Tucked in all the 459 clone and did the new grafts in the “Old Block”.
On July 3, Vinifera came in with 20 people that did the rest of the tucking in/pruning and started on the pruning of the grafted vines.
I went through the vineyard and checked every graft in order to get a feeling for how everything went. In general the development has been much slower than last year. There are some of the buds that have broken in the last few days, 7 weeks after grafting. This is much slower than last year. Especially the South Block with the Chardonnay is much slower and less vigorous than the rest.
Here is an example of the graft that is 7 weeks old and just now had bud break. In the Chardonnay block it was poor performance all over, but it looks like it could still improve with more bud break happening later.
The re-grafted 8 vines are not looking good, only 4 of them are looking good. 144 vines were grafted and 20 are not looking good now, that is an 86% success rate right now.
100 vines grafted and 10 are not looking good, 90%.
Some of the grafts seem to have taken well initially but then dried out and not successful.
Foxtrot 115 Clone
We grafted 624 vines and 44 of them are now not looking good but the rest are looking fine. This would be a success rate of 92.9%. It had quite a lot of suckers that we took away around June 8.
This area also have some grafts that just had bud break. But most of them had quite extensive growth both of grafts and suckers.
39 questionable out of 527 grafts. That would be 92.6%. Very vigorous growth.
This is not looking good at the moment but I am hoping that there will be more bud break happening later. Very sparse growth and not that much suckers. Most of the bud break has happened in the past few weeks, 7 weeks after the grafting?!
Right now we have 848 grafts and 275 not successful (at least not yet) for a 67.6% success.
Clone 95: problems with 22 of 147 for 85%
Clone 72: Problems with 45 of 152 for 70.4%
Clone 548: Problems with 132 of 334 for 60.5%
Clone 75: Problems with 76 of 215 for 64.7%
Hopefully this will improve in the next few weeks/
Based on the great results from last years test grafting of 224 vines from Pinot Gris to Pinot Noir Clone 459, I decided to graft everything over to have the whole vineyard only Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Only 3 vines from last year did not take, and 5 where grafted with the wrong budwood. In March, when we did the pruning of the newly grafted vines, I took a bunch of budwood from the 459 area and stored it at the cool storage at Lake Breeze. We re-grafted the 8 failed ones from last year and made an additional 3 rows (144 vines). There is now a total of 368 vines of clone 459.
This is from April 26, when the grafting was done. The bud break is starting on the re-grafted clone 459.
I also took cuttings from my existing Pinot Noir block and grafted them over on the Merlot vines that were next to the Pinot block. 100 vines where and there is now a total of 1,450 vines of the “Old Block”.
I also took cuttings from the Foxtrot vines and grafted 13 rows of Pinot Gris (624 vines) over to the “Foxtrot Clone 115”
In March, I went up to Kelowna and got cuttings from my friend Doug Reimer’s vineyard. He has a mix of clone 667, 777 and 115 brought in directly from France. The Merlot block at my vineyard was grafted over to this mix of his clones, a total of 527 vines.
The Southern Pinot Gris block was grafted to Chardonnay, 3 clones from Coolshanagh Vineyard, where Foxtrot made what I think the best Chardonnay they’ve made in 2011. We grafted 147 vines over to Clone 95, 334 vines to Clone 548 and 215 over to Clone 75. I also got some of the old Shot Wente Clone (Clone 72) and grafted 152 vines over to that.
The process of making the final blend of the 2012 Henricsson Reserve Pinot Noir started in early August 2014. Starting out with samples of all 14 barrels of 2012 Pinot Noir from my vineyard. Gustav and I started with a detailed tasting of every one. They came from 5 different blocks all fermented separately with different yeasts. We identified 6 samples that had the characteristics we were looking for. Then we started making some test blends.
Next, I did the same tasting and small test blends with my friends Ritchie and Lena Younger one evening and incorporated their comments into my notes.
Gustav and I got together in my kitchen on September 15, and took samples from the 6 barrels and retasted them. We identified 4 that we wanted and started making test blends from them. Long, frustrating but fun process.
Sometimes, you taste two wines and feel that the two together would complement each other perfectly, just to find out that instead they cancel each other out completely.
But finally we arrived at a blend that we were very happy with. The blend came from 4 different barrels with 4 different yeasts.
Barrel 56. 44%. Melody yeast. Second fill barrel. Francois Frere, TG M+. Raspberry, primary nose. Good acidity, some earthiness on finish with dark cherry. Good mid palate. Dark fruit lingers on aftertaste. Spice. Intense. Really delicious, would be good on its own.
