Harvest is upon us!!
We are so excited about this year’s grapes! It's been a very dry season and because of some frost damage, our yields are not what they could have been. Earlier in the year, we experienced 3 major freezes taking out many of our buds, especially in Marquette and also La Crescent. The flip side of that is the plant can concentrate on fewer clusters. Between the extremely dry weather, (10.5 inches of rain all years, when we should be at 28 inches) it's making for some very concentrated fruit. Additionally, we really concentrated on opening the fruit zone to sun exposure. We are hoping for higher brix levels this year. (sugar) If you do this early on, it is very beneficial to the crop. Our canopy looks great as well and we have had no disease on the vines.
This Friday, August 25th we will be harvesting our Cayuga White for our Sparkling Winchester 2023 I just can't believe how fast this season has been going.
We have sold some of our Cayuga this year for the first time and actively looking for some Riesling to add to our lineup of wines.
Aging on the lees is our Sparkling Winchester 2020, 2021, 2022. This year’s Sparkling Winchester will be a Rose for 2023. SO EXCITING!
We have made some repeats of last year and also some new additions. One of the specialty wines is called Marquette. Think Pinot Noir! Yes, it's drinking just like it, but only a Hybrid available to club members only. This will be released in a few months as it was just bottled.
Another special wine is Soliel d'Ovest (La Crescent from our estate) I think we are the only grower of this grape that is producing wine from it in Virginia. It is a stunning grape and this variety won the governor's cup in Ohio.
On the horizon is a Port Tannat (3 years now and aging) as well as a dessert wine. We love making some interesting, one of kind wines to share with you.
Our Chocolate Red is hitting the wine market in VA by storm. We sold 60 cases in a short 3 weeks and allocated more of our Arandell this year to another 110 cases of this sought after wine. It won SILVER MEDALS in two international competitions.
Paul & Loretta
HARVEST IS HERE! 2022!
On the morning of August 25th we harvested a rare grape varietal in Virginia. It's called Marquette (a relative of Pinot Noir, only hybrid) It has had world attention because of the wines it can produce. We are so excited to have our first wine made from 100% varietal this year. We hope to create a Burgundy style wine. Stay tuned for this one.
Marquette wines are typically medium bodied, with aromas of cherries, blackcurrants and blackberries. In better examples, more complex aromas such as tobacco and leather may also be exhibited, with spicy pepper notes on the finish.
Initial trials suggests that Marquette responds well to oak treatments such as barrel aging and oak chipping.
Marquette is a blue/black-berried variety crossed in 1989 and introduced in 2006 by the University of Minnesota in the United States. Marquette is the cousin of Frontenac, a well-known French-American hybrid, and the grandson of Pinot Noir.
Another treat is our La Crescent Grape. The last time we made this wine it was grapes "shipped" to us to see what we could do with this wine. We feel these grapes under our vineyard management will produce something even more extraordinary. We will change the name as it will be a totally different wine. It's fruit forwardness is unprecedented.
La Crescent is a light-skinned hybrid variety developed by the University of Minnesota and released in 2002. It has a very complex ancestry, including Vitis vinifera, riparia, rupestris, labrusca and aestivalis. Saint-Pepin and a Muscat Hamburg crossing feature among its progenitors.
Named after a small town in Minnesota State, La Crescent was bred to resist extremely cold climates. It is also grown in the northern states of New York and Vermont. Like most hybrids, La Crescent has admirable resistance to most diseases, although it can be susceptible to peronospora (downy mildew) in humid climates.
La Crescent is ideal for the production of off-dry and semi-sweet wines and is apt to retain some acidity, which balances this style. It is a relatively aromatic variety and exhibits flavors of stonefruits, such as peach, citrus fruits or even tropical flavors of pineapple.
Next week around the first week of September we will be harvesting, pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and some Cayuga to make our SPARKLING WINCHESTER 2022. We are shooting for a Rose again, as our 2021 did not throw as much color as we had liked. Don't let that fool you as the flavor is there! Our 2021 vintage we have very high hopes for.
