THE WORK ISN'T DONE YET!
Last night we were finishing up our vineyard operations.
A vital part of our sustainable agriculture is composting. We had about 18 truck loads of Horse Manure delivered to the vineyard last spring. We turned it and added a bit of Love. Yes, this is the heart beat of our vineyard. Some of the chemicals that we use to protect the grapes damage our soil. Like it or not, it happens. So to produce those amazing grapes, we need to make sure that the soil is retored.
Restored with what? Click the link below an learn more.
As you can see, there are benefits in composting. Grapes that ripen earlier can produce better fruit, better uptake of nutrients which means healthier plants. In Virginia, unlike California, moisture is a problem. Disease presure is considerable. So, to produce amazing wine, it only makes sense to shoot for healthy soil, which grows healthy plants, which grows beautiful fruit. Then.....it's up to the wine maker.
All of our grapes have had their dose of compost. Startch is building in roots enabling a good startup in the spring. They have spent 5 to 6 months of their life giving it all to these little baby clusters. By the time we harvest, they are ready for the Spa treatment (composting).
Our grapes are living plants and constantly changing. It's up to us to make sure they receive the care they need to contine producing excellent fruit.
In a few weeks they will be dormant and the necessary startup for spring of 2021 will all hedge on our vineyard practices in 2020.
HARVEST IS COMPLETE!
We had 3 harvests this year. Cayuga had over 4 tons of grapes which we divided about half into our "Sparkling Winchester 2020" and the other half into a still wine with some soft structure and good fruit.
Arandell produced 2.7 tons and we will continue to make this wine as there is very limited production of this wonderful soft red wine in the world.
The growing season was good. We were able to get our Cayuga white grapes in but not without some bird damage. For some reason the birds were going after the white grapes this year. Some believe it was due to our freezing temps early in the season limited the food supply. We were unable to get the netting that was necessary to truly protect the grapes (covid shipping delays) and therefore used a netting that was inferior to what is needed to truly protect the crop, We removed any damage to the clusters and pressed some wonderful grapes. It just took a bit longer to complete as it slows the vineyard crews down removing any unwanted berries. The weather was dry and we were able pick according to schedule.
The red grape Arandell had 4 nights of frost covering only 123 growing days. That is short. Virginia normally has 160 growing days and Arandell ripens well within that limit. We were short a brix or two from ideal but were happy to get them off the vine as frost damage to the canopy was also a concern. This is why I love our Hybrid Grapes. They ripen so much quicker than Vinifera. During challenging times it's these grapes that shine.
Fermentation is going well and we are excited! We just checked in on our grapes at the wine maker and he is pleased. (We are very happy when our wine maker is happy) LOL Arandell was starting the fermentation process and looking good as well. All season we watch the plants produce small flowers and shoots developing into canes and clusters, going through verasion and blossming into the wonderful fruit that we are so proud of. From the time they bud break to harvest we nurture and protect these grapes striving to produce a product that our wine maker is excited to receive. It where great wine begins. So once this leaves our hands, there is a sigh of relief as our job as a grower is done. In an ideal situation we have delived to him the product that will many will come to enjoy. It's a passion, a love and a responsibily to our customers to make the best wines possible.
We had great weather leading up to our harvest date of August 24th The weather was dry and we were very excited. We had about 3 ton of grapes on Cayuga White this year so we decided to split the crop. 1.7 tons were picked at a low sugar level as this is our future Sparking Winchester 2020 It will be a few years before we get to enjoy this wine, but no fear as we have 800 bottles waiting for finishing of the 2017 vintage. It will be lovely given the extra year to age. The remaining 1.5 tons will be made into still white wine. We are still on the fence, so to speak, about which style wine we will be adding to the tasting room.
We had a guest at our vineyard this year. Jill Rachesky Edlich, (The Womens Wine Club) She expressed interest in being a part of the harvest and was a wonderful help. The birds decided to try to get to the grapes before we did this year so netting had to go up to protect the crop. Jill and I spent hours just removing the damaged grapes that the birds destroyed.
