Green harvest 2015

It has been a great year in the Okanagan. Crops are really big and ahead of schedule compared to previous years. Now it is important to thin the crop and cut down the excess fruit in order to not dilute the final wine by harvesting too much fruit. This will make the remaining wine even better and more concentrated.

Note the cut off fruit laying on the ground

Green harvest 15

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July 30, 2015. Veraison

Veraison (changing color of the grapes) has started in the Pinot part of the vineyard. It is about 2 weeks ahead of last year.

veraison 2015

Pruning grafts July 4, 2015

At 5AM a crew came in from Vinifera and started the pruning of the grafted sections of the vineyard. Results are looking better all the time. Many of the grafts that I thought had not taken, have suddenly had their buds breaking. Results look even better now than before.

Pruning grafts July 15

Pruning July 1, 2015

Tucked in all the 459 clone and did the new grafts in the “Old Block”.

Pruning July 1, 15

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.IMG_1899

June 17, 2015 Results of Grafting

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.New growth very late

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.

Clone 459

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.

Old Block

100 vines grafted and 10 are not looking good, 90%.

Dried out late

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.

New late growth

This area also have some grafts that just had bud break. But most of them had quite extensive growth both of grafts and suckers.

Reimer Clone

39 questionable out of 527 grafts. That would be 92.6%. Very vigorous growth.

Chardonnay

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/

Grafting April 26, 2015

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.

Budbreak on 459 cloneThis 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.

Blending the Reserve PN

BlendingThe 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.

Gustav blending

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.

Mixing 2012On 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.