Respect! Just a little bit!
The last estate grapes to come in at Clos des Amis in 2021 were the first harvest of albarino which Gretel Compton planted and the deer and snails seem to love the most. Gretel and I went up to the vines early in the morning to pick them, and any riesling we could find also; some had “noble rot” which I had never seen before.
With so few buckets of grapes, we chose to use the small basket press which we took turns cranking on to squeeze the juice out of the whole clusters.
I admit I was game for doing more foot stomping (read about our sangiovese foot stomping at Ambyth here) and while Bruce is not a fan of that method, he left it up to us.
In general, Bruce stood back, advised when necessary, answered questions, and played the dj, taking requests.
After we enjoyed lunch at the picnic table under the pepper tree. Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” got us dancing through the hard work of pressing, cranking it down, fluffing the “cake.”
We pressed about seven gallons of albarino!
With harvest finished, the grapes pressed off, they’re busy doing their thing, and the vines are taking in their last nutrients before the leaves fall off and they go dormant for the winter.
But it’s still busy in the winery! Tasting the wines as they come along, including the albarino, which is fantastic so far! Plenty to do at the winery including bottling now that the glass orders are finally coming in. A weeks or so ago, we bottled the 2020 zinfandel (read about picking it here)and wow is it delicious! More about it for Zinfandel Day coming up in a few weeks.
And there’s a very special event next Saturday:
A FOTM Fundraising Event with
Bruce Freeman & Gretel Compton
Clos des Amis Winery
Saturday, November 6
4 to 5:30 pm
in the garden at the Ojai home of
Kevin & Christine Beirne
Click HERE to Sign Up TODAY!
(Space is limited.)
Absolute RSVP Deadline Monday, November 1
Enjoy three Clos des Amis wines paired with delicious food prepared by Yennyn and Christine Beirne in a beautiful garden setting. FOTM founder, Donna Granata, will lead an informal talk as we imbibe in food and wine. Participants will learn about Bruce and Gretel’s artistic careers and how they incorporated their creativity towards wine making. Sponsored by Kevin & Christine Beirne
Sorry this is such an abbreviated post but lots going on in the Wine Predator world including Slow Wine Guide deadlines! I actually worked on this post while driving to and from the Dead and Company Halloween Show at the Hollywood Bowl!
This is part of a monthly series which I began in January 2019 when I first ventured out to help at Clos des Amis. Read more about Clos des Amis and Ventura County wineries and vineyards in this mostly once a monthly series:
- September 2021: VC Vineyards are on Chumash Land
- August 2021: Chardonnay Harvest: Ventura County Vineyards August 2021
- July 2021: Blending and Verasion– Ventura County Vineyards and Beyond
- June 2021: Slow Wines, Fast Times: Ventura County Vineyards Growing Great
- May 2021: Chardonnay Day Chardonnays
- April 2021: Rose Bottling at Clos des Amis
- March 2021: Party time? Pinot and Paella
- February 2021: Works of Art: Open That Bottle Night
- January 2021: Clos des Amis VeroTalk planned
- December 2021: Clos des Amis Wine Club
- November 2020: Local Love –wines and vines
- October 2020: Harvest 2020
- September 2020: Music in the Malbec–Harvest 2020
- July 2020: Birds and the Bees and the Zinfandel Trees
- July 2020: Verasion: Heading toward Harvest
- June 2020: ZOOM BOOM
- MAY 2020:BLAME IT ON…
- APRIL 2020: PASSION
- March 2020: Bud Break, Spring Break, Jailbreak, Chavez Break: Ventura County Vineyards Report March 2020
- February 2020: Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My: New Wood and Old Cars in Ventura County Vineyards
- January 2020: Deadwood
- December: 2019 Going Out with a Chambang!
- November 2019: Dormancy and Syrah
- October 2019: Final Harvest and #MerlotMe
- September 2019 in Ventura County Vineyards: Focus on Grenache
- August 2019: Fogust Harvest — Chardonnay for CHAMBANG!
- July 2019: No Sky July and Verasion
- June 2019: June Gloom and Etiolation
- Ventura County Vineyards: May Gray
- April 2019: Leaf Pulling
- March 2019: Gretel Meys Compton, Clos des Amis co-owner, co-winemaker
- February in Ventura County Vineyards
- January 2019: Pruning
The basket press is no joke! We used an old Italian press for the 1,000lbs of graciano. It was fun! Labor intensive, and muscles needed! I think of our ancestors ratcheting down the cake! LOL!
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It definitely helps to have a team! Last year, my son got a bad blister — I was mostly excused because I was recovering from a broken wrist…