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Our Hunt for Red October

There's lots of activity at T2 Cellar as Anne and I prepare for harvest. Vineyard visits, getting the cellar squared away, making plans and decisions about our winemaking, and introducing our wine to more people. There's time right now, not so much once we get rolling with harvest.

A couple of weeks ago I took a swing around the Yakima Valley to visit some of our vineyards. The grapes are looking great, and tracking for a pretty normal harvest time; we anticipate peak crush activity during October, rather than the September harvests of the past few years. We like to see this, because the nights cool off as we get into the fall, preserving acid and developing flavors at a good pace.

One of the goals for this early August trip was to find some Grenache. Our source from last year had to pull our fruit in mid July with a very low yield due to some vine damage. We now have a contract with Inland Desert Vineyard for a half ton from their 15 year old vines. This is some of our state's older Grenache. By this age, the vines are sending roots deep into the soil, developing some complexity. I'm pretty excited to see what kind of wine this makes.

In the cellar, we'll be bottling our early GSM blend any minute now. Anne and I are hard at work with blending trials, deciding how to fill our new 26-gallon Hungarian oak barrel. We found a couple of iterations of Petit-Verdot and Malbec that would fit the bill. I'm guessing we'll bottle this 11-case lot this spring or early summer as a special club release. Other cellar activities will include blending our second GSM, and racking our Malbec. After that it's off to the races to barrel down our second harvest and see what 500 cases worth of wine look like. Here's a glimpse.

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