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Curt in the Dirt - Winery Updates Back to Winery Updates

January, 2011

Our first crush at Lawrence Dunham Vineyards went extremely well as the facility and new equipment performed beautifully. It started with the picking and crush of about 500 pounds of Viognier from the little bit we planted in April 2009. This wine was fermented in stainless steel where it is currently clarifying.

As result of our red grape crush, we have 13 barrels of 2010 Petite Sirah from our vineyard and ten barrels of Grenache from the six tons of grapes we purchased from our neighbors at Rock Creek Vineyards.

LDV Winery
Warming barrels in the sun
All of the red wine is completing its secondary fermentation. For some reason, the wine is taking a long time to complete fermentation this year. No explanation at this point!

We bottled our 2009 Grenache on September 2nd (108 cases) and our 2009 Sky Island Grenache on October 13 (129 cases). We are still in the process of getting all of the bottles labeled and the capsules applied (the foil covering the corks).

We purchased some new French and American oak barrels for the 2010 vintage and for
the first time we are experimenting with different toast levels. The level to which each
barrel is toasted impacts the flavor and character of the finished wine. We are trying to
determine what toasting levels are best with the grapes grown here and it’s a trial and error process – hopefully not too much error!
LDV Winery
Labeling Sky Island Grenache
As soon as the fermentation is completed, we will add some SO2 (to protect the
wine from bacteria and other ghoulies) and adjust the pH if necessary. We will also rack the wines (removing the clear juice from the solids that have settled on the bottom of the barrel) to begin clarifying or “cleaning up” the wines. Then we will leave them alone to age.

We are anticipating bottling our 2009 Petite Sirah, 2009 Sky Island Petite Sirah and 2009 R.E.D. blend (Grenache, Mouvedre and Petite Sirah) in January. Hopefully these wines will be ready to release in early spring.

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