My main cellar rat Ivan and I picked up the grapes at Oak Barrel Winecraft in Berkeley, my winemakimg home, lo these many years. We de-stemmed and crushed these tasty suckers in the driveway, and here they are about to meet their fate in the hopper atop the hand-crank crusher:
After finishing the job, and hosing everything down, we retired inside, and as is the ritual deal here, had a glass of something as similar as practical, just to bless the vintage. In this case, a 2007 Bokisch Vineyards Lodi Garnacha (Grenache's in Spain, where it originated), which was quite tasty.
Among the fine things about today's grapes was that they came in with pleasantly low Brix / sugar (23%), meaning pleasantly low alcohol (around 12.5%). Since the future of these grapes is wine to be blended into a summer-weight, picnic-friendly blend, I couldn't be happier. Sometimes late harvests are good harvests.
And as a bonus, later this evening, I pulled off a bit of juice from the crushed Grenache, about one gallon out of the seven gallons 100 pounds can yield, and dedicated it to be the mother/starter for this year's pink wine program. The routine here is to suck off 5-15% of the juice of every red grape that comes in (and a tad of the whites, too) and ferment it all into a mongrel rosé, often my favorite wine of the vintage.In the morning, both the red Grenache and the pink starter will get yeast, etc., etc. So, one tiny batch of grapes, and the makings of two wines. HARVEST 2010 IS ON!