I have been busy the last two weeks racking, tasting and testing the wines in progress. The reds are coming along very well with the Amarone likely to be the best of the year. Good fruit flavors and mellow oak in the early batches. The fall wines from fresh juice are doing very well but with less age they don't taste as complete as the others. The Traminer-Riesling blends are slowly making their way to the right clarity. I am pretty confident with the taste and structure and expect these will please dry to sweet Riesling drinkers.
Plans for 2009 are fast in motion. In the early spring I will set down a Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio and a CDP style blend. All three will be using juice plus grape/fruit mass for initial fermentation. The reds will get a slight oak drop for the very early fermentation and then oak will not be used again as planned.
Entry into the WineMaker competition in the spring is assured, but unless I can find some other local amateur contests that might be it for the year. We have some solid new entries and some repeat entries that will be good competition.
Once we get on into the summer, Strawberry will be up again, hopefully we will make 2 batches this year. We will definitely do a big batch of plum and depending on the harvest this year something else of the fruit type might inspire me.
The bottling of the current batch of wines should be complete by this time, which frees up valuable equipment for the fall wines. In the fall I hope to build a Meritage style blend and white arrangement with a little oak.