The last week has been about wrapping up some of the odds & ends of summer before Harvest 2009 begins. The week was filled with fining trials, negotiating contracts and shipping wine (the fun part!).
Fining trials are experiments on small portions of a blend to determine the best way of optimizing the blend’s flavors. This is the last creative part of winemaking, and enjoyable, though quite time consuming to set up and taste through each blend.
Grape sourcing negotiations are more a matter of meeting growers and looking at the vineyards than 'lawyer-speak' contractual administration. I’ve worked with most of the growers with whom I source fruit either for my project or clients projects, so negotiations are mainly to assure optimum fruit quality. Ensuring the level of quality that I require will likely involve doing a lot of the necessary work myself including fruit load adjustment in the vineyard. Fortunately, I work closely with my growers and collaboratively work to achiever this quality. I've acquired extensive knowledge through this collaboration over the years and this offers great satisfaction.
Shipping wine to the East Coast (we always prefer pallets, naturally) and working on a contract for distribution to Colorado is the fun part of these odds & ends of the season. Soon, I hope to bring Calstar wines to some excellent wine retailers and restaurants throughout Colorado. Stay tuned for updates!
Wrapping up the 2008 vintage and preparing for 2009 is an interesting combination of creativity, sales and planning which can be fun, scary, frustrating and, let's face it boring at time. But, these are the 'Odds & Ends'.