this in the states?

We’re finally getting around to filling some big bottles full of 09 Rua. We’ve got one 9Liter, one 6Liter and seven 3Liters. Don’t you want to come to a party where we open one of these big boys? Next Wine Club party we promise to do just that.

We’re finally getting around to filling some big bottles full of 09 Rua. We’ve got one 9Liter, one 6Liter and seven 3Liters. Don’t you want to come to a party where we open one of these big boys? Next Wine Club party we promise to do just that.

Merlot looking good after the rain. The crews removed the leaves around the clusters so they can dry quickly and the sun is shining and it’s in the 80s -ahhhh!

Merlot looking good after the rain. The crews removed the leaves around the clusters so they can dry quickly and the sun is shining and it’s in the 80s -ahhhh!

Weather Shmeather

Well we certainly got some unseasonable rain the last few days - after all the fear of the forecasted deluge, Napa only received 0.56inches yesterday. So we start Wednesday October 5th with the sun shining and hopes high. We won’t really know where we stand till we get back out in the vineyards again on Friday to check the fruit and the sugars -pics to follow. Good news is that there is sun forecast for the next few days that should warm us and the grapes up as well as make our spirits brighter!  Hold the wellies -it’s not winter yet!

A short video on how we sample sugars in our Merlot vineyard

Checking sugars -again!

We don’t need to give you an update every time we check the sugars but suffice to say - they climbed nearly a point given the 90 degree heat we had this past week. The great news is that the Cabernet Franc and Merlot sugars are less than a half point apart - the closest they’ve been since we started making Rua - perfect for our co-fermenting plans. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that it stays that way. On the other good news front we videotaped the sampling and sugar testing and hope to load a video before the end of the week.

Checking Fruit Sugars

Well today we had our first foray of this vintage into checking sugars. This is a process which helps us know the best time to pick the grapes to get optimum flavors. Both vineyards are not too far away from each other geographically - only 7 miles from the Carneros appellation in Napa where we get our Merlot to the Oak Knoll appellation also in Napa Valley where we source our Cabernet Franc. The process involves picking a good cross section of berries, squeezing them to extract the juice and then testing the sugar or brix with a machine called a Refractometer. Today the Merlot was 21.6 degrees (a little further along than we expected) and the Cabernet Franc was 20.5 degrees (right around where we thought it would be). 

We will continue to check sugars every week and as we get closer to our Harvest date we’ll likely check them every other day.  We may have to adjust our picking date a little, always a gamble when you have to schedule pickers, but we’re pleased both grapes are trucking along at around the same sugar levels especially as harvesting them together is crucial to our co-fermenting plans for Rua. One of the many things that sets our wine apart from others. Can’t wait to see how much the sugars climb by next week.