What an exciting week at Brooks! Our six harvest interns are settled in and have completed their first 15 hour day yesterday! We received Muscat from Muska Vineyard and Gewurztraminer from Oak Ridge Vineyard early in the week. The photo above is receiving our first pinot noir of the vintage. And what made it even more exciting is it is a brand new clone for us: Mount Eden clone from Eola Springs Vineyard. It is customary for the crew to have some champagne when this first fruit arrives! I am so happy I was there!
We will be profiling our interns over the next few weeks! It is a great group of people, many of which were supposed to be with us in 2020. I am so glad we could bring them out this year.
We have more exciting news for the fall and winter below. I’m sharing with you the first steps of harvest and another great article on Brooks as we continue to celebrate the legacy of Brooks in September!
Fun with the Family, Friends and Colleagues
Since COVID, much of my time has been invested in hosting Virtual Tastings. We have taught so many people about the Willamette Valley, what makes our climate perfect for growing grapes for amazing wines, how to taste wine, about Brooks and our social and environmental commitments. Of course, there was plenty of wine involved too! As always, we work hard to continue to improve. The chart above is a big new improvement that will accompany all wines for Virtual Events going forward. (The backside is a similar chart for Riesling and aromatic whites). AND we have had requests for new content!
Announcing Four New Virtual Wine Experiences!
Wine and Chocolate Pairing
Food and Wine Pair 101
“Brooks Blind”-Brooks Pinot Noir Blind Tasting
Party in a Box
Enjoy these events with coworkers, clients, friends, family, and all the wine lovers in your life! I expect Wednesday-Saturday from October through March to be very full with these so don’t delay!
THE FIRST STEPS OF MAKING WINE
Last week you saw all the cleaning that took place to get ready for harvest. This week we actually brought some white and red fruit in the door. A quick visual walk-through for you.
White grapes are much less labor-intensive than reds grapes for processing. At Brooks, we take all of our white grapes straight into the press where the juice is pressed away from the skins and seeds. The juice then goes into the tank to ferment the sugars into alcohol. The skins and seeds go into our compost pile for the vineyard.
The process of making pinot noir is much different. It is weeks before red wines are pressed off and go into the barrel. Here is what happens when the fruit comes in the door.
This workstation is where the magic begins. With pinot noir, the goal is to be as gentle as possible during initial processing so that you keep the grape berry intact.
Top left: Beautiful Mt. Eden pinot noir from Eola Springs Vineyard. Top right: Production Associate Tom uses the pitchfork to gently and slowly bring clusters from the bin to the sorting table. Bottom left: Denise, Lauren, and Kristi sort the clusters removing leaves or other debris. Bottom right: The clusters head up the destemmer where the berries are separated from the stems. Inside the machine, there are little fingers that push the berries through the holes in the pink sheet.
On the left, the berries fall into a clean bin. Intern Gregory makes sure any stems that accidentally made it in are removed. A cold and messy job! On the right: the stems that are collected in bins and are ultimately made into mulch.
The boss, Head Winemaker Chris, is observing the results of the process and adjusting the calibration of the destemmer as needed. If the fingers move too fast it can split the berries, if too slow, berries can end up in the stem bin…..it all has to be just right and it gets adjusted every time we have fruit from a different vineyard.
To be continued next week!
The Legacy Continues
It is always a joy when a writer takes a keen interest in our winery and covers so many facets of our business. This article was written 5 years ago and I have always admired the time and depth Eric took while writing this. Enjoy!
I drove almost 11 hours back to California yesterday. What a wonderful trip to Oregon. I saw so many friends, growers, wine club members, and guests. We completed and launched Beyond Brooks and new Virtual Tastings that I hope you will be a part of. I had a special day on Wednesday visiting Cascade Head where Jimi and my parents’ ashes are (photo below). We held a Wine Club pick-up party and celebrated on Tuesday with an all-company welcome potluck for the interns. It felt great to kick off harvest and not have fire and smoke issues like last year. It was time for me to get out of the way and let the wonderful season of harvest proceed.
Here as always: email@example.com or 831-238-4828
It was a beautiful day at Cascade Head above the clouds. We toasted Jimi with a bottle of 1999 Willamette Valley Riesling. While the color clearly showed age, the wine was so fresh and young! He was a masterful winemaker.