Notes From The Winemaker
The vineyard will keep us busy all the way up through harvest. Following bud break in early spring rapid shoot growth persists. When the shoots reach around 5-6 inches we continue our pruning, carrying out a practice called shoot thinning. This very important stage of pruning shapes the shoot density and establishes the future microclimate for the grapevine fruiting zone.
Shoot thinning involves removing downward facing shoots, crowded shoots, underdeveloped or unfruitful shoots, unwanted secondary shoots, and late emerging buds growing from the head and trunk of the vine or along the cordons (arms). This practice provides more space for the remaining shoots, allowing light and air to pass through, as well as allowing foliar sprays to penetrate the canopy and reach their target. The open canopy with adequate light allows the grape cluster to ripen more uniformly and develop better varietal characteristics. Shoot thinning improves the fruit to leaf ratio to achieve growth balance.
The enthusiasm in the cellar is the emergence of our 2016 Malbec from the barrels that it has matured in for two years. We continue to care for our aging wine, which must be “topped” or filled once a month due to ullage. This refers to space between the wine and the top of the barrel. Wine from the barrel evaporates, exposing it to oxygen. Excessive amounts of oxygen contact can lead to oxidation and spoilage. This procedure amazingly consumes upwards of 300 gallons of wine each year!
This month holds within it the first day of summer! The heat of the summertime sun is an invitation for a refreshing, chilled white wine. I introduce to you our 2015 Riesling. This wine is crafted from grapes cultivated in the vineyards of 2 Mountain Winery, which is located in the Rattlesnake Hills area of Yakima Valley, nestled in south central Washington State. With the long and dry growing season these Riesling grapes were able to develop wonderfully ripe varietal characteristics enabling us to bring about in the wine rich floral aromas intertwined with honeyed pineapple.