Barrel 59. 25%. Press wine. (Very gently pressed) Francois Frere, TG MT. Second fill. Big, rich, powerful. Meaty notes, salty. Good roundness and medium acidity.
Barrel 42. 19%. Yeast: BRL97. Francois Frere, TG MT. Second fill. Earthy, good fruit on nose. Good weight on mid palate. Good mix of red and dark fruit. Rich and full on finish. Intense focus. Very long aftertaste. Good components but not quite integrated. Strong fruit component.
Barrel 17. 12%. Yeast: RC212. Francois Frere, VTG MT. Second fill. Floral nose. Good, fresh acidity. Good mid palate. Cherry notes on finish. Strawberry. Very long aftertaste. Some bitterness on finish.
On October 3, we made the final mix of the wine into a little tank I bought with a lid that sinks into the tank and expands to make an airtight seal right on top of the wine. We had dry ice to minimize oxygen exposure. Very happy with the final wine.
In the picture I am measuring the level of the wine. That’s how we could get the exact blend in the tank.
Bottling will happen on October 6.
On August 22, the Foxtrot Pinot Noir, Henricsson Vineyard was officially released. This happened at a dinner at the Naramata Heritage Inn. Chico, from Vancouver was performing. Lots of dancing and good food.
The wine was very well received, as was the Foxtrot Chardonnay, which was released at the same time.
In early November, 2013, bottling was done at Foxtrot VY. We bottled the wines from my vineyard for the first time under the label Foxtrot “Henricsson Vineyard”. Everybody were very happy with the resulting wine.
Before the final blend, winemaker Gustav and I tasted through the barrels and I made a blend according to my taste that we bottled separately under the label “Henricsson Reserve”.
May 27 was time for the first shoot thinning.
Here it is done by wine maker Gustav Allander.
On May 5, 2014 I had a crew from Angel Arias in Napa here to graft some of the Pinot Gris over to Pinot Noir. Since the Pinot Gris is over 20 years old, it would be a shame to not use them. I got the recommendation and contact information from Mike Etzel at Beau Freres. Arias have done quite a lot of regrafting in Oregon with excellent results.
I only had enough cuttings for 215 plants. The cuttings came from my friends Peter and Rebecca Work, that owns Ampelos Vineyard in Santa Rita Hills in California. The clone is 459, a fairly new clone that they were very impressed with. We grafted them on to the first 7 rows of the Northern Block of Pinot Gris.
First we cut the existing vines with a saw at a point where they were straight.
Then the artist went to work. They cut by hand the cuttings into sticks with 2 buds each on them. The bottom was cut on an angle with a slice through the middle. Then 2 cuts at the top of the trunk with a slice in it and the cutting was them pushed into the trunk. 2 cuttings per trunk. Then it was wrapped with tape and a paste was added on top of the remaining trunk and where the graft was pushed into the trunk.
The last, but very important step was to make a cut in the vines with a saw, low down on the trunk. This way the vine would bleed sap and not let it rise too vigorously up the trunk and actually push the new cuttings out. Every 4 days, we went through the new grafts and checked if they were wet on top. If they were, we made a new cut in the trunk, and if needed added more paste on the trunk. This continued for 6 weeks. The first few times, more than half of the vines were wet and got a new cut. Every time it was different vines needing a cut. Some vines were cut 8 times.
May 27. Some of the buds are starting to push. On a couple of the smaller trunks, as below, they put in some bud grafts and they also look great.
Harvest started with Lake Breeze picking their portion of the Pinot Gris on October 15. They picked 4.6 tons at 23 Brix. We picked some for us on October 20 and decided to barrel ferment it in an old Chardonnay barrel. The rest we had in a fermenter to use later as top-up wine. The Brix on that portion of the vineyard was close to 24 Brix.
The Chardonnay, from a different vineyard, was brought in on Oct 2. Straight into the press and into the tank for mixing. Then into barrels for fermenting.
Picture to left showing me drinking the free-run juice.
The Pinot Noir was picked between Oct 25 and the last block (picture below) picked on November 14.
25% of the fruit was left with stems on and the rest destemmed. The juice was left in two ton fermenters for cold soak. The temperature outside was low enough that no fermentation started spontaneously. Cold soak lasted for 5 days.
We also made two barrels of a mix of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, picked late November at approx. 24 Brix.