Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Grace Hill Harvest Update


Grape PickingThe first step towards the Grace Hill Winery 2010 vintage was taken on August 7th as harvest began. The abundance of hot sunny weather during July and early August caused the grapes to ripen quicker than ever before, leading us to pick during the first week of August. That first week we brought in our Vignoles and some of our Seyval, after which we had a barbeque lunch under the tent. The Vignoles and Seyval were the ripest of each grape we've ever had, which we hope will make them into excellent wines.
Loading The PressWe continued harvest the next weekend, this time picking our Chardonel as well as the rest of the Seyval. We were extremely pleased with the how the Chardonel turned out and have high hopes for it as it makes the journey from vineyard to bottle to dinner table. As is customary with white grapes, the freshly picked grapes were brought to the winery, where they were crushed, pressed (though not with our feet), and pumped into tanks to begin fermentation.

Barrel TastingThe next Saturday, August 21st, we harvested the first of our 2010 red grapes as we picked our some of our Chambourcin and all of our Noiret (one row). We had another great crew of pickers on hand, causing the picking to be done very quickly. Since lunch wasn't quite ready when the picking was done, we decided a morning barrel tasting was in order! We went down into the cellar and tried wine from three different barrels, two of which we bottled the following Monday. We crushed the red grapes on Saturday as well, but left them in their bins for a few days before they were pressed. This is different from white grapes, which we press the same day they're picked, as the time a red grape spends on the skins allows it to achieve that deep purple color. If we pressed them the same day, all our reds would be pink!

On August 28th we had our biggest harvest of the season, bringing in almost two and a half tons of grapes! We picked our Traminette, the last of this year's white grapes, as well as the rest of our Chambourcin. When the picking was finished we had lunch under the tent catered byBlue Collar Barbecue who came out and cooked it all up on site. Delicious!

Most of all we want to extend a sincere thank you to everyone who has helped out, as we could not do it without you! We only have a few harvests left, with only our Norton and Cabernet Franc still left on the vine, but we do still have some open spots for the coming weeks, so if you haven't joined in on the fun yet or would like to come out again, send us an email at info@gracehillwinery.com and we'd be happy to have you.
Upcoming Events...
Due to the great response and fun we had at our Spring Release Party in May, we have decided to continue the tradition with a Fall Release Party! On Friday October 8th from 5-8, we will be debuting four of what we think are our best wines yet, our 2009 Barrel Reserve White, 2009 Red Barrel Reserve, 2009 Cab Franc, and 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. We are very excited about this group of wines and hope that you will join us in the celebration of all our hard work!
If you are looking for some Grace Hill Wine but can't make it out to Whitewater, we do have a limited selection in Wichita, Newton, Andover and Derby at these fine retailers:
New additions
- R&J Liquor at Douglas and Hillside
Oldies But Goodies
- ABC Liquor at Central and Woodlawn, 21st and Woodlawn, and 21st and Tyler,
- Jacobs Liquor Exchange East and West
- Groves Liquor at Kellogg and Webb.
- Beyond Napa in Old Town Square
- Newton Discount Liquor on Washington Street
- Hills Retail Liquor at 1st and Meridian in Newton
- Auburn Spirits at Maple and 135th
- Rolling Hills Wine and Spirits at Maple and Maize
- Flint Hills Wine and Spirits at Kellogg and Andover Road
- K&S Liquors at Rock and Madison in Derby