Our First Big Event
This photo was taken by Kirsten Langley, August 30, 2020 What a beautiful day it was. We had our Shrimp Boil that was just delicious. It was a sold out event!!! Thank you R Roots for always going above and beyond to make things perfect.
We are so blessed to have a group of wonderful supporters and friends in our wine club and as customers. We appreciate them all. I'm especially greatful to see our club members use our facility. I want to send a special Thank you to Rick and Phylis Guthrie (club member) who had their customer appreciation here with a focus on our facility and wines. It was our best revenue day since we have been open. Support with or without COVID is paramount for the success of any vineyard and we are no different. Small and boutique we hosted 150 guests and the weather was absolulty perfect. I am so greatful for all those who support this "Shrimp Boil" and the positive moments that filled our lives that day.
We have two very special events we think you will enjoy coming up
. Falconry September 5th between 3pm-4pm tickets can be purchase online for $35/pp Includes a glass of wine.
Past Executive Chef at Harris Teater will be making Lump Crab Cakes for our Fridays on the Terrace between 3pm and 8pm Friday September 18th. It comes with Gourmet Mac and Cheese, Coleslaw, and Chocolate Ganache Tarts all for $22/pp. Click on the link to pre-order. http://email@example.com or click on the link below. /product/Lump-Crab-Cake-dinner
Paul and Loretta
In viticulture (grape-growing), veraison is the onset of ripening. The term is originally French (véraison / veʀɛzɔ̃), but has been adopted into English use. The official definition of veraison is "change of color of the grape berries". Veraison represents the transition from berry growth to berry ripening, and many changes in berry development occur at veraison.
This is a picture of Arandell starting veraison. It will take approximately 2 weeks to reach their deep purple color that is so beautiful in the wines that it makes. So far this year we have had a good season.
Cayuga White has huge clusters this year and a great crop. The sweetness is starting to enter the grapes. I would say it safe to say that some of these clusters weigh 1-2 lbs.
Paul Briede owner of the Briede Vineyards has fully retired from United Airlines. You will see him every weekend in the tasting room. Congratulations on an exemplary career!!!!
We have a fun packed month for you the next few weeks so please check out our events page on the webpage including a Falconry Experience early September and Fridays on the Terrace back for September starting the second week
FRIDAYS ON THE TERRACE/R ROOTS CATERER/ENTERTAINMENT
If you haven't been out to the vineyard to try our Arandell 2019 you won't want to miss this Virginia Red Wine.
Hope to see you soon. Social Distancing in place.
Loretta & Paul Briede
We are very please to announce that Arandell is back in our tasting room. This wine has been such a success for us given it's unique flavor profile, so typical Arandell. We produced 124 case in 2019 and expect this wine to sell out like the 2017 vintage did. Arandell has a beautiful dark color, medium bodied and soft tannins. Notes of cherry, sandlewood and sweet tabacco grace the palate. It will be in bottle shock for a few weeks as it settles but we will still offer sales, just don't drink it right a way. If you have never had this unique grape, we don't think you will be disappointed when you try it. Even people who don't like red wines enjoy this one. Our vineyard is the only one to produce this lovely wine at 100% in 2017. We invite you to taste what a Hybrid grape can offer!
I'm so excited to share with you how things have been going for us
Paul has left the 777 due to cutbacks, so his new airplane will be the 787. Training will start soon and he is looking forward to it. It's a short 1 1/2 years before retirement when the vineyard will be our only job. He has managed the vineyard and we have some amazing vines ready to give us a beautiful 2020 vintage......or should I say.....so far so good. LOL
It's been pretty hot and dry here and our baby grapes (la Crescent and Marquette) are feeling the heat. We have hand watered them several times as we did not put an irrigation system in. We carry the hoses around making sure not to damage any as we wind them around the tiny shoots. Can't wait until they get a bit bigger. It's quite a job.
