Grapevines are growing faster than we can get the work done. The growth of our vines has already exceded last year’s full growth and we still have 60 days until harvest. Farming is controlled by Mother Nature. This year’s crop looks much better than last year’s. We still have a couple varieties that need to finish fruit set. We have more than 30 people working in the vineyards. They are just finishing shoot removal and are starting leaf and lateral removal. In the meantime, tractors are busy spraying for mildew control and hedging to remove shoot tips, control growth, and make room for the tractors to move through the rows. We are also installing additional drip irrigation. Most of our vineyards already have drip and sprinklers but, with the water shortage, drip saves about 40-60% compared to sprinklers or flood irrigation. It also gives us the ability to irrigate without getting the vines wet which can be detrimental once grapes ripen. In addition to all that, we are preparing for harvest, year number 43 for me.
I was pleased to see the recognition given to both Classico and Riserva, two unique and underpriced wines. Who knows what we might have done had we submitted more than just these two wines for review? I am happy to see that sales are up substantially for our Toccata Tasting Room. The currently released wines are the best that Toccata has ever produced. I wish we would make a better effort letting the wine world know, but I don’t have to tell you that.
2013 Malvasia Bianca - We grow 24 varieties of grapes and this one is #1 in flavor. It continues to be a best seller in the Tasting Room. We now make it in two versions. This is the sweeter version at 1.17 RS, which is not that sweet. Most sweet wines have 3-5% residual sugar. The other version, our “Secco” Malvasia Bianca, has just a touch of RS. We have limited acreage, thus limited production. For a real treat, serve well chilled with scampi.
2012 Sangiovese - Those two high scoring wines, Classico and Riserva, both have a substantial amount of this Sangiovese. This wine gives you the opportunity to experience a 100% Sangiovese. Sangiovese is often blended with many other varieties successfully. On its own, you’ll find it to be smooth, easy to drink, not too dark in color and, if you look really hard, you’ll notice a little bit of salmon color. Our original block of Sangiovese is from the Brunello clone, which produces very high quality wine. It differs from other clones because of a mixture of berry sizes in the bunch. A portion of the bunch is smaller berries and seems to add additional color and flavor. It’s also the basic wine in Chianti.
I hope your summer is one filled with fun, family, and friends. I can’t believe another harvest is already near.