We begin putting together our blends during the first few weeks of the year. As of now, we have six blends: Rebel Roan, Quello Grande, Le F.P (Fourplay), Northerly, Southerly, and Equilibrio. Since blends are made using individual varietals, we first have to rack and taste each of the components separately. Racking is the process of transferring wine out of barrels into tanks so we can wash the barrels. From there, we decide how much of each wine will go into the blend. While the percentages of each blend may change each year, we try not to “mess with what works” too much. In other words, we have an idea of what we want to achieve percentage-wise, but we allow for variations based on many factors, mostly weather and vine yields, and how everything is tasting!
Even though planning and putting together the blends is time-consuming and demands focus and precision, it is definitely a favorite “task” of mine. It is truly a matter of “blending” both science and art. In addition, blends confirm the notion that often “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” – or synergy in action. Something to ponder the next time we open up a blend – or just sip and enjoy, without too much thought!
Another important part of the first quarter involves preparing for the upcoming bottling in spring. This means that we are going over numbers pertaining to bottles, labels, corks, and gallons of wine. It involves a lot of back and forth. Usually that at the end of the day, we have a bit of a headache – and a tremendous need for a glass of wine. Not to worry, though, because after the bottling, there will be plenty of wine to drink. A sante!