It’s a given that the holidays are a busy time for the retail end of the wine business. Naggiar, along with having a superb list of wines to choose from for all holiday celebrations and gift giving, also has a wonderfully eclectic (yet reasonably priced) selection of retail items for sale in the tasting room as well.
And who wouldn’t want to enjoy a nice glass of wine in a beautiful setting with outstanding service while knocking out their holiday shopping? Needless to say, the tasting room is busy. Now on the winemaking side, that must be the slow time, right? Harvest is over, the wine is pressed off and in barrels and the winemaker has a chance to sit in the winery with a glass of wine and do some holiday shopping for his loved ones-ahem…
With the exception of a few days around Thanksgiving and the two weeks around Christmas and New Year’s, work in the vineyards and the winery keeps the winemaker busy as well, though maybe not too busy for holiday shopping (not-so-subtle hint).
Right now in the winery, Derek is busy monitoring the ML (malo-lactic) fermentations- whether they are completed or not and if there is any bacterial spoilage. Then, there are weekly tastings to see if a change in barrels is needed. The last two vintages are also being tasted in preparation for the impending blend trial. And although the next scheduled bottlings are in February, ordering the materials for it needs to be done months ahead of time to ensure they arrive on time for bottling. Lastly, Mike, Derek, and the crew are evaluating the 2013 harvest and fine-tuning things in preparation for 2014.
With the vines going dormant, it might seem as if there is nothing to do in the vineyards either. However, now is the time to “winterize”.
All of the irrigation pipes are being drained, frost protection is going on all of the well-heads and pump stations, and erosion control measures are being put into place for whenever the rain arrives (which was today- happy happy rain dance!). As the vines shut down, we monitor leaf fall and plan for fertigation of the vineyard in 2014.
So, during the holiday season, it’s only the vines that get a break, well-deserved certainly, and that is something to be very thankful for.