Monday, October 20, 2014

First Frost of 2014

     The temperatures last night got down to 34 degrees and as you can see we got a killing frost for the first time this year.  The cold weather and frost pooled in the low areas which included the concord vines at the bottom of the hill.  We definitely planted these early, American varietals in the right place.  Unlike the Cab Franc which are on the hill behind the Concords which still need a little more time, the Concords can afford to lose their leaves and go dormant.  We definitely need a few more days on our Cab which we will finish picking this Friday between 3:30 and 7:00.  With only 5 more half rows to pick, the job should be done before the football game.  Our work is cut out for us, but it feels good because the end is in sight.  The weather is trying to help us along as we hurry to put our finest grapes in the tank.  When we finish I guarantee that you want to be here for our party.  We are going to celebrate the season and the fruits of our labors.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cab Franc Harvest Nearly Complete

     This weekend we started our Cab. Franc harvest with several goals in mind.  We wanted to get our grapes in the tanks but we wanted to split our harvest in two parts.  Next season we hope to offer two new wines both from our Cab. Franc.  We also plan to use the usual amount of that varietal for our blends that our customers have come to appreciate.  The perfect Summer growing season and warm fall weather have combined to give us a bountiful harvest and amazing production.  We hope you like all the new wines this amazing summer allowed us to grow.  Only one more harvest weekend left if things go as planned.  We will pick the last third of our Cab. Franc this Fri. and then pick our Chambourcin this Sunday.  If you want to lend a hand this is the weekend to do it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Two Weeks Left

         There are only 2 weeks left in our 2014 Harvest and only two more weeks to ride the hayride to the pumpkin patch.  Right now we have finished the white harvest and now we are on to the reds.
While we harvest our Cab. Franc this weekend, the hayrides to the pumpkin patch will be leaving ever hour between 12 and 6:00 on Friday and Saturdy.  Next weekend while we harvest the Chambourcin, the hayrides will also be taking place for one final weekend before Halloween.  It should be a great time.  hope you can make it out either to help pick or to take a ride on the hayride to the pumpkin patch.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Half Way Done with Harvest 2014

     After a Friday/SaturdaySunday picking marathon, we have our Vidal Blanc safely crushed, Pressed and in the primary fermentation tanks.  We had a lot of help getting things set up and can't thank our workers and friends enough for all the work you helped us ge done.  With 5/6 th of the Vidal Blanc juice fermenting, we have almost 700 gallons to use for next years vintages. The weather has cooperated to make this year's white wines as good as any we have harvested so far.  Last year the grapes were more marure a and sugar levels were just a touch higher because of. The late summer/fall heat and sunshine.  This year was cooler and more moderate in temperature which allowed our cool weather grapes (whites) to develop more unique flavores and balance.  We plan to keep alcohol levels just a little lower to highlight the fruit flavores while we balance out the acidity and lower pH.  These whites and Rose' including our Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc and Concord Rose' should be some of our best ever.  We are also looking to make a Cabernet Franc Rose' that may be a unique best seller.  
   Next weekend, we start harvesting our red wines.  It should be interesting to. See how those final numbers hold out.  We expect a lot moe of the same high quality, so come on out and see for yourself.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pumpkin Patch Hayrides

      Well, the fall season hàs brought us all of the fruits of our Summer labors.  All those hours of work in the Spring rains and Summer heat are paying off in chilren's smiles, savory smells, and fruity tastes dripping with sunshine.  
      The Pumpkin Patch Hayrides are bringing children and their parents together each weekend to experience the fresh air, sunshine and outdoors in our huge pumpkin patch.  These young girls were the first happy riders last Sat. at noon.
      Each weekend we host picking parties that consist of 20 - 50 friends, students and strangers who come together to help us pick our tons of grapes.  In return we try to show our appreciation through a delicious home cooked meal and shared wine and fresh grape juice.  Everyone leaves happy, and many of our volunteers return week after week and year after year.
      In the end, our most prominant and appreciated fruit of our labor is the wine we make from the grapes we grow.  I like to call it #sunshineinabottle.  Stop by in the next 3 weeks to try the grapes and taste their sweetness before we transform them into one of our delicious wines.  Or you can just enjoy a bottle off our shelf and taste that sunshine when you open that bottle.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Night Picking and Harvest Party

      We are picking our Vidal Blanc this Sat. Evening at 6:00 PM.  The day will be spent eating and playing from 2-6:00 at our Harvest Festival.  the weather looks great and we have a great agenda set up for the day.  We kick off with live music, hayrides and pumpkin picking from 2-6:00.  Starting at 3:00 we will have several competitions including grape stomping and corn hole.  We will also have some awsome food and wine making their debates @ Cassel Vineyards.  First, we plan to release our Vidal Blanc Late Harvest and give samples for the first time ever.  Second, we will be serving pit Beef sandwiches to go with our other delicious wines. As the weather cools and the sun sets, enjoy a glass of our warm spiced wine or buy a gift pack to take home to enjoy with a friend later.
     At 6:00 as the harvest moon rises we plan to pick our Vidal Blanc so that we can process them in the cool night air.  The weather is going to make this an amazingly memorable day and night.  Please stop out and join us so we can spend the day together.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Signs of the Season

      The spice packs for mixing up spiced wine have once again made an appearance on the shelf at Cassel Vineyards.  We are still waiting for a cool evening at one of our concerts to serve our seasonal favorite.  You can pick up the wine and spice packets all ready for your drinking pleasure for $30.  We've also decorated our building for the holidays thanks to Donna Meyers.  Thanks for making the beautiful harvest wreaths that grace the doors on the front of our building.  They really look striking when the sun sets and makes them shimmer.