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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Purchasing Aromas

Having just finished The Science of Wine; From Vine to Glass by Jamie Goode, I am now wondering how one tests for Ketones. α,β-ionones are responsible for the smell of violets in wine. I wonder if the compound is present in our Broken Leg and thus responsible for the violet aromas.

Searching around online to learn more, I quickly found that you can purchase the compound from the Good Scents Company. While not interesting for me, I wonder if those that claim wine making is 90% science have considered adding aromas. (We claim that wine making is 90% art...)

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Broken Leg

On Friday, we spent an hour in the Broken Leg vineyard. It is an incredible place - as steep as Côte Rôtie with a similar climate. Côte Rôtie means roasted slope - it is about as far north as Syrah will ripen in France. (There is or will be some Syrah further north in the Beaujolais but that is another story.) Broken Leg is also a roasted slope. Very cool area but a pocket of warmth.

The vines look good. They have just barely begun to flower. We expect it to complete in the next few weeks. We are beginning to understand the vineyard - seems like it takes us about 3 years to really get it. This will be our third year and we are very excited.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Hog Pen and the near end of the Prius

We spent the day in Anderson Valley seeing Broken Leg and Hog Pen vineyards.

Hog Pen will become a great vineyard. Last year and hopefully this year, we will get upper Hog Pen. It is planted with a variety of Syrah clones. Much more exciting, we went and saw lower Hog Pen. This vineyard, planted with Merlot in 1995, is being grafted over with Syrah - 877 and 174 and will be ours for the next five years at least. It is located in Mendocino Ridge Appellation tucked near the top of a ridge.

Lower Hog Pen won't produce fruit until next year. Upper hasn't flowered yet.

The only downside, it is beyond the Prius' reach. We were supposed to meet the grower at the end of the paved road. Due to the lack of cell phone coverage, we missed him. Wanting to see the vineyard, we ventured down the steep road with our little Prius. The Prius is great for vineyard visits - we often get 60 MPG on the road. We made it to the vineyard. It look great and we are very excited!

Only problem, the Prius didn't have the traction to make it our of the vineyard. We got about halfway up the hill and no go - we started to spin. We had to be towed - oh well, all in a days work.

Next time, we will take photos...

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