A (Wine) Homecoming Part 1: Watch this space!

Lillian here, in WISCONSIN (….not New York)! How terribly exciting it is to be home.
Daughter is back in the Cantina!

Daughter is back in the Cantina!

Prepare ye all for a week of blog-onslaught, as there will be much to cover in the reunion of the Vintner and the Vintner’s Daughter. Much to learn about wine, wine-making and October on the homestead (Wisconsin).

Five things to cover here: (1) Fermentation in the garage, (2) Harvest 2014 on the homestead, (3) Black Rot (ghastly scare!), (4) Crushing (grapes and apples), (5) Wisconsin October. This is just a quick introduction to the week which will be full of information and good fun. For bounteous photos and information, watch this space!

1. Fermentation in the Garage

I come home and first stop, after greeting my mum and family dog, is to check out the fermentation in the garage, 16 gallons of Zinfandel gaily fermenting in a little bundle of blankets and heating pads. Why do we have all these accessories shown in the photos? Because of the chilly Wisconsin weather (already in the 40s F, 10s C)! Remember what it means to be a cool-climate winemaker?  If not, read a bit here again. All I can say is: ingenuity, patience and perseverance.

2. A 2014 Harvest on the Homestead

All around the world, the 2014 Harvest is ongoing. It is incredible to type “2014 Harvest” as a “hashtag” on Twitter or Instagram and witness the results, which are often beautiful and fascinating. Give it a go! We’ll talk here about harvest, in general, and a bit about our own 2014 harvest on the homestead in Wisconsin.

3. Black Rot (Ghastly scare!)

Unfortunately, due to a hectic summer that my father experienced with too many surprise trips needing to be taken away from the homefront, our property has sadly been damaged by a historical blight: The Black Rot. It looks scarey, it decimates grapes to naught and is a fascinating fungal topic living up to the terrors that October (Halloween) brings. We’ll tell you how it happens (how to stop it), its history and what you do to diminish the effects. While we are sad of its effect on the grapes in 2014, it is a good time to learn and teach others (including myself) a bit more about wine-making art!

4. Crushing and Pressing (Grapes and Apples)

Luckily we still have some crushing to do – with our apples and some pressing with our grapes.

Will have to harvest grapes and apples for the crush this week

Will have to harvest grapes and apples for the crush this week

I’m excited!

5. Wisconsin October

In general, Wisconsin is a hauntingly beautiful place in October.

On the cloudy days, the landscape captures the romantic country essence of days excellent for a bonfire, with the colors in the trees popping in front of grey rolling skies, an excellent backdrop for chilling ghost stories. On the sunny days, the air feels warm and frames excellent hiking climes, conjuring a thirst for good wine, ale and cider (maybe some hot cider, or mulled wine even) and the necessity of apple and pumpkin pies.

Ah, Midwest autumn cannot be beat easily! I’ll certainly be posting some side-topics hailing the beauty of this Midwest Season.

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