Making "the switch"…

OK, these past two years have been vicious. Back in 2006 a winemaker friend of mine came over and decided I had too many empty carboys. She threw down the gauntlet and I foolishly picked it up… 🙂 Now I’ve got wine spread out across the whole year — a wine for almost every month it seems.

Let’s start in March — Dandelion. April? Southern hemisphere grapes, of course. Fine, skip May. June, July, and August are cherries and mulberries, wineberries, and — your pick — peaches, plums, or pears respectively. In September it’s Chardonnay and Seyval and in October the reds come in — Cabernet, Merlot and Pinot this past year. November is for Apples and sometimes late-harvest grapes. You get a few months to recover from the summer and fall whuppin’s and suddenly the dandelions are poppin’ again.

I just can’t do it any more.

I did a dandelion this year because my wife is fond of it. But I let the cherries go this time even though the 2007 vintage was spectacular. Same with the mulberries. Same with the wineberries. Same with the peaches. I have enough fruit wines to last many years at this point, even if I give the majority away. Heck, I don’t even especially like most sweet wines! :-/

But I do like grape wines. Like ’em a lot.

So if you haven’t heard me say it before, well, hear me now. I’m quitting the fruits for a few years at least. Grapes will get my attention for the foreseeable future. I’ll gain the added benefit (in theory, at least) of getting my efforts on more of a schedule. Right now, there’s something that needs to be done to one wine or another every single weekend because I have so much wine in so many different stages of development. Going forward, I’ll have a harvest season, intermittent work, and a bottling period — I hope.

So my goal is to get all these fruit wines resolved (read: in bottles) before this year’s grape harvest — and to move forward in a sensible fashion from there.

So what’s in store this fall? Well I can tell you for sure that I’ll be doing some more Chardonnay, some more Cabernet and some more Merlot. Plus I’ve got a 100# of Cab Franc and 100# of Lemberger reserved with a local grower to experiment with. Another dessert wine? Maybe. They’re the only sweet wines I really enjoy.

But no more fruit wines for a good long time. Period. And I don’t care that my Dad wants me to “do something with those pears out back”. Seriously. I’m sticking to my guns this time. 🙂

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1 Response to Making "the switch"…

  1. Bill says:

    I grow Lemberger and purchased some Cabernet Franc. In 2007 I made a blend of 60% Lemberger and 40% Cabernet Franc. I fermented the two seperately and put the blend in an oak barrel for three months. It came out very well although it is still quite young (bottled in June). I thought you may be interested. Also check out Anthony Road ( and Fox Run ( They also make a Lemberger/Cabernet Franc blend. Good luck!

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