Great Anticipation for the 2012 Vintage!

The Barrels in January2012 year raised the bar for us in the wine cellar with Swedish Hill claiming a total of 61 gold medals at regional, national and international competitions in addition being named “Winery of the Year” at California’s Riverside Convention. However, we have no doubt that we will continue to impress!

Pumping red wine into barrels.

Pumping red wine into barrels.

Our first project for 2013 has been working on our 2011 dry red vintages for all three of our wineries. Starting in December we begun our barrel swap with taking these wines out of the barrels and putting the 2012 vintage in. This includes purchasing enough new barrels to complement the big reds from this past fall’s superb harvest.  We anticipate 2012 being a great red year due to the warm dry growing season, the result is that these wines need and can handle a little more oak than wines from other years.  Between the new barrels and the ones already in the cellar there are over 250 -60 gallon barrels to empty, clean and refill, a process that will take the better part of 6 weeks.

At the same time weDerek's Blend are also clarifying the new wines and doing a little tweaking of the blends to ensure that they too will be award-winning blends. Harvest ended almost three weeks earlier than normal (if there is such a thing as normal in New York) and that gave the cellar crew a head start on finishing fermentation and beginning the process of clarifying and blending the 2013 wines.  An ideal harvest has made life a little easier for the crew with almost all varieties coming out right near their “sweet spot” for acid/sugar and flavor.  The wines getting our attention first are aromatic whites such as Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Cayuga and Pinot Grigio.  The first sparkling wines moving into the queue are Pinot Noir Brut Rosé, Blanc de Blanc and Golden Spumante and a new dry red that we will be releasing this spring for our Doobie series -any guesses on the name?

The bottling line has been quiet the past month but that will change soon with scheduled bottling of the 2011 based Viking Red in the next two weeks.  The smooth dry red is a blend that brings together several dark rich varieties including Noiret, Corot Noir and Cabernet Franc. Right on the heels of the Viking Red will be the first group of 2013 wines that will be ready for competitions that begin this spring. Stay tuned to see results from upcoming competitions!

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