Loretta has been busy learning computers. Of all the things we do, it's probably the least I like about this endeavor. Practice and time seem to be the only cure.
The tasting room has been closed and from the looks of things, it will remain closed until the 6' seperation goes away. Having said that, we are OPEN conducting business. Our tours have increased and so has our turnout. We are operating still with restricted hours of Sat 1pm-6pm and Sun 1pm-5pm. We have entertainment and food peroidicly so be sure to check the calendar for upcoming events. There are some interesting ones. If you are not on our mailing list please signup so that you can receive information on the events.
We have tasted our new wines (Tannat) and (Tannat/Arandell Blend) and they were exceptional. I wanted to bottle them up and bring them to the tasting room but our wine maker said not until December. The complexity, depth, color, balance, aromatics and finish were outstanding. I can't wait for those two to be in the Tasting Room..
Arandell is being bottled on July 8th. We are very excited to have this wine back in the tasting room. It will be another month though, as wines go through "bottle shock" and they are truly out of wack so to speak. It takes a few weeks before they remember who they are. Arandell has been such a wonderful wine for us selling out of the 2017 vintage. We have also sold out of Cayuga white 2018, Verde 2017 and limited amounts of Sparkling Winchester 2017. We do have 800 more bottles that has remained on the lees for another year. Once that wine comes to the vineyard, we will let you know.
We are offering Flights, Glass and bottle sales now. No reserverations required on our regular hours, however, during the week we will accept reservations for tours only (At least 6 required since we are closed). We have ample room and spacing well above the requirment in many places.
I am excited to say that everyone has seemed to take this all in stride. It's been something unimaginable really.....but its here and we are all dealing with it. #vawinetogether
Thank you to all who have stayed with us and supported our vineyard by coming out and also making us feel a bit normal again.
All the best.
Paul and Loretta Briede
We are excited to open our farm to our winery guests on the weekends . We have plenty of space to enjoy your picnic or just relaxing with that special bottle of wine. So many improvements have taken place and the addition of 400 new vines including new varietals. We have added additional seating and many picnic tables. As we go forward with restrictions (see our covid-19 page on our webpage) we hope for a better tomorrow. We thank you for those who are supporting Virginia wineries and we hope you continue. We very are greatful for your business. Cheers!
Weekly update on COVID-19
As we open we will post important information for you here. Our governor has allowed us to open with restrictions. These restrictions will dictate the future of our vineyards. Our policies must be held to the highest standard.
We are in Phase 3.. The BRIEDE VINEYARDS have safeguards in place so that you may enjoy your visit with us yet adhear to the Governors mandatory requirements. This is an ever changing environment so please be patient as we adapt to our new "normal".
Masks are required in Public Places inside. We are an outside facility at the moment. However while moving around it's always good to protect yourself and other by wearing a mask. 6' seleration is required at all times.
We have installed a porta-a-potty for our customer use with Hand sanitizer. This will be sprayed down with Clorox periodically through out the day. You must maintain 6' waiting in line for the potty.
To order you may go to the window on the patio tasting room and place your order. Please maintain 6' distancing. You will need ID. No tastings will be available however we are offering flights and wine by the glass.. The tasting room will remain closed.
Bottle Sales on wines. What you don't drink we will package up for you in sealed bag.
Children must remain seated if they come to the vineyards. No open play areas allowed by Virginia law under phase 3 due to insuring safe distancing guidelines. .
Picnics are great...... we have several picnic tables very far apart. No alcohol brought into the property!
Social distancing of 6' a must!!! This is important.
Tasting Room Building will be closed.
.You are allowed to come with a group and sit together providing that it's during normal business hours. If it's an "event" (group outside normal business hours) social distancing is a must. We didn't make this rule and I think trying to understand it, they are trying to discourage "events"
When bad weather threatens you must return to your car.
The future of our vineyards here in Virginia are dependent upon your cooperation. We only have one time to get this right and we appreciate our customers working with us to make that happen. Thank you!
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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