Winemaker’s Musings – July, 2020

The vineyard looks great this season. We were worried about fungal problems due to the heat and humidity, but it appears it may have too hot for fungus problems to really get going. It seems the late spring followed by hotter than normal conditions has put us on track for normal harvest dates. So we are expecting our first crops to come in about August 7th.

We just bottled our 2019 Chambourcin and Red Phoenix. The Red Phoenix will be a touch sweeter than its normal dry to off dry standard. The acids were different last year and we had to deal with the issue by using winery magic. We also bottled our first vintage of Petite Pearl. I’m excited about this grape as it has higher tannin, better color depth, and some neat flavors that fill most of the palate. I can see it possibly taking Chambourcin place as our base dry red. Our Syrah is always a struggle and we will probably not replace them as they die. I have found they rarely exceed Chambourcin for quality of wine.

Big announcement! We also just bottled Cap’N Jim’s Airport One. The wine actually is a blend of 7-10 year old ports. It is very limited and will be priced about $45 for a 750ml bottle. I’m not a huge fan of ports myself, but the port lovers who have tried it love it.  One of our earlier vintages was listed by a national wine writer as one of his top recommendations for ports made in the US.

So now it is time for Jim to get all the harvest equipment running, cleaned, and up to speed. That and getting harvest estimates so we can predict what need to order in the way of fermentation supplies and such.

I am about to hand over winemaker duties to my erstwhile assistant Nicole. She will be writing the future Musings. I know I will be leaving these duties in very capable hands. I will still be around as winemaker emeritus to aid as needed. 


Captain Jim