Date: Sun, 15 Nov 2009 20:15:03 -0800
Subject: [PV-Friends] November newsletter

Perennial Vintners In this issue:
 ▪ Sorry no newsletter in Oct.
 ▪ Melon de Bourgogne released
 ▪ BI Winter Market starting
Newsletter -- November-2009  ▪ Harvest report
(Click here to view in HTML on website)
 ▪  ▪ The vineyards

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

Sorry no newsletter in Oct.
No, you didn't lose our October newsletter to your spam filter -- we didn't send one...  October was frantically busy this year.  Every year harvest is a busy time, but this year almost everything came in at once, and, besides the winery, the last two months have been the most hectic I've had in my life.  So, please forgive me for not having managed to make time for a newsletter in October.

Melon de Bourgogne released
After 5 years (our Melon vineyard was planted in 2004), we've finally released WA state's first commercial Melon de Bourgogne wine.  It's a dry white wine with bracing acidity, lovely citrus flavors, and a softened mouthfeel due to extended yeast contact (sur lies).  This makes for a wonderful food wine, beyond compare for matching with seafood.  It has been very well received everywhere it has been tasted -- I'm really thrilled to have proven this grape is viable for the Puget Sound AVA.  It's been a long uphill battle, and I'd like to take this moment to especially thank my wife Beth for believing in me all these years and helping to bring this success.  The wine is available at the winery and at the BI Farmers Market (see below), and should soon be at our other local wine outlets and restaurants.  We are also working in hopes of getting it into a few nice seafood restaurants in Seattle.

BI Winter Market starting
The Bainbridge Island Farmers Market starts the winter season next week (Sat. 21-Nov).  The Winter market is indoors, in the meeting room of the Eagle Harbor Congregational Church at the corner of Winslow Way and Madison Ave.  It runs from 10am to 3pm each Saturday through 19-Dec.  We'll be there every weekend, and hope to see you there!  We'll have our Melon de Bourgogne and our Ichigo strawberry port-style dessert wine in addition to the usual suspects, Mueller Thurgau and Madeleine Angevine.  We'll also have this year's Verjus available there -- just in time for Thanksgiving cooking!  (For more details on verjus, see our newsletter archive.)

Harvest report
We survived harvest this year, though it was a tough one.  Almost everything came in at once, the amounts were dramatically larger than they've ever been, and just to make it even more fun I didn't have much support this year... I guess everyone else was exceptionally busy too!  I would really like to thank those of you who did come and help -- thank you, thank you -- there would be a lot less wine if it wasn't for all your help!  And remember folks for future work events -- we do pay our volunteers in wine!

We brought in about 3+ tons of grapes, plus 1+ tons of fruit this year.for a total of about 3,000 liters (300+ cases) of wine.  All our tanks are full which is actually a problem -- where do we rack to if all the tanks are full?  We'll find a way -- too much wine is a good problem to have, not a bad one!  This is more than twice as much as we've made in any previous year.  Approx 90 cases MT, 80 cases MdB, 40 cases MA, 70 cases Frambelle, 16 cases Ichigo.  This means that in 2010 we're really going to be needing your support buying our 2009 wines!
As you know, Perennial Vintners is proud of our local food focus.  We encourage our customers to buy local foods and to accompany those foods with our locally grown wines.  We participate in the Puget Sound Fresh program associated with the Cascade Harvest Coalition.  They have an annual program where they ask people to promise to have at least one facet of their Thanksgiving meal be from a local source.  Whether it be a locally grown organically raised free-range heritage bird, or a simple vegetable course, what matters is that it was raised locally.  They have a webpage where they ask for your pledge (no money involved, just a promise) which will show you an estimate of how many pounds of CO2 emissions your pledge will save.  I have pledged every year since I first heard of it, and hope you will too. or

The vineyards
The vineyards have all been "put to bed" for the year.  As you can see from highway SR-305, the steep hillside vineyard on the Morales property is a nice green shade due to a firmly established Winter Rye cover crop.  This is done primarily to prevent heavy winter rainfall from eroding the hillside, additionally to add nitrogen to the soil.  The other vineyard blocks I maintain have also either been cover-cropped with Winter Rye, or left to the native weeds, again for nitrogen fixing and erosion protection.  The leaves have seneced and are falling, I expect what remains to be peeled off by the high winds they're predicting for the next few days.  The next vineyard activity is pruning.  This is done starting mid-January, and will probably be finished about early March.  If you're interested in learning about grape growing, this is a critical experience -- please consider joining our helpers email list for work party announcements.