Journal | August 6, 2019
A Good Transition
The soil is dry and the vines are slowing down. Right on time. You have no idea how exciting this is to winegrowers. Veraison (the beginning of ripening and color change) is underway, and the vines need to put energy into the clusters rather than growing more leaves (that we hedge off anyway). This is why the vines should be slightly water stressed at this critical transitional stage.
At this juncture the vines and growers have done their job. It is now in the hands of the weather. Dry, cool and sunny would be ideal, but we can handle varying versions of the theme and still be pleased. September is usually the make or break month.
By the end of this week we will be done with bottling all the 2018 whites and 2017 reds. We made no 2018 reds. The consequence is that for the next month Linden will have zero wines in barrel or in tank. A very eerie feeling for us.
It is palate-training time. Our most important winemaking decisions center around taste. We taste the grapes, juice, and fermenting wines and then act. Just like an athlete preparing for competition, we train by tasting benchmark wines. Last week the 2010 Quintarelli Valpolicella provided inspiration and excitement to our tasting group. Pure, pristine, and with great clarity, this wine demonstrated how experience, confidence, and trust in the vines can translate into “poetry in the bottle."