Journal | Follow the 2019 Harvest | September 21, 2019
Inspired by Others
At harvest time I drink a lot of good wine. Not to drown sorrows (2018) nor to celebrate (2019), but to learn. As the season unfolds I look to my colleagues for inspiration. These are other winegrowers, mostly in Europe where the vintages can also vary considerably. The inspiration is their wine.
2016 Chateau Yvonne “La Folie” is a Loire Cabernet Franc that just influenced my picking and therefore stylistic goal for this vintage. We grow a small amount of Cabernet Franc, but have recently planted a lot more. The vines do extremely well in Virginia, but the wines have been a bit of an enigma for me in terms of style and quality. In the complex puzzle of all the decisions made during the growing season and winemaking, we have yet to reach our stride.
Our climate usually allows Cabernet Franc to produce a very ripe, full blown, weighty wine. But these wines lack charm. This is what the Chateau Yvonne has in spades. I’m going to gamble that an earlier picking will preserve more freshness and elegance in the wine. The American winegrower mentality has traditionally been “the riper, the better.” As we mature, both as an industry and as individuals, we learn that bigger is not always better.
I look forward to sharing the results.
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