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Harvest 2017 has begun!

October 4th was the first day of the 2017 harvest here at Ventosa Estate Winery.  As you probably know, we hand pick all of our grapes.  This process is gentler on the fruit and we can carefully select which grapes to keep and which clusters to drop.  Those that are dropped, rot and go into the soil to nurture future crops.

The first grape picked was our Pinot Noir.  These vines are located in the first several rows closest to our building.  As you look out toward Seneca Lake from the terrace, you are looking at our Pinot Noir vines. Pinot Noir is very sensitive and an early ripening variety.  If not picked early enough this thin-skinned grape will shrivel and dry out rapidly.

Once picked, the grapes are processed through a crusher/destemmer which takes the berries off of the stems and gets rid of any leaves left on the clusters.  For Pinot Noir and other red varieties used in dry wines, the berries are placed in large bins.  Two to three times a day, the wine making team punches through each bin to add oxygen to the yeast which helps to “kick start” fermentation.  This step of the process also gives the wine its color and tannic characteristic from the juice’s exposure to the skins.  Within a week or so, these berries will be placed in a press, leaving only the juice which then goes into wood barrels.

At Ventosa, we use the most devout form of aging possible, anywhere from 24 to 60 months.  Therefore, you won’t see a bottle of our 2017 Pinot Noir until 2019 at the earliest.  Remember … good things come to those who wait!


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