Saturday, September 10, 2011

Offida Opera Festival, wine update

10 Sept.
Can you believe Offida has an Opera festival?!  The talent is stellar; I attended a concert in the old monastery of St. Francis which is now the site of our regional wine store (where our wines are now being offered) and enjoyed the music thoroughly.  They had 5 singers who sang old classic arias, classic italian numbers and a few international songs from their own countries.  This was followed by "food of the Marche" upon which I would rather not comment, accompanied by some of  the local Passerina wines.

The wines are coming along in their tanks, with the Merlot having finished its fermentation, the Cabernet Franc to finish today or tomorrow followed by the Pecorino in 2-3 days and finally the Syrah.  The Passito has still not taken off as the yeast are too high on all the sugar to reproduce.  Monday I will harvest the Cabernet Sauvignon which should be my biggest or second biggest crop along with the Montepulciano.  I have analyzed the grapes many times as I am worried about making a "vegetal" Cab if I pick too early, but the total acid content of the grapes is dropping, the brix is correct and the juice tastes good, so here goes.
Pumping the wine onto the skins for color extraction and to keep the skins damp

The destemmer/crusher which then sends the grapes and must to the tanks

Comparing this year to last, the Pecorino was harvested 20 days earlier, the Merlot 13, the Cab. Fr. 11, the Syrah 16 and the Cab. S. 11 days earlier. In the Offida area, we have had a string of about 40 days without rain with temperatures always above 31 C.  With luck, this string will be broken in the middle of next week, leaving the Petit Verdot and the Montepulciano to harvest in cooler weather.
The pool is still open, so come on over and visit; the water is fine!  It is just about time for the north americans to visit, a great time to watch work in the winery, and the grape and olive harvests.
Finally, remembrances and prayers to all the victims of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.  I still remember walking into the surgeon's lounge at RMC in time to see the 2nd plane hit the other tower.  It is something I have trouble watching again.  Peace to all!

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