Donkey & Goat

Berkeley's first natural winery, crafting wines
from sustainably farmed vineyards since 2004.

Rose is now in the house

As those of you who follow my twitter posts know, we harvested rose this morning.

At 3:45, I got up to drive up to McDowell Valley. The drive is always nice. Relaxing, since the only time our roads don’t have traffic is 4AM, and beautiful going up the through Russian River and Alexander Valley.

Before the harvest, we weigh the truck at a giant custom crush facility which is literally next to our blocks of Grenache Gris. Our rental truck came in at 10,892 pounds before the grapes. The truck before me (delivering Syrah for an undisclosed customer) came in at over 100,000 pounds. One delivery to the facility is the same as our whole year.

We started harvesting by hand around 7:00 AM. The Grenache looks great this year. With 60 year old vines which are head pruned, one often see a lot of rot and other issues. This year, the fruit was nearly perfect. Finishing up around 9:30, I headed back to the winery.

Sorting started around 1:30 with our team and Caitlin from the Wood Tavern in Oakland. McDowell was subject to a fair amount of smoke from forest fires this year. We had ETS run a smoke taint test. In the Grenache, we had a small amount of guaiacol but no 4-methylguaiacol. As a result, we tried an experiment with half of our production. Instead of letting it sit on the skins for 36 hours, we sorted and pressed it this afternoon. The second half of the lot is sitting on the skins. On Friday, we will barrel down the pressed wines and press the other lot.

While sorting, we did find several black widows and 2 lizards. We captured the lizards and brought them home for Isabel. They will be released on Friday afternoon at Isabel’s school.

I think this will be a great year for Rose!

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