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How do we destem our grapes?

September 15th, 2014

For those of you that watched our video last harvest about sorting fruit by hand, here is a quick explanation about what happens to that fruit once it is sorted. Pictured below is our grape destemmer. Although winemaker Paul likes a little green growth in with the fruit for added tannic acid we don’t want an entire tree falling in there. Once reaching the end of the vibrating sorting table our fruit falls into the cylinder below. Paddles spin inside of the machine so quickly that the fruit is forced through the holes leaving the foliage behind. A little green is still attached to the berries, and sometimes Paul will throw a bit more in as well. After being destemmed the fruit goes down yet another vibrating table. This table is designed to allow berries smaller than your desired size to drop out of the crop (raisins and unripened green berries). And now the very best is left for winemaking. The grapes will then fall into a big bin full of dried ice where we will begin controlling its fermentation.

 

Hang time on the vine!

August 7th, 2014

estate grown zinfandel in paso roblesPictured is a great example of zinfandel experiencing veraison, transitioning from green to purple. Zinfandel is notorious for wanting to ripen unevenly, with one side ripening first and then the other following. This is why shoot thinning is so important for a zinfandel vine. Removing excess foliage allows sun to evenly touch the grape clusters allowing for more even ripening.

Veraison can last for several months depending on the local climate. During this time the grape is developing sugar, acid, tannic, and mineral structures making this phase in development crucial.

Climate and variety plays the deciding roles in ripening a grape and the date of harvest. In hot climates grapes may be harvested as soon as 30 days after veraision if they are a soft skinned berry. Much cooler climates can take as long as 70 days after veraison to fully develop, especially if the berry itself is thick skinned. Last year we harvested in October across the board due to a beautiful weather pattern of warm sunny days and cool nights lengthening the growing season.

Fruit Set: Fun on today’s vineyard tour

June 14th, 2014

Each Spring the growth cycle of our vines begin with bud break. In Paso Robles, this stage begins around March/April when tiny buds on the vine start to swell until shoots grow from the buds. This is when the first sign of green in the vineyard arrives.  After bud break the process of flowering begins with little flower clusters appearing at the end of the small shoots looking like buttons.  Soon after, the flowers begin to grow to an observable size. It is during this stage that the pollination and fertilization of the grapevine takes place with the resulting product being a grape berry. Fruit set follows flowering almost immediately when the fertilized flower develops a seed and then a berry to harbor that seed. In Paso Robles, this normally takes place in May/June. This stage is important as it decides the potential crop yield. Following fruit set, the berries are unripe, firm, and very bitter. They have little sugar and elevated acids. They begin to grow to about half  of their final size when they enter this stage of veraison. This stage signals the beginning of the ripening process which will be discussed during the next phase of our vineyard tour series.

Mid-Summer Dinner. Food, wine, music, and a sunset!

June 5th, 2014

paso wine eventCome enjoy a breathtaking sunset on the patio while sipping Hearthstone wine and enjoying fresh made, gourmet food. Musical ambiance will be provided by local pianist Brett Mitchell. Our midsummer dinner is on August 2nd from 6-8pm and will cost $30pp/$20club. Your ticket includes a tasting flight of 6 wines and a dinner entree. Additional glasses of wine may be purchased for $5. Contact the tasting room to make your reservations no later then Monday, July 28th.

Raining and Pouring

February 27th, 2014

We have big news! The rain is here! You heard right, Paso Robles is expecting to get 4 inches of rain tomorrow. And, just 1″/acre equals 27,000 gallons of water. Why is this important for a vineyard in Paso Robles? Well, not all vineyards are dry farmed in Paso Robles and we are running out of water for irrigation. So get your mud boots on and get out there and rain dance.

2010 Syrah

December 28th, 2013

This last Saturday we poured our brand new 2010 Syrah for the first time in our tasting room. It was a hit so much so that we are continuing to pour it throughout this weekend. Although it gives the feel of a young wine, with breathing it allows for a spicy finish. I think this is a sign of good things to come. It is needless to say that we are very excited. To celebrate this new release we sent our 2010 Syrah to The International Wine Cellar to be reviewed. This is their response:

“($32) Brilliant ruby.  Black pepper and smoky mineral qualities accent ripe cherry and dark fruit preserve flavors, with a subtle vanilla quality adding depth and sweetness.  Velvety, candied dark berry flavors show good clarity and gain weight with air.  Supple tannins gain strength on the finish, with the smoky note repeating.” By Josh Reynolds

Its bottling time!!!

August 23rd, 2013

These photos show all of the hard work put out by our wine maker and crew. From left to right: capsule tightening on our bottling line,  here is the back end of the truck that holds the machinery to bottle our wine, after being labeled and filled a bottle of our wine shows itself off,and lastly our labels being put on the bottles. Get excited for our new fall wines. They include an all new Pioneer, Syrah, Sangiovese, Lodestone, Tempranillo, Grenache, and a few more surprises to come!

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