The grapes are in and fermentation is underway!
The 2013 Merlot came into the winery on September 7th, a full two weeks ahead of last year. With a warm, dry winter and relatively hot summer the growing kicked along at a swift but very consistent pace. A consistent growing season goes a long way once the grapes hit the the sorting table. There were just a few raisins, a few clusters of water-berries and only one bird nest that we found as we sorted through the bins that were delivered. Other than that it was a matter of making sure that leaves and other MOG (materials other than grapes) didn’t make it back into the bins.
The grapes were destemmed, crushed and placed back in the bins they were delivered in before yeast was added to begin the fermentation process. As of today two separate lots have been created utilizing two different types of yeast. For the next 10-14 days the lots will be gently punched down every 12 hours to ensure the fermentation is even and the wanted extraction occurs. From there the lots will be lightly pressed and barreled down for roughly 20 months of aging (or however long the wine needs).
Of course it is VERY early in the game but judging by the quality of the growing season, the fruit that was delivered to the winery and how the fermentations are progressing, thus far it looks to be the beginning of a beautiful vintage #4!