Thursday, June 14, 2012

NOVITA', The new bottlings of PS Winery

15 giugno
3 weeks ago, we bottled 5 new wines and last week a 6th was bottled by hand with another 2 to go.  Exciting stuff for us and I am extremely happy with the quality and depth of the wines from both 2010 and 2011.  They are curing themselves of their bottle shock and some are just fine now, while others will need a bit more time before they regain all the wonderful characteristics they displayed before getting squeezed into their new homes.  It has been a long wait from the initial planting in 2008, hoeing all 35K vines by hand for 2 years and babying each plant to arrive at our first harvest in 2010 and 2nd in 2011, but I am satisfied our work has paid off!
1st bottles coming off the line ready to go into cartons of 6

My right hand man, Roberto who keeps me out of trouble

Bacco is bored by the whole process and preferred to watch the vineyard for any chase-able rabbits or birds.

These are the wines bottled by our mobile bottling unit with left to right, the barrel aged Pecorino, the 100% Merlot, the bordeaux blend-Confusion, the new IGT red which this year is 80% Cab. Sauvignon and finally the incredible regular Pecorino from 2011, a difficult year which provided us with a very low yield but great grapes.  We changed the labels as you can see on the last 2 wines to something more elegant.  Thanks to Cristiano our label designer and Alessandra for the name for the blend!

The Confusion label with each variety's initials confusingly placed in the background.  1000 L of Merlot, 750 L of Cab. Sauvignon, 500 L of Cab. Franc and Petit Verdot make up the blend.

Bottled by hand!, 2 bottles at a time, our 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.  I really like this wine.  It will be available in a boxed set of 5 with the other 3 varieties and the blend.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Upper Valle dell'Ambro and Mt. Amandola hikes in the Sibillini mountains

June 10, 2012
Bacco and I packed Italy's Sibillini National Park, Walking and Trekking Guide from Gillian Price and headed out early to hike "Walk 5" in the book.  It was splendid and the guide will keep you safe and provide precise instructions on this exploration of the area above Garulla, near Amandola.  It is listed as a 4 hour and 15 minute hike if you include the peak, but can be done at your own pace.  Double click on the photos to enlarge them if you wish.
Starting out from the refuge you walk 30 minutes down which is a sort of warmup I guess for the 30 minutes of up that follow.

This rock formation is called the Balzo Rosso and is quite impressive as you walk beneath it.

Another cool geologic formation with sedimentary rock which started in flat layers millions of years ago, but which have been pushed upward, almost vertical by tectonic movement.

Examples above and below of the meadows you walk through during a respite from the climbing.

Bacco exiting tree line at 1200 meters, much lower than I am used to in Colorado

Bacco heading towards the 2nd house on the trail, Casale Ricci with Mt. Acuto in the distance.
Looking for Rock Partridges to chase.

Casale Ara del Re and some shade, but no water.

 Natural rock garden

more flowers and distant peaks waiting for me to climb them
Bacco getting an immersion and drink at Casale Grascete

The top of Mt. Amandola looking south to Gran Sasso and Abruzzo

Marking another mt. top :)

looking WSW towards my objective for this year, a 10 hour hike to the top of Mt. Priora

back to the West


the northern view to the beautiful hills of the southern Marche

East towards the Adriatic and more beauty, a patchwork quilt of colors

looking below Mt. Amandola

final descent to our starting point

peonies in the middle of the mountain

back to tree line

last photo before the camera battery expired
The total hiking time was 3 hours and 15 minutes, but I am not one to waste time. The book says 4 hours 15 if you include the mt. top and that seems pretty reasonable.  With breaks for eating and Bacco soaks, we managed start to finish in 3 hours and 40 minutes.  Some words to the wise:  if you are not wanting to decrease the ardor you feel towards your beautiful married neighbor by suffering the pain and swelling caused by stinging nettles as did St. Benedict who was faced with a similar temptation, by all means wear long pants.  There are several fields with the nettles and thistles to test your toughness if you wear shorts.  The last hour and a half or so is completely exposed in the sun, so take at least 2 -3 liters of water per person (and one for the dog).  Hiking poles come in handy for the ascents and descents and the scree fields which you will encounter.  This was a very pretty hike and Bacco and I started at 7:35 in the morning and saw a grand total of 0 people, a great escape!  The refuge at the trail's beginning and end serves food and drink and there is a nice picnic/bbq area if you are so inclined after hoofing it for 3.5+ hours.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sibillini flowers 2012 edition

10 June, 2012
I am going to try and make up for my lack of posting, starting with the flowers Bacco and I saw today in the Sibillini mountains on the upper Ambro valley and Mt. Amandola hike. Enjoy and feel free to tell me what their names are.  None of the colors were enhanced, by the way.