Journal | January 28, 2018

Hardscrabble Journal

Pruning and Tasting

Weather and health determines so much of how our work week evolves. This week was scheduled to be an important tasting/blending time for the 2017 white wines. However, Jonathan came down with a cold/flu. One can’t make important winemaking decisions if one cannot taste properly. This kind of delay is common at this time of year.

We in the industry make a point of tasting quite a lot in the winter. Because we have time. Once we get into March our time in the vineyard becomes more precious. On Monday a number of winemaking colleagues got together at my house for lunch, discussion and blind tasting of Chardonnays from Burgundy, California and Virginia. It is critical to taste our wines alongside benchmark examples. On Thursday I did the same with Bordeaux blends. I included Linden’s Hardscrabble Red 2014 and 2015 to see how they presented themselves in a grouping. The 2014 is still tight and disjointed, but the 2015 is more approachable. We will release the 2015 before the 2014.

A mild week gave me plenty of pruning opportunities. We are making good progress and are ahead of schedule. This is good because we have a big planting to do in early spring which will leave little time to finish up the pruning and tying. We are also in the process of taking budwood cuttings to be grafted by Wiemer Nursery up in the Finger Lakes. The vines we will plant in March are from buds we took last winter.

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Hardscrabble JournalJim Law