Our Hybrid Grapes have proven in a wet season to delivery some extraordinary clean fruit. This is what seperates Hybrid grapes from French Varietals. A season of over 10 inches of rain causes issues with Downy Mildew on French Varietals.
We have seen some Downy in the vineyard, but very limited.
We are estimating a 7 ton load for our Cayuga White and Arandell (our number one wine) is looking FANTASTIC! with a yeild around 4 tons. The fruit quality is lovely.
Stay tuned as we harvest we will let you know how things are going. We only have 2 more pickings to go, so do your "no rain" dance as we complete our HARVEST 2022!
Cheers to a great harvest!
A view of our Arandell grapes. The sunsets on our farm are always spectacular. We thought it would be fun to share some of the images we see walking our dogs.
Due to the snow, it very difficult to have customers here as the patio is pretty much covered. Since we are not opening the tasting room any time soon, our patio is vital for visitors. We do have online sales and pickup always available.
There so much to do in our vineyard, even off season. Renewal of licensing, gathering documents for the accontant, updating our webpage, getting labels ready for our new wines, pruning, our wine club selections, scheduling the 2021 entertainment and event season, so while we are not 'open' so many behind the scenes things are happening.
Paul is enjoying the vineyard and doesn't seem to miss flying. (that is a good thing) Our vineyard dogs, Champagne and Bordeaux enjoy their walks every morning.
We can't wait to to have sunny warm days and get going on the 2021 season. We have lots of new things coming to our vineyard. We are getting bids on a new pavilion to offer our customers a view of both vineyards, all weather seating, and a cozy place to have a glass of wine.
Thank you for checking in with us
Paul and Loretta
We hope all of you are safe and doing well among a very difficult time in all of our lives.
For us here on the farm, our grapes are starting to come alive and the first signs of bud break have arrived. We mostly have hybrid grapes growing and bud break is later on these varietals. We are awaiting the first leaf stage and the promise of a new vintage. Our main blocks have missed the freeze damage, as of this writing. As part of of expansion, we planted 400 more grapes this spring.
We just recently released our 2019 La Crescent and are excited for this unique wine. It exhibits notes of apricot, pineapple and citrus, that also offers a tad of salt. The high acids are sure to give you that refreshing finish this summer and this wine pairs excellent with Thai food (sweet, salt, sour)
In anticipation of things starting to get back to normal we have been doing projects to expand our outside space with a cleared area off the outdoor patio under the trees. As things start to open up, keeping social distancing will be pretty easy to do at the vineyard! We are also adding more picnic tables where you can enjoy a bottle of wine and food and spread out from other groups.
Many of our vineyard management operations include composting and implementing biodynamic principles to make our vineyard strong and healthy. We believe the more we try to adopt practices that nature provides for us, the less intervention we need. Which brings us to another new addition to our vineyard practices. Chickens! Meet Rosie, Churp, Vanilla and Chevapa, we have 12 more coming in May!
Of course our little bug eating, fertilizing, egg laying friends need a home. So we call this the “chicken hotel”. Paul and Amy have been working hard on providing a state of art facility for them. When you come visit the vineyard you might get a glimpse of our feathered friends as they work to keep our vineyard in balance.
Paul Sr is still flying as critical personnel delivering freight in many parts of the world which include supplies to our military, medical equipment and so many other things. The passenger airline is now on the frontlines.
We can’t wait to see our customers again. We feel that it will be sometime before our tasting room will be allowed to open but we are hoping that an outside space with plenty of room to have a bottle of wine and relax will be back soon. We are currently offering shipping and curbside ordering of our wine and will be partnering with some local food venders to offer foods and meal delivery options for pickup. Wine and food options should be purchased as a pre-order through our website at briedevineyards.com.
It’s a very trying time in America and the world, but we will rise above it. We are putting strategies in place for social distancing on our 27 acre farm with picnic tables and seating well beyond the 6’ guidelines once we are allowed to open again. So as we think of ways to stay safe we are also transforming our facility to meet that challenge.
Until then, we are open for curb side service and shipping to many states through our online ordering. Please call or visit our webpage to order
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