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Crush Update: Week 6

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Posted: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 12:35 am

I can tell harvest is in full swing when my phone stops ringing and crush beards sprout on winemakers.

Anticipating this week's hot spell, winegrape growers either rushed to pick, or "watered back" vines that would otherwise suck their own fruit dry.

LangeTwins Facebooked, "Lodi Zinfandel grapes from the 100 year old Lewis vineyard delivered to winery today. Awesome juice & great family partnership." Mencarini Vineyards Zin was also harvested.

Lodi's oldest Bechthold 1885 Vineyard was picked clean of Cinsault last week. Shares went to Jessie's Grove for Rosé, and to Estate Crush for clients Miner's Leap and Phoenix Ranch Wines of Napa.

Ripken Vineyards flicked the power on their crusher for the first time this season for only 0.8 tons of their own Pinot Noir at 23.8 Brix. "Majority of our grapes this season are sold so we aren't making much this year," per Susan Ripken, which sounds mostly like great news to me.

Fields Family Wines crushed 4 tons of their own organic Syrah, describing it as, "Really good stuff. Came in 20 days later than the last 2 years."

Barbera went to The Lucas Winery, having, "Good color - went into open top fermenters. Just a little bit this year, enough for about three barrels." The other Lodi Italian, Sangiovese, was crushed by Vino Con Brio, Kidder Family Winery and Jeremy Wine Co., while Bokisch went to their backyard Las Cerezas Vineyard for Tempranillo.

And the first of later-ripening varieties started coming in: Don Norman's old vine Petite Sirah to Heritage Oak, and Cabernet Sauvignon crushed for AH Wines at Estate Crush from R. Garbarino Vineyards (with some Cabernet Franc and Tannat).