The relatively dry and frost free conditions have allowed us to pick what is ripe and allow more time for the late season varieties to mature. This week we brought in the last of our Riesling, Ravat and Vidal Blanc, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot still hanging. The weather next week is looking superb with temps in the 60's and 70's with full sunshine. Perfect for our reds. Our yields are good and the brix are right where we need them to be.
It all began after one of the coldest winters in years left many vineyards with significant bud damage but fortunately spared most of our grape vines. The cool weather continued into spring with bud break starting in early May. Summer weather see-sawed from very short bursts of warm humid weather and storms, then followed by more comfortable, dry stretches, over and over. August and September were drier but decidedly cool, especially at night, thus slowing down grape maturity. As of today, we have only harvested a small amount of Pinot Gris, Cayuga and Foch. Next week should see more Pinot Gris and the beginning of our Pinot Noir harvest. So far the grapes continue to look great, so with just a bit more sun and patience we may have another great vintage on tap!
With the 2013 vintage in the rear view mirror, its time to prepare for the Spring bottling season. Before the wines are bottled up, each wine must pass through a series of filter pads to ensure microbiological stability and clarity. Most wines will run through at least three different sized pads, starting with a coarse filter, then a tighter one and so on, until they are "bottle ready". We traditionally start bottling Atwater's trio of sweet wines, including, Catawba, Niagara and Chancellor. Next up this year will be Dry Rosé made from Cabernet Franc, then Chardonnay, a blend of tank, barrel and skin fermentation. An old Atwater favorite, Vidal Blanc is returning, and for the first time Atwater is bottling two estate-grown single-block Rieslings! And that is just the beginning, keep checking in to see and read what else is coming down the pike! Think Spring!