Journal | January 13, 2018

Hardscrabble Journal

A Temporary Thaw

A temporary thaw did not thwart us from ice skating on the farm pond. Looks like we will have another opportunity later this week. Yesterday temps hit the 60sF. Tomorrow morning predictions are for the single digits. I’m hoping that the warm up was too short to de-acclimate the vines. Always reason to worry.

We got some pruning in. Working on the Late Harvest block which is an interplanted block of 34 year old Vidal vines and younger Petit Manseng. We are cutting back harder than usual as last year’s dry summer made for smaller vines. This block is a candidate for the magic potion: chicken manure.

We did a lot of tasting this week. Blending trials focused on Hardscrabble Red 2017. Looks like a majority of the barrels will make it to the blend with (as usual) Cabernet Sauvignon being the majority. We are still going back and forth between a more finessed blend or a more structured, powerful version. Press wine inclusion will be a deciding factor.

Also held a great tasting with the RdV staff. We did a “first/second” tasting. Two wines blind, one of which is the winery’s flagship wine, the other a lesser wine of the same type and from the same year. We tasted three flights of white Burgundies, Bordeaux, a Zin, and Barolo. I was very consistent: incorrect in my guesses. We learn more from being incorrect than from being right, so I learned a lot!

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Hardscrabble JournalJim Law