Journal | October 5, 2016

Hardscrabble Journal

Obeying the Grapes

I was hoping that yesterday would be the last day of crush for the reds, but we couldn’t quite do it all. We started the day picking. There still remained a small section of a mixed planting of Petit Verdot/Cabernet Sauvignon, along with our tiny planting of Carmenere. I’m not sure why I continue to grow Carmenere as it is a very shy producer and the quality is never high enough to get into the Hardscrabble blend. Its a nice conversation piece I suppose.

We will finish the red crush this morning and then pick Petit Manseng. The crush will go quickly as we have retired our “shaker sorting table” called Le Trieur, along with our crusher. The post-rain grapes are too fragile for these pieces of equipment and they end up turning the grapes to something resembling apple sauce. We have to treat these grapes with kid gloves.

We also have to be realistic about their wine potential. If we attempt to make a big, extracted, long lived wine for aging, it will end in disappointment. These grapes are destined to make a wine that is simple, fresh, and early drinking. I’ve learned that one can’t force a style. The grapes dictate the style, and an intuitive winemaker obeys.


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