• Dormant Days

    Happy New Year! And onward we go. This fall was very busy, but somehow I managed to get close to 500 lbs of GSM off the new grafts and current vines. The wine is in the barrel, aging away, but struggling to get through malolactic fermentation. An electric blanket is …

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  • Pruning Complete

    Given that the Mourvedre was still in its infancy and the grafts for the Grenache and Syrah have yet to make it through a full year, I enlisted some help from a fellow winemaker to help me prune. In return, I paid his way into the 8th Street Wineries Open …

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Dormant Days

Happy New Year! And onward we go. This fall was very busy, but somehow I managed to get close to 500 lbs of GSM off the new grafts and current vines. The wine is in the barrel, aging away, but struggling to get through malolactic fermentation. An electric blanket is …

Pruning Complete

Given that the Mourvedre was still in its infancy and the grafts for the Grenache and Syrah have yet to make it through a full year, I enlisted some help from a fellow winemaker to help me prune. In return, I paid his way into the 8th Street Wineries Open …

Great Giraffe Graft

Since my last post oh so many months ago, a truckload of changes have occurred in my little winery. I finally got around to getting the grafting done. I scored some great budwood and 99.9% of the grafts have taken. So much so that I actually had about 6oz of …

Skip a Year? I Think Not!

While the new grafts were coming into their own, I decided to not skip a year and do something very sacrilegious in the home winemaking arena … buy grapes. I purchased about 600 lbs of Grenache (250), Syrah (250), and Mourvedre (100) grapes which I estimated would fill up my …

A Rose is a Rose

The harvest is late. Later than usual that is. I would normally have already piked the Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc by this point, but with the extremely cool weather this summer, I’m two to four weeks behind. Two weeks ago, I picked the Pinot Noir for the last time. …

When to Graft

Step 1. Find bud wood. Step 2. Hold the bud wood through the winter. It seems these are the first steps to getting the bud wood I need to graft the Grenache and Syrah. JG (my winemaker friend) has already found Syrah bud wood, and is now looking for Grenache. …

Out with the Old, in with the GSM

I had a revelation the other day driving home. Given that I have three distinct varietals planted, and never shall they find themselves in the same barrel, I’ve decided to chop the tops of the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir vines, and graft in Grenache and Syrah. Why? This will …

What I’ll Do Different This Year

After another unsuccessful wine competition, I’ve got yet another few key things I need to keep an eye on for this year’s harvest. Now that the garage is mostly insulated, I’m going to try fermenting outside of the wine cellar, and thus at a higher temperature (at least for the …

Spring in the Vineyard

Well, the crush came and went. The holidays. The new year, and not much from the Giraffe winemaker. So let me see if I can catch you up. Pruning happened sometime in January, early February. I took each cane down to a spur with two buds. In hindsight, and talking …

Bottling 2008

Finally got a chance to put the 2008 Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc into the bottle. Two cases of each was the pull from last year’s light harvest. Ron and Dave came over to perhaps help with this year’s harvest, but the brix didn’t move as much as we expected. …