Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Plantings at BookCliff Vineyards

It seems like every two years we embark on planting something new in the vineyards. Which usually means taking some vines out. This year we decided to take out our Black Muscat and some of our Viognier. The Black Muscat made a beautiful dessert wine but there are not enough people who drink dessert wine. So in an effort to simplify our lives we eliminated one variety and replaced it with three others, Tempranillo, Petit Sirah and Graciano. We worked with Tempranillo and Petit Sirah grapes bought from an adjacent vineyard this past year and have liked the results. So we decided to plant our own. The Graciano grape we came across on our travels around Spain. It is used as a blending grape for Tempranillo. It is not easy to buy Graciano vines. So John had to make a trek to Washington state to pick up potted plants, which could not be shipped. To add some variety John invited his 87 year old dad Jack to come along on the one-week road trip from Seattle to Prosser with stops tasting wine in Walla Walla and around Boise, Idaho back to Palisade. It turned out the week of the trip brought frost at night and John and Jack had to make sure to stay overnight in a place where the temperature was above freezing, which was not as simple as it sounds. Just to make sure John bought a camping stove to heat the truck. Luckily the precious cargo arrived safe and sound in Palisade and will produce us some beautiful grapes two years from now.

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