Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 18:48:43 -0700
Subject: [PV-Friends] August newsletter

Perennial Vintners In this issue:
 ▪ New projects & upcoming releases
 ▪ Events
 ▪ Vineyard -- crop thinning
Newsletter -- August-2008  ▪ Vineyard -- harvest help
(Click here to view in HTML on website)
 ▪ Adopt-a-wine  ▪ New outlet

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

New projects & Upcoming releases
This year we bought 300 pounds each of strawberries and raspberries from island farms.  We are making a fortified port-style wine from each of these.  It's a daring experiment for us (we've been told it's really hard to make a strawberry wine that doesn't taste fakey/mediciney), but we're giving it a try.  Watch this newsletter for news!

Also, a few weeks ago we bottled the 2007 Muller Thurgau and our first new wine in 2 years, the 2007 Madeleine Angevine.  The labels have been approved by the TTB and the order is at the printer now.  We anticipate getting these out by mid-September.

There are two special wine events this weekend -- The Auction of Washington Wines in Woodinville is a benefit for Children's hospital.  Perennial Vintners is still too small to participate in this event, however we do recommend it -- wish we could go ourselves!  The other event is the Trust For Working Landscapes Harvest Dinner.  All proceeds go to help TWL to encourage farming on Bainbridge.  Several island farmers including ourselves, will give brief talks on their operations emphasizing how they work with TWL.  If you're a Seattle/Bainbridge "locavore", we strongly encourage participation in this latter event, it'll be fabulous!

Vineyard -- Crop thinning
This year we had a cold Spring, for example, we're only just getting our first tomatoes now, raspberries and strawberries were two weeks late, etc   With our Puget Sound maritime-influenced climate grape growing, we can't afford to have this sort of a late season.  We need every day of heat to ripen grapes before the rains arrive in Autumn.  The way we compensate for this lateness is to reduce the cropload we're asking of the plant.  We go out with cutters, and remove some of the ripening clusters.  This is known as a "green harvest" as the grapes are still hard and green, and if done later in the season may result in a Verjus like we did last year from the Madeleine Angevine.  If you're interested in helping out, please join our helpers email list: "Our Newsletter" click "PV-Helpers", we'll be doing this much of next week.

Vineyard -- Harvest help
This year will be an especially busy harvest for us as many of our small-lot experimental plantings will give us their first harvest this year.  As we may have a hard time keeping up, I wanted to give everyone a scheduling heads-up.  In a typical year, PS AVA harvest begins last week of Sep.  If you'd like to help out at harvest, whether picking grapes, helping press the goop, etc., you'll want to try to keep your weekends free in late Sep through mid-Oct and you'll want to join our helpers email list ("Our Newsletter" click "PV-Helpers") where we email about our harvest opportunities.

As mentioned above, this year will be the first year we'll have a harvest from the experimental plantings in our own vineyard.  We have Castor (an early ripening muscat), Zweigelt, Schonburger, Siegerebbe, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Reislaner.  All of these will be small batches done in 5 gallon glass carboys, so we're going to be really, really busy.  You'll get to learn how to decide when to harvest, you'll harvest, and you'll help at every stage of making the wine at the PV facility.  And of course you'll get take home some bottles when it's all done.  I'm really excited about this opportunity to mentor some of the folks who have expressed an interest -- hopefully it'll take some of the load off me while helping others learn.  Please note that these tiny batches are not expected to ever be sold -- we are assessing the suitability of the varietal to the Puget Sound AVA, and depending upon the success/failure, may choose to expand plantings in the future.  If you'd like to adopt a batch, please reply to this email.

New outlet
Our Bainbridge customers have always been asking us why we don't have our wines at the Town & Country grocery store on Bainbridge Island.  The answer is that we simply didn't have enough to sell -- and as we are already present at the Harbor Square Wine Shop, we are already available on the island.  I guess Beth got tired of answering that question and getting a "yeah but..." reply, so she made it happen -- PV wines are now available at T&C!