Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2008 09:25:45 -0700
Subject: [PV-Friends] July 2008 newsletter

Perennial Vintners In this issue:
 ▪ New Madeleine Angevine label
 ▪ Winery - Bottling next weekend
 ▪ Bastille Day - open today!
Newsletter -- July-2008  ▪ Vineyard - Making up for cool Spring
(Click here to view in HTML on website)
 ▪ Verjus  ▪ Website - New panorama

(Click on any image below to go to website with more information/larger image/etc.)

New Madeleine Angevine label
Our new Madeleine Angevine wine is finished, we'll be bottling it next weekend (more on this below).  To the left is a preview of the new piece our artist Dianne Gardner has made for it.  We won't have the labels in time for the bottling party (I was not prepared enough to have it done in time to go through the federal approval process), but we will have it in time for a release this Fall.

Winery - Bottling next weekend
We'll be bottling most of the 2007 wines this coming weekend.  We expect to do about 60 cases of Muller Thurgau, plus about 25 cases of our first Madeleine Angevine.  These will be released in time for the holidays.  If you would like an early bottle, you'll just have to work for it by joining the bottling party <grin!>...  As always, join our helpers email list for notifications.

Bastille Day - open today!
The French version of our Independence Day is 14-Jul, Bastille Day.  To honor the French contribution to the wine world, and as we're emphasizing the French winegrape Melon de Bourgogne in an area otherwise known for German winegrapes (Muller Thurgau, Siegerrebe), we're making a big deal out of Bastille Day!  As mentioned in a previous quick note, you can come visit us at the vineyard/winery, we're open to the public this weekend, or, if you'd rather stay on the mainland, you can try a real live French Muscadet wine at the Seattle Center Bastille Day celebration and listen to the music at the winegarden.

Vineyard - Making up for cool Spring
As anyone with a tomato plant in the backyard knows, we had a very cool Spring this year.  By late June, the vineyard shoot growth was a good 4+ weeks behind where it would usually be.  Truth be told, we were scared that we were not going to have enough warmth this year to ripen grapes.  However, now that it's finally warmed up, the plants are growing like crazy!  We're having an awful time trying to keep up with tucking, tying, and clipping.  We'll be hedging this week as well, and an early flower cluster thinning.  If you're interested in learning about these vineyard tasks, please join our helpers email list for notifications of work parties.

By the way, remember the irrigation work we did this Spring at the Day Road farm?  It's finally all together and working, we do our first turn-the-valve irrigation a few days ago.  Previous to this it's been me making about 20 trips over about 3 hours with a backpack sprayer - glad that's over!

We have 1 (one) bottle of verjus left from our 2007 "green harvest".  Come on out and buy the last bottle!

For those who haven't followed our newsletters for all that long, a verjus is unfermented unripe grape juice; it's used in cooking where you might otherwise use lemon juice.  Verjus can be produced when the grape plants are out-of-balance; this is the case for our 2007 Madeleine -- the 25 year old plants were cut off to have a new graft added on top, but it was never completed.  The huge root system wants to make a huge plant with lots of fruit, but the newly trained trunk is too small, so we remove extra fruit early on.  We will be doing this again this year, so you may get another chance if you missed this years.  Also, due to the compressed growing season (see previous), we may drop fruit on other varieties as well -- we won't know for another few weeks to a month.

Website - new panorama
Our resident panorama photographer Garret Veley came by last week and took a summer evening panorama shot of Ellis and I in the Melon de Bourgogne vineyard.  It's on the website on the vineyards page.