The Thrill of the Unknown Harvest--by (PB)
I've been growing wine grapes for over ten years--well over in fact and only recently (three years ago) decided to try my hand at making wine. I have always been a "by the seat of my pants kind of guy." "Intuitive leadership" is the marketable name of the characteristic.
So this is my third year of trying to produce Marechal Foch--a hearty wine grape that will survive the Maine's winters. I was particularly excited this year as the growing condition seemed near perfect unlike the past two years which were so wet, everything basically rotted on the vine.
Total yield this year? It will net me about 6 bottles of wine. You read that right--not 6 hectares; not 6 acres, not 6 barrels or even 6 cases, but 6 bottles--maybe. Based on previous year's harvests and production of similar quantity, the cost per bottle puts it somewhere between Screaming Eagle and Petrus and I assure you nothing it is nothing like their quality. Truth be told, previous vintages have been barely potable.
This year I stopped the fermentation of a few half-bottles attempting a "Nouveau" style which was actually pretty tasty! The rest of the vintage--one quart of must--is proceeding to full fermentation as I write. My hopes are high, my expectations are low. But as I handle the grapes, prune the vines, incessantly check on their progress nearly daily through the growing season I sense what it might be like to have a real vineyard, and produce a wine that is not necessarily spectacular but decidedly good. The anticipation of what might be, makes it worth it. Such is life too I suppose. But this blog is about wine not philosophy so raise a glass!