...and then there were three.
The final ferments for Ledge are happily ticking away:
Bien Nacido Syrah (two tanks) and a James Berry Vineyard Rhône blend (co-ferment) of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdere and Roussanne.
Adams Ranch Syrah, Roussanne and Grenache are tucked away in barrel and our JBV Counoise rosé is undergoing a slow cold ferment which will gently ferment away for a few months.
More next week,
Vineyard Photo Credit: Kyla Rudd
Cellar Photos: Mark Adams
Happy Birthday Mom!
It's actually on the 7th but since I will be in the cellar, I thought this would be a good opportunity to send my wishes here.
Wine wise everything is rollin' away!
The Adams Ranch Grenache has finished fermenting and is ready to be pressed and barreled down. The James Berry Rhône blend is doing it's thing quite nicely and the Bien Nacido Syrah started ripping today. It was little slow to start (just like last year), but it's gassing now.
That's the update.
Oh, wait. We will be preparing Holiday wine packs which are available on the website. A four pack, a three pack and a two pack. The 4 pack is a red blend verticle, the three pack is a Dusi Zin vertical the two pack is two vintages of Grenache. Yum! Check it out.
That's it for now.
Catch you on the flip side.
The show is about to begin.
Here is a quick, weary-eyed harvest update.
Wines in barrel or in tank:
2019 Adams Ranch Vineyard - Syrah / Roussanne coferment is finished fermenting and is safely in barrel.
2019 Adams Ranch Vineyard - Grenache is almost finished fermenting and will be safely in barrel by the end of the week.
2019 James Berry Vineyard Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache, Roussanne coferment is safely in tank and very, very happy chemistry wise.
2019 Bien Nacido Syrah also delivered very sound numbers and has been delivered to two tanks.
Easily my favorite harvest ever. I am beyond happy.
Oh, in other news, we will be crafting another rosé from James Berry Vineyard. Picked for the purpose of rosé, Provence style. JBV Counoise rosé.
Life is good.
Photos on the way.
the ranch has been picked and the vines are resting.
we have been blessed with another year of incredible fruit.
the quality is better than ever. the smells and the flavors are spot on.
the syrah / roussanne coferment (which is still in tank) has nearly gone dry and will be pressed and transferred into barrels within the week.
the grenache was picked on the 17th and just started fermenting this morning.
it smells glorious.
All Photos by Kyla Rudd
The stage is set.
Goldie and the White Lion (our two dually pick-up trucks) are ready to roll.
Tomorrow we pick the rest of our fruit up here on the Adams Ranch.
The Syrah / Roussanne blend that we brough in last week is happily fermenting in it's tank. The numbers were ideal and the ferment smells glorious. We could not be happier.
We released wine club today and we would like to thank all of you who are along with us on this fantastic ride. Email us if you want in. It's not too late. We have a special announcement coming soon for those of you who continue to invest in us. We appreciate your positivity and direct involvement in this adventure. Thank you.
Stay tuned for photos from the vineyard and winery.
We completed our first pick on October 9th here at the Adams Ranch, bringing in all of our Estate Syrah and Roussanne. We harvested the Bunkhouse, Meter by Meter and Ledge Block Syrah vines and the Lake Block of Roussanne. The Meter by Meter and Lake Blocks were delivered with 100% whole clusters into the tank, where I stomped on the fruit (aka pigeage) to release their wonderful potential. The wine juice already smells amazing. Complex notes of sage brush and rhubarb are dominant, and the color is a deep, dark violet. It's the most wonderful time of the year! More photos to come...
L to R: Jordan and Josie Processing Adams Ranch Vineyard Syrah and Roussanne
The weather has been amazing. We've had a nice cool down for about a week, and we will get a slight warm up as we head into harvest up here on the Adams Ranch. I'm excited to get this fruit into our brand spankin' new tanks, which will happen next week. Everything tastes great and it's possible that we will finish the Adams Ranch ferment prior to bringing in the Bien Nacido Syrah. Adams Ranch is looking something like this: 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 10% Roussanne. There is a little bit of Mourvédre and Cinsaut out there, but not much. The Cinsaut is only 2 years old, so we wont get any real fruit from that block until next year. The few remaining Mourvédre vines are mixed in with the original planting of Syrah and there aren't too many of them. The Counoise and Grenache Blanc are babies so they aren't bearing any fruit.
