Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 09:34:22 -0700
Subject: [PV-Friends] April 2012 newsletter

Perennial Vintners In this issue:
 ▪ Next official open winery weekend - 28,29-Apr
 ▪ Releases - new Magelica, and almost sold out
 ▪ Consider "Like"ing us on Facebook
Newsletter -- April-2012  ▪ New weather station
(Click here to view in HTML on website)
 ▪ Vineyard - weeding, planting, weeding  ▪ Recipes -Grilled Spot Shrimp & Baby Artichoke Salad

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

Next official open winery weekend - 28,29-Apr
Our next official open day is the last weekend of April.  This is a Winery Alliance of Bainbridge Island event with all wineries open both days that weekend.  We'll be open 11am 'til 5pm, the other wineries open at noon.

The long-range weather forecast is showing really nice that weekend so be sure to come on out, take a few steps into the vineyard and see buds pushing, which is a good sign for the seasons growth.

Releases - new Magelica, and almost sold out
As mentioned in previous newsletters, we've come up with our first new wine in a few years.  In keeping with PV's style, this is one of the most unique wines you'll ever encounter.  (This is not idle boasting or generic marketing claptrap, read on!)  The wine is a botrytised Madeleine Angevine from 2010 finished slightly sweet (only 3% R.S.), and in a port-style with grape neutral spirits bringing the alcohol up to 19%.  Imagine a Sauterne wine without the overwhelming sweetness, but instead a good acid balance and in a port style.  I have never heard of anyone making a similar wine.  We will be pouring this wine for tasting at the next open event.  The labels are in the mail, so, crossed fingers, we should finally be able to actually sell it too!

FYI: We'll soon run out of Muller Thurgau 2009 and Frambelle 2010, however the next releases will be ready once the labels arrive from the printer.

Consider "Like"ing us on Facebook
Yes, I know, to date I haven't spend a whole lot of effort on the PV Facebook page, but we do have one.  Perhaps once we have more Facebook friends we'll use it more.  So please feel free to help Facebook folks get more by "Like"ing us on Facebook.  In the "Search" bar at the top of the page, simply type "Perennial Vintners", click on the entry labeled "Places", then click on the "Like" thumbs-up icon.

New weather station
Some of you will have met Andrew MacMillan, the Executive Chef for Perennial Vintners.  Amongst Andrew's interests is the weather.  He also works with statics and mathematical models (and he's also a mycologist and leads mushroom hunting forays)!

Also as you are probably aware (mentioned in previous newsletters), 2011 was an absolutely awful growing year in the PS AVA - we lost our entire crop, much of it to Powdery Mildew (PM).

Andrew got interested in my tale of woe and dug up some research on predicting PM growth.  It includes a mathematical model that requires only high and low temperatures and rainfall amounts collected daily.  Andrew's web design and hosting company HawkFeather Web Design has purchased a high-end-but-still-consumer-priced weather station, and we've installed it in the vineyard.  We now have accurate high/low temps daily and rainfall, which gets us the PM model and a Growing Degree Day (GDD) value for the area.

The weather info is now directly available at the PV website, click new "Weather Station" link in left nav bar.  Also it's set up to publish to Weather Underground (; in "location" field enter "Bainbridge Island".  If you've gotten a different Bainbridge station, click "Station Select", and choose "Perennial Vintners" (KWBAINB13).

I've been working on a website to handle the PM and GDD calculations and spray data tracking.  The basic website is there now, though the automated email alerts backend has not been completed (hopefully within a week or so.)  Anyone is welcome to have an account, it only requires an email address.  The email address will only be used for notifications about the website and of course for any alerts you choose to set up.  Be sure to let any friends in the Puget Sound area that are serious about growing grapevines, hops, or roses, know about it.

Vineyard - weeding, planting, weeding
Right now most of the vineyard activity is just plain weeding, ugh.  The dandelions are about to spread their parachutes all over, I'm furiously trying to get ahead of that.  Next I'll make another pass against the quackgrass, plaintains, etc.  I've already accepted that I won't be able to stop the shotweed...

The other task is planting.  Each year we pot up lots of the vineyard prunings in order to make new plants for the following year.  Last year and this year we made just about 1,000 plant starts -- thanks to those of you who came out to help do potting!  The work now is to get last years plants into the ground.  We've done about 50, have about 70 more to go.  If I manage to get a block of trees cleared soon, we may be planting another 700 or so!  If you're interested in helping create history -- establishing a vineyard, please consider joining our helpers email list for announcements about when we're out working.
Recipes - Grilled Spot Shrimp & Baby Artichoke Salad
Our Executive Chef Andrew MacMillan prepared a wonderful meal for a bottling party last Spring.  Apologies that it wasn't posted on the website recipes page until now.  However, this is a good time to post it as many of the ingredients will be available fresh locally in about a month.  You'll want to come out to the winery for the next open weekend (see first article this newsletter) and pick up a bottle of Verjus and a Müller Thurgau in order to have this meal live up to it's full potential...