Today we pick part of the Petit Manseng vineyard. We will harvest grapes primarily from the younger vines for “demi-sec”. Physiological ripening seems to have stalled, perhaps because of the warm weather and drought conditions. We got some rain yesterday, but not enough to have an impact. The rest of the grapes will be dedicated to a small amount of Late Harvest. I’m hoping that cooler weather coming in next week will refresh the vines. The leaves are still in good shape, but the vines are confused.
Petit Manseng, along with Petit Verdot are the two easiest varieties we grow. They are cold tolerant, disease resistant and always set an abundant crop. Petit Manseng makes an incredible sweet wine. It comes in with high sugar and high acidity. This make it almost impossible to make a balanced dry wine unless the winemaker does some serious manipulation in the winery. That is not an option for us, so we are working within the parameters that the grape dictates. Last year was too hot for a Late Harvest, so we opted for a demi-sec at about 30 grams of residual sugar. The alcohol was pretty high making the wine disjointed in its youth. We are still waiting to release it. Every few months we pop a cork and taste its progression. It is slowly evolving, but still needs time.