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French Oak – Ready for Russian River Chardonnay

Just rinsed after racking off sur lie aging and fermentation of Russian River Chardonnay…same wine after racking right back to this once filled French oak barrel…

Honey Flavored Oak? NEW Wining with Joe!

From Ventura County, wine making protagonist Joe Hurliman shares a very rare and beautiful event from Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard, CA. In this segment, our wine maker takes a moment from his wine making duties to give a ‘first person’ perspective of a honey bee colony visiting our wine cellars. See what happens when California honey bees move in to a wine barrel. We hope that you enjoy the 12th blend of Wining with Joe!

Words from the Winemaker…

I spent two days up in the North Coast area last week…at this point harvest of Cab and Merlot appears 2 to 4 weeks behind…November anyone?

The Grape Whisperer

Words from the Winemaker

A shot of yesterday’s Chardonnay blending trial. After two hours and six different blends, we got it!

So how is it I spent two hours and needed to make six different blends to get the Chardonnay I was after?

1. To start, I had six different samples of Chardonnay: One was barrel fermented from Russian River, one tank fermented from Clarksburg, and four from the Central Coast with light oak influence.

2. Step one was to taste all six samples separately and jot down some notes – both about the aroma and flavor and mouthfeel.

3. With this preliminary information, I started with a first blend, using three of the six samples.

4. Eventually, after working through six different blends, I achieved the proper fruit and oak notes in the nose, nicely balanced in the mouth with lingering fruit and hints of oak on the finish.

It really does take some time…

Words from the Winemaker

I’ve been very pleased with the other four barrel coopers Herzog Wine Cellars uses for aging and flavor potential…these four went through similar small scale trials over the last twelve years of my winemaking here…then slowly increased after I was satisfied…some other barrels did not meet my stylistic approach to restrained ‘elegant’ blends.

I also couldn’t resist ordering 8 barrels from Leroi for chardonnay trial…you could say for most winemakers its like being in a candy store!

Words from the Winemaker

Blending trial today at 9 am – 11 different samples. Good thing I finished my coffee early enough before I start tasting wine – very important!

Words from the Winemaker

As a Winemaker, I wear many hats on a daily basis. Lately, I have added yet one more, with a foray into the world of social media. Within the boundaries of 140 characters, I have kept our loyal followers up-to-date on Twitter with all the happenings on the winemaking side of things at Herzog. I will continue to “tweet” as well as contribute slightly lengthier postings on here, The Grapevine, about what I am doing. As harvest is just around the corner, there will be lots to talk about! I hope you will follow along, and please feel free to post comments and/or questions as well.

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