I'll be taking a sampling of all of the blocks for safety, to see what the numbers say and I'll report back. My instincs tell me that we are very close to the sweet spot - which brings our wines to the 14.5-15% alcohol range with pH around 3.5 and TA around .50. Those numbers have been pretty consistent over the years and there is no reason to believe they will be that much different for this vintage.
Enough nerd talk. Before I go I'd like to wish my Dad a very happy birthday! Mom's birthday is on the horizon as well and I look forward to hanging out with my family more when harvest is over. They're a pretty good lot.
Alrighty then. Catch you on the flip side.
Magic Hour Overlooking the Meter by Meter Estrella Clone Syrah
All wines are live email@example.com
Let's make some wines.
While we are still a few weeks out from picking anything up here on the ranch, the grapes are ripening up nicely. As noted in previous posts, we have narrowed our focus to the Adams Ranch Vineyard, James Berry Vineyard (Paso Robles, Willow Creek District) and Bien Nacido (Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County).
We are honored to be making wine from the latter two estates, which rank among the most famous and well reputed vineyards in the world of wine.
These days I am spending most of my time helping out over at Saxum and JBV, although they have assembled such a stellar crew, that I am practically resigned to flipping over records and stacking picking bins.
That's a good thing.
It is with a heavy heart that we pour out a pull for their dog Luna, one of the most beloved vineyard dogs to ever snarf a grape, who passed yesterday. We will miss you.
Bye for now,
Mark (Ciera and Elizabeth) Adams
Below: One of our oldest, own rooted vines, planted in 2005.
We're going to purchase a used but sturdy picking trailer tomorrow up in York Mountain. That's a first for our humble farm.
I've been schlepping stacked up macro bins in our two "mature" pick up trucks since our first substantial harvest in 2010. This trailer will allow us to have our picking bins single-high while picking the whole ranch. This is muy bueno.
The fruit is looking good. Really good. We will have our first nice pull from the meter-by-meter Estrella Clone Syrah block, as well as the first real harvest from the Bunk House Block, which is our most geologically complex block. It also houses the widest variety of grapes: Syrah, Counoise, Cinsaut, Roussanne, Grenache and Grenache Blanc.
We are still looking at a mid-October Estate pick. The weather has been wonderfully mild, allowing the plants to rebound from what has been a pretty severe hot spell. The "Brix" or sugar readings around town have been high, but it's all a facade. The vines freak out and the numbers get all wonky when extreme weather happens.
This is one of the reasons why we rely heavily on how the grapes taste and not so much on what the numbers look like.
To quote Obi-Wan Kenobi, "Trust your instincts".
We have had an intense couple of days up here at the rancho. Some of our friends, who happen to be touring musicians, stayed with us and we proceeded to combine wine and music related actvities. Monday night the boys (Tim Buhm and The Coffis Brothers) performed for a music video shoot at Bethel Road Distillery, followed by a full blown rehearsal up here at the house. The next day we all went down to the Krush FM studio where we poured Ledge wines (2017 Adams Ranch and 2017 James Berry Vineyard) along with Jordan Fiorentini of Epoch wines on a radio show called Liquid Lunch with the "Cork Dorks", Adam Montiel and Jeremy West. The boys sang a few songs as well. The show is archived on their website.
After this show we popped in to say hello to our friends at Bristol's Cider House, where they have started picking apples and making fresh batches of cider. My brother and I are going to take a stab at making a small batch of our own cider (just for fun) here in a few days.
After Bristol's we moseyed up to Firestone Walker Brewery and participated in their annual Anniversary Ale winemaker blending session where we teamed up with our buddy from Saxum, Justin Smith. While we have "won" this friendly competition a few times in the past, this year's honor went to Sherman Thatcher of Thatcher Winery.
After the blending session we made our way to Morro Bay to hear the guys play some music at The Siren. They rocked it - and for a Tuesday night - the place was pretty packed. Way to deliver, Central Coast!
This morning the touring van left the ranch and headed to San DIego where the guys will be performing at The Casbah. You can hear them here at the ranch at our next "Ledge Fest", which is a thank you concert, dinner and tasting for our wine club members.
We are a little tuckered out, but very grateful for this community. It is really special to be able to show a group of wandering musicians how supportive we can be of eachother. My friends and neighbors made me proud to be a part of it all.
Many, many thanks to my wonderful wife and daughter for putting up with a few action-packed days. You rock.
Harvest is right around the corner. Exciting!