Of Pressing Importance

Of Pressing Importance


6 minutes reading

Dear Friends,

I hope you have had an excellent week. Thank you to all for the birthday wishes. I spent the day eating out for lunch and dinner with my husband and daughter. During COVID, I cannot remember the last time I ate two meals out in one day. It was nice to spend that much time together. We missed my son Ryan but we will see him later this week!

Beyond my birthday, there was a lot to celebrate at Brooks. On Wednesday, I was asked by a Brooks fan if he could propose to his girlfriend on our property. We made it happen and the beautiful moment was captured by the talented Josh Chang. He texted me this photo of a photo during the moment. So happy that Brooks will be a special place for them forever.

Lot’s of great work during harvest 2021 as I share below.

Happy Sunday!

Harvest 2021 Updates

Riesling is the last fruit to come into the cellar. It takes patience to let the grapes hang to make sure we have achieved the perfect combination of sugar ripeness and flavor development. In the winery this week we were very busy pressing fruit. We brought in 21 tons of whites and began to press off the finished fermentations of the Pinot Noir.

Duels of Pressing

Until 2019, we only had one press. That was a big challenge for the team. Every year, when the Pinot Noir is done fermenting and ready to be pressed off, we would also start bringing white wines in that go straight to press. So a line formed…which fruit would get to the press first? On top of that, switching from red wines to whites requires a complete and thorough cleaning of the single press or your white wines could end up pink. It takes a lot of time and man-hours to clean a press.

Two years ago, we bought a second press. We now have one press dedicated to white wines and one press dedicated to red wines. This week was the perfect example of the processing and time efficiencies we have gained by having two presses. One team was able to press off all the Pinot Noir that had finished fermentation and the other team was able to take the 21 tons of white wines directly to the second press. Being able to act in a timely fashion for pressing considerably benefits the wine quality. I am so happy for the team and how smooth harvest is going for them by having the benefit of both presses. I am super excited for the wines!

On the left is Head Winemaker, Chris Williams, in charge of the dedicated white press complete with his Oregon State University sticker. This is a membrane press. Aromatic white wines benefit from the least amount of oxygen possible and this style of press lets the least amount of oxygen in during pressing. The press cycle for the whites takes about 3 hours for 2 tons.

On the right is Associate Winemaker, Claire Jarreau, in charge of the dedicated red press complete with her Lousiana State University sticker. This is a basket press and was the one we acquired in 2019. This press tends to be gentler which is important for red grapes post-fermentation. The oxygen during the pressing process is also a benefit for the wine. The press cycle for the reds takes about 45 minutes for 2 tons. 

“The less romantic side is by having two presses is that we are freed up to do what we need to do with reds and whites at the same time.  We can now do everything at its proper time adding quality to the wines.” Chris Williams. Bless his work ethic because he worked with only one press for 15+ years! 

Get Some Juice

Gather a Few Friends and Join Us!

Often, we are seeing Beyond Brooks include not just households but people gathering a few friends to enjoy the event together in their homes. Our Joy of Cooking Beyond Brooks is the PERFECT time to enjoy food, wine, and the event together. Why? We have hand-selected 4 recipes from the New Edition of the Joy of Cooking and perfectly paired them with 2 bottles of Brooks wine. It is plenty of food and wine to share with friends. I made all of these recipes and our team thoroughly enjoyed them with two newly released wines both of which are some of the oldest vineyards in the Willamette Valley:

  • 2018 Crannell Pinot Noir
  • 2018 Hyland Vineyard Riesling

What will we be eating with these two delicious wines? 

  • Patatas Bravas (Spanish fried potatoes)*
  • Fried Halloumi Cheese with honey and walnuts*
  • Muhammara (roasted red pepper dip)*
  • Party Mix because no party is complete without it and it pairs so well with wine!

* NEW to this edition! All of these recipes are easy to prepare.

Don’t have The Joy of Cooking? It is essential for any kitchen and makes the perfect gift! Do you have a previous edition? Here is mine from 31 years ago next to the shiny new one. The difference? As the cover says, over 600 NEW recipes and improvements to over 4,000 favorites. 

Enjoy a webinar with me and the co-authors of the cookbook moderated by Master of Wine Bree Stock. You receive the cookbook, the wines, and a smoked pimenton paprika spice from Burlap and Barrel. That sounds like the makings for a fabulous Saturday on October 23rd at 1 pm PST. It is just $99 plus shipping. For all you college football fans, it is recorded for your enjoyment later! 

There is only one more week to purchase this event so don’t wait! We only have 100 spots and are almost sold out! 

Join us for Beyond Brooks with the Co Author of The Joy of Cooking!

Pascal Published Again

You may remember that in 2020, Pascal entered Jancis Robinson’s annual writing competition. The topic last year was a producer and their efforts to be sustainable. Pascal WON her writing competition last year. This year, the topic was Old Vine Vineyards. Pascal was published on her site again. Read it here! Congrats Pascal!

As always, I appreciate you taking the time to read this and hope you think my weekly emails are interesting and keep you close to Brooks. I am always happy to take suggestions of things you would like to know about. October and November themes will be focused on all aspects of Pinot Noir.

Happy to hear your thoughts: janie@brookswine.com or cell 831-238-4828.