Monday, January 17, 2011

Wine tasting, pruning season, winery update, Offida carnivale,

17 gennaio
We sat down with our 2 winemakers for a 2 hour tasting of our various wines which have been sleeping plus or minus int their stainless steel tanks since November without any disturbance.  We are trying to look into a crystal ball and see what will become of them as they age in or out of oak barrels and whether some merit an early release, etc.  My Pecorino is still improving but a bit funky in the aromas, but I think it will come around after being split in two with half aging in oak and the other half remaining in stainless.  Raffaele's Pecorino is fine right now although, it too will mellow a bit over the next few months, at which point we may bottle it and offer it to visitors.  The Syrah is really fun to drink, very varietal and is another candidate for an early bottling, perhaps blended with some of our lighter Montepulciano.  The Montepulciano "super" is probably going to spend a longish time locked up with a bunch of Cabernet Sauvignon in a 2500 liter oak botte, while all the other reds will be in tonneau and barrique.
So far, so good and our fingers remain crossed.
Tomorrow, we will be inspected by the local engineers to certify the winery was built in a fashion which complies with all the minute rules of the country and will be a time to decide on color schemes for the outside which is plain concrete right now.  The inside walls have just gotten another layer as well and the place is seeming less rustic.

It has been a funny 2011 with dense fog arriving frequently and confining me to the house at night.  This is another way to get moisture to the vines, though, so if the rains are not going to arrive as they do normally this time of year, the "nebbia" is a good stopgap.
I have finished the pruning of our youngest plants, the Incrocio Bruni 54 which is a cross between Verdicchio and Sauvignon Blanc, so when the lymph starts flowing in Spring, they are ready to tie on their wires.
As is always the case, winter is a slow time for the B&B with the rare straggler showing up, sometimes at the last minute.  We hope this year we will fill up for Carnevale in Offida, with its running of the bull, (below)

various balls, costume and regular and the weekend zaniness in Ascoli Piceno before Fat Tuesday, which ends the whole shebang with the carrying of the 4-5 meter flaming torches through the streets of Offida.

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