In 2010 we crushed 9 Tons of fruit (Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, and Sangiovese), which will likely produce 420 cases of wine. All 100% Colorado Grown. Based upon what is currently in tank we are quite excited about the potential of the 2010 vintage. The Chardonnay and Riesling are approaching the end of fermentation. The red wines are, or soon will be, done fermenting as well. When red wines ferment the skins are pushed to the surface of the tank and we 'punch down' this 'cap' several times a day. It's a physically intensive process but one of extreme importance in controlling the sensory attributes of the finished wine. With the final punch downs in sight, at long last our days are returning to normal.
Two significant challenges of growing Vinifera Grapevines in Colorado are spring frosts and winter freezes. Several extremely low temperatures in December killed many grapevines' buds, the source of the fruit. A large portion of Colorado's Grand Valley AVA was declared a USDA Disaster Area due to the significant loss of fruit. Fortunately for those growers who lost their 2010 harvest most of Colorado's grapevines are own rooted which means we are not yet forced to graft a 'Syrah' grapevine, or scion, on a more resistant rootstock (often to protect from Phylloxera). As a result the vines which come up from the ground this year are 'Syrah' and have a fully developed root system. The vines will need to be retrained to the trellis and then will be ready to forge ahead in 2011. We have been very fortunate and have some great growers with vines in good locations where grapevine buds survived the cold. Hats off to those who grow our Colorado Grapes!
We'd like to extend a huge THANK YOU to our 2010 Crush Crew. Throughout the fall harvest 123 folks showed up to help us create something special. Not only do we believe that hand-sorting the fruit is a necessary starting point for exquisite wines we feel extraordinarily fortunate to be able to bring together such a wonderful group of people. If the finished wine isn't enough to reassure us this is the right thing to do, the feedback from volunteers who told us they had a wonderful time, met new friends, and shared great conversations that day is. To the 2010 Crush Crew, thank you and we look forward to seeing you at our Friends & Family Party next spring.
Want to be a member of our Friends & Family club? It's easy, simply sign-up today for the Crush Crew. When you receive the invitation for a volunteer day at the winery, RSVP, spend a morning or afternoon sipping wine while sorting grapes, pressing must, or bottling wine and you're in. Folks who participate in one of these volunteer work days become members of our Friends and Family Club. Register for a website account and then choose the Dashboard from your user account to add the Crush Crew to your groups.
If you're near downtown Boulder, stop by our tasting room just 1/2 block North of Pearl Street Mall inside Oliv You & Me. You can find our current tasting room hours here. At present, we are open Fridays from 4-6pm and Saturdays 4-6:30pm. Outside of Boulder we ship to CO, CA, ND, and OR.
Yeast are the micro-organisms responsible for turning grapes into wine. In addition to producing alcohol, different strains also affect tannins, color, and produce esters, acids, along with carbonyl and sulfur compounds. There are both positive and negative sensory compounds produced and many are below our sensory thresholds but can still cause other reactions or enhance other sensory attributes. Even once inactive yeast can play a role in the sensory attributes of wine.
Yeast are particularly sensitive to temperature: too cold and they won't ferment, too hot and they can produce off flavors, off aromas, and develop fusel alcohols (higher alcohols responsible for severe hangovers). We closely monitor the temperatures of our fermentations and even have configured our tanks to contact our cell phones if temperature are potentially tending off course; excuse me for one moment, the yeast are calling.