Seufert Winery

Friday, January 06, 2006

The hunt begins…

Although 2006 has just begun, I’m planning for next crush. I’ve estimated the quantities of grapes that I want for each variety, and now the search begins.

Quality is paramount. I want to make the best wines possible, and therefore I need the best grapes. I’m starting to contact grape growers, and a couple have contacted me already… But I can tell that it’s going to be difficult to decide which vineyards to sign on with.

Like so many aspects of winemaking, it’s going to be a balance of science and art/intuition. I’ll analyze the numbers from recent vintages (tartaric acid, malic acid, titratable acidity, sugar content, pH levels, potassium content, etc.), try to taste wines made from their grapes, and then talk to the grape grower to determine if we’re on the same page.

Where will they come from?

The large Willamette Valley AVA recently was parsed into smaller and more meaningful regions. As I increase my volume, I would love to secure Pinot Noir grapes from each of the 6 new AVAs. See the map below.

My 2005 fruit is grown by Coleman Vineyard, which is located in the McMinnville AVA. This is the western-most of the 6 AVAs, and benefits from cooling evening breezes coming in from the Pacific.

In 2006, I’m going to be managing a small ½ acre vineyard that is near the Coleman’s in the McMinnville AVA. If all goes well it will yield a couple of barrels of wine (around 50 cases). This vineyard is called Sunnyridge.

I would like to pick up one to two additional vineyards in 2006, and I’d like them to come from AVA’s other than McMinnville. I have several contacts with vineyards in the Eola Hills AVA, so that is looking promising.

My overarching goal is to let the grapes speak for themselves – to let them reveal their place of origin and the growing conditions that they experienced. Variance across each vineyard-designated wine is to be expected – even cherished.

So, the hunt begins.


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