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.
Veraison, turning the color of the grapes, started in mid August.
By the end of August, the changing of the color was basically complete
By the end of August, the regrafted plants also started veraison.
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.
We took over management of the vineyard immediately and started dropping some fruit and cleaning up the canopy. Quality of the grapes were more important than the quantity. We felt it looked very good and were gearing up for the harvest.
I made an agreement that Lake Breeze Vineyard would purchase the majority of Pinot Gris.
Arnie Erickson had some people that had previously picked the Merlot and I decided to let them take most of the Merlot this year also.
The Pinot Noir was maturing nicely in October and early November and the Brix levels were rising in a slow, controlled way that we were very pleased with.