Winter can be a slow season, but while the vineyard sleeps, the winery is still churning out deliciousness for you! Jacques detailed some of the goings-on in the winery this winter in our most recent newsletter, but here he details one more exciting project: the start of our grappa production! If you missed the newsletter, sign up here by scrolling down to the bottom of the page!
We have survived several snow events already in 2017, starting in early December. Not quite winter by the calendar, but it sure looked and felt like winter here. The temperatures went down to the low teens and even single digits as we were starting to get into the New Year. We also experienced a nice layer of snow - three to four inches in the Dundee Hills and over a foot in Portland and surrounding areas. And as if the compacted snow wasn’t enough, freezing rain was in the forecast. Four wheel drive and studded tires were the only way to go for a while to get to work in the hills.
The snow acted as a blanket to the vines so I am not expecting to see any vine or bud damage. I have checked buds on the canes and everything is nice and green.
The vines didn’t suffer damage because they are dormant in winter. The snow delayed the start of pruning, which usually starts in early January here. We have another two months, at worst, before we will see any awakening of the vines. Bud break usually happens in the first 2 weeks of April, but in the past 3 years, it has been closer to the end of March. Yet in 2011 it was early May!
This spring we will re-plant the one acre of Pinot Noir we pulled out last year. t had weakened because of the Phylloxera bug feeding on the roots. We already have the grafted plants and are waiting for some dryer weather to get in the field. The news plants are all grafted Pinot Noir, including Pommard, Dijon 114 and Dijon 777 clones, and possibly a new clone from Erath Vineyard.
The 2016 Pinot Noir in the cellar has completed the Malo-Lactic fermentation already. The wines follow the same fruity-sweet-rich style of Pinot we had in 2014 and 2015.
We are preparing the 2016 Pinot Gris and Rose’ for a bottling on February 10, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
If you want to store wine for several years to see how it ages or hold on to the bottle for a special event like an anniversary or a first child, it's important to do everything you can to ensure the bottle ages well. Nothing compares to the experience of opening a perfectly preserved bottle to share for a special occasion.
There are three ways to help your wine age as best it can: consistent temperature, darkness, and position.
The best range to store your wine is somewhere between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Some people say that 55 degrees is as close to perfect as you can get, but really, the most important thing is more the consistency of the temperature, rather than the number itself. Fluctuations in temperature can cause more harm than a too high or too low temperature, so even if you store your wine closer to 45 degrees or closer to 65 degrees, the real clincher is whether or not the temperature stays consistent over a long period of time.
While it's natural for temperatures to fluctuate a little bit, if your wine is subject to drastic temperature changes, the chances of damaging your wine is very high. Keep an eye on the temperature of the area you store your wine and perhaps get a thermometer to track the consistency of the temperature.
Harsh light can damage wine (especially if it's in clear or more transparent bottles). However there is an easy solution for this conundrum: store your wine in a closet, a basement, or a wine fridge. The amount of light affecting your wine will be limited and your wine will stay undamaged.
If the wine you're saving has a screw cap closure, their position doesn't matter; store those bottles in whatever way they best fit your space. If your bottles have cork closures, be sure to store them on their sides. If you store cork-closed bottles upright, the corks can dry out, allowing oxygen into the bottle and causing the wine to oxidize. Storing your cork-closed bottles on their sides allows the corks to stay full and allow just the right amount of oxygen into the bottle.
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Whether you're new to Torii Mor or been drinking our wine for ages, here are the top 10 things you probably didn't know about us!
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2016 went by so quickly and we can hardly believe it's time for our yearly review! We had a whirlwind of a year full of good things.
This year we released our 2015 Late Harvest Viognier, the second dessert wine in our lineup, to rave reviews. We never thought a wine could usurp our beloved Port, but this Late Harvest definitely presents some competition! We also released out 2014 Chardonnay which quickly became a cult-favorite.
This summer we also threw our White Party again (click here for info on 2017's White Party!), complete with an oyster roast, plenty of white wine, and good company, as well as a vineyard luncheon featuring a tour with our winemaker Jacques and your very own Pinot Noir vine!
Here on the blog, we posted a variety of useful and fun blogs. These are the top 10 blog posts of 2016 from the Torii Mor blog!
Harvest in 2016 was a busy affair, with a great harvest crew and lots of exciting grapes. We're all excited to taste the 2016 vintage in a few years!
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