Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Musings

Musings on the last day of 2012.  The year in pictures at PS Winery and Nascondiglio di Bacco.  The year started out promisingly with nice January weather and a normal amount of winter moisture to make up for the drought of 2011.
One of January's first days with a look at the dormant vineyard, the B&B center left and the winery to the right.  The calm before the storm.

Dawn and the typical January fog in the valleys

The first big February snow which isolated me at Nascondiglio di Bacco for a week.  There was one day when the roads were clear enough to get out and shop before the next big snow dump.

The Cabernet Franc grapevines with the Frantoio olive trees in the distance under their blanket.

Petit Verdot with a pile of snow on top.

Bacco making his own trail after the second big snow.

You can find this photo on as well

Marche tasting group to make the blend for Confusion, our bordeaux blend and current top wine. 36% Merlot, 27% Cab. Sauvignon, 18% Cab. Franc and 18% Petit Verdot.

Return of spring and the fruit trees are blooming.

April 7, the buds are bursting and the vines' year of labor begins

We had multiple double rainbows (I know, they are all double) in April; this one ends in the vineyard, but the gold came later in the Pecorino wine.

May saw our first setback; above good growth in the Pecorino and below a flash freeze wiped out about 40% of the Pecorino buds which lowered our eventually yield commensurately.

Each bud has 2 backups, but they rarely yield fruit.
Our first concert of the season at PS Winery with Ed and Jon playing for 30+ people on a beautiful summer night.

Bottling 5 wines in one day: our 2011 Pecorino and 2010 barrel aged Pecorino, 2010 Merlot and Confusion and 2011 Thalia

View from the pool which was quite popular this year as we had 2 periods of very hot weather with no rain; one between mid June and the last weekend of July and then another until early September.  The vines suffered through the first drought and the torrential rains which arrived in late July saved the year, but caused extensive erosion in the Pecorino vineyard.  The second drought and the heat of August led to a harvest of both the Pecorino and Merlot 3 weeks earlier than usual.  Despite that, the alcohol levels were still quite high in those 2 varieties.

A group tasting with friends from the Veneto on our patio.

The bottling earlier provided this boxed set.  Our 3 single variety wines: Cab. Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc were bottled and labeled by hand, unfiltered.

Late summer view of the vineyard and Nascondiglio di Bacco

KC goes up against Abruzzo in a BBQ contest.  We held our own!

Bacco in the plateau of Castelluccio in full bloom

Our friends the Cooks bought the first boxed set of each varietal wine and the blend Confusion. Thanks again!

Pecorino grapes just before picking.  See how sparse they are after the heat of 2012.

Canning the quince jam and jelly

Hand bottling of the Syrah and Montepulciano wines which had spent 2 years in new french oak barrels of 220 and 500 liters.  These two wines are really stellar!

Merlot grapes before picking

Cabernet Sauvignon coming in to the de-stemmer.  After the Merlot and Pecorino harvests we got some much needed rain and were able to harvest the rest of the varieties at normal times and the ripeness was perfect for all but the Montepulciano which had to be picked a week early after the arrival of some gray bortrytis and 4 days of forecasted rain forced a slightly early harvest.

Picking the Petit Verdot

Locking in the color of the Syrah wine with an open pump-over

Grand tasting with music of all the mono variety bordeaux vines and Confusion with friends.

Another Irish concert with Jon and Ed and 2 female singers from the Emerald Isle.  50+ people!

Fall arriving in the Marche

Time for some hikes with Bacco in the Sibillini mountains; above Mt. Vettore and Cima del Lago

My hiking companion with views toward Umbria

Changing colors in the vineyard whose work is done.

Our wines presented with excellent cured meats from Umbria at Vinosofia, Spello, Umbria; thanks Brenda!

As the seasons change and winter returns, the fog rolls back in.

Our first snow covering the artichoke plants in the foreground.  After the harvests, we got ample moisture to refill our clay soil "reservoir".  I am hoping seriously that 2013 is a bit more normal, like 2010 with rainfall at appropriate intervals during the growing season and lower temperatures.

Colors are changing in the vineyard as Autumn continues.

A view of the first snow as it appeared in the Sibillini mountains with Mt. Vettore the most prominent on the left.

The beautiful calanchi (erosive features) of Le Marche from the top and tip of Mt. Ascensione

Mt. Vettore blanketed in white
Last dawn of the year 12/31/2012 with the waning moon in the west.

Looking east at the year's last sunrise

A view to the south through the windows of the winery's tasting room showing the reflection of sunrise, the last day of an incredibly difficult year for grape growing.  We had lots of satisfaction from the wines of the past years and think we have something really special here.  Hopefully 2013 will see our wines arriving in the states and other european markets, some critical notice and a good growing season.  Next up for us are the transfer of the 2012 wines into specially made french tonneau of 350 liters with a slow toasting technique and bottling of our first Offida Rosso, the 2010 with 75% Montepulciano and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Thanks to all for your support this year and I hope 2013 is successful for you and as a society we all help start a paradigm shift back to courtesy, kindness,  good manners and happiness.  (Sounds like my New Years' resolutions)

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