Every year I feel more and more prepared for bottling; however, that sense of “comfort” always makes me wonder, "What the heck I have forgotten?"
We bottle our Pianetta wines once a year; so the logistics, printing, wine preparations, ordering, scheduling etc. must sync and come together all for one or two days a year. Needless to say, I lose a little bit of sleep running everything through my head to make sure we have everything ready to go, and this year is no different.
The 2016 vintage is an exciting vintage for me personally. This vintage marks a little more of my own influence during harvest on the wines under the guidance of my dad. Due to a few enhancements we did in 2016 during harvest we ended up with a Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon in addition to our regular Cab.
After a bit of arm wrestling during harvest I was able to experiment with a lot of whole-cluster fermentation on our Cabernet side by side with our standard fermentation practice. The results will be bottled on Friday, February 16th.
The only thing missing this year in the preparation of our 2016 wines for bottling was my father’s participation in creating our blends. Due to his contraction of Valley Fever in 2017, much to his dismay, he was unable to enjoy any alcohol, (including wine) during recovery.
Although our blends contain the same varietals every year, the percentage of each changes from year to year as the flavors differ in the wines. When we sit down to put the blends together a few months before bottling, we aim for the most dynamic and flavorful blend, as well as consistency from vintage to vintage for the finished product. Every year of course creates new challenges. It was tough to make the final blend calls on my own in the latter part of 2017, but I am so proud of the results. I am even more excited to say that dad can enjoy wine again, and when he was able to finally try the blends we put together, he was ALMOST speechless. I don’t know that I could be any happier with that reaction.
That being said, I cannot wait to share the 2016 vintage with friends, family and anyone else who wants to give them at try!