This is a bunch of Muscat grapes from our good friends the Ramazzotti's home ranch. These particular vines were planted by Joe's father Germano Ramazzotti.
Joe's sister Marie told me that their mother still hangs a few clusters in the rafters to enjoy throughout the winter. They will slowly raisin up, and still retain their juicy character.
These sweet, aromatic grapes are often made into dessert wines, and the perennially popular sparkling Asti wines.
Learn more on the Wikipedia page here!
Yesterday we brought in the old Wenty clone Chardonnay from the Heller Estate Vineyard, deep in the heart of the Alexander Valley.
As you can see in the foreground, many of the old vines have been left "California Wild Style", and you can see some more trellised vines running along new guide wires installed this year by our great fellow winemaker and grower, Joe Ramazzotti.
Brad and I were out helping the crew bring in the fruit. We had a fantastic cool, cloudy morning, and we picked all the vines in record time. The cool weather helped me the day before when I helped Joe pull in a fantastic field of Merlot, just down the street from our tasting room here in Geyserville. Nothing like being covered in grape juice from head to toe =)
"Degrees Brix (symbol °Bx) is the sugar content of an aqueous solution. One degree Brix is 1 gram of sucrose in 100 grams of solution and represents the strength of the solution as percentage by weight (% w/w). If the solution contains dissolved solids other than pure sucrose, then the °Bx only approximates the dissolved solid content. The °Bx is traditionally used in the wine, sugar,fruit juice, and honey industries."
Okay, what does that have to do with grapes and wine?
Measuring how much sugar the grapes have is an indication of how ripe the fruit is and approximately how much alcohol we will get when the yeasts convert the sugars!
Brad like to pick his grapes at 24.5% so that will give us about 14% alcohol. For more info, click here.
Musqué is a French term meaning both perfumed as in musky and "muscat-like". Many vine varietals have a musqué mutation which is particularly aromatic.
You drink Gewürztraminer, but did you know it is a musqué of the Traminer grape?
From the Wines & Vines website:
"FPS 27 is the Musque clone that came from Bordeaux, France, in 1962 and was originally labeled Savagnin musque. It is probably the second most planted clone in California, but may only total 1% or 2% of Sauvignon Blanc acreage."
Read more here
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Brad left this wine on the skins, pulling out even more aromatics and pushing this savory wine over the top.
That skin contact allows this wild white wine to evolve in the bottle; the sweetish nose has softened from banana to plantain. Once on the palate this wine changes gears switching to various tropical fruit and the finish has evolved into a crisp, slightly jalapenó bite.
We pair this beauty with scallops, curry and anything hot and spicy!
Learn more about the FPS here!