Category Archives: Winemaker’s blog

The Joys of Harvest

We are virtually in the middle of the FALL CREEK Vineyards harvest, once again, so I thought it was a good idea to let you know about what’s going on this year and how we see things.

First things first, if you live in Cental Texas you’ll know that we have been experiencing a cooler that usual summer, right?.  Now, by cooler I mean comparing the last few years because, let me tell you, the summer temperatures we are having are very close to long term averages.  The two following charts show temps for Dripping Springs so far this year and last year (thank to the Southern Regional Climate Center).  It can be observed that while this year’s data moves on and not away from the long term averages curves, last year’s summer temperatures were basically above the normal almost all the time.

Temps DSprings 2014 aug 20   Temps DSprings 2013

Anyway, it has not been that hot and the main effect that we can expect from this is vines giving us more time to arrange the numerous logistical issues we have to deal with during this period.

Be that as it may, we started harvesting Chardonnay from Certenberg Vineyards on August 1st, and we finished on the 4th.  We selected this harvest date, not so much because it was super ripe, but because we want to make a fresh and vibrant style Chardonnay, and it tasted ready.  Interestingly enough, last year’s date of harvest was similar but it had 3 more Brix than this season.  It’s fermenting nicely as I write this, and it tastes wonderful.
FA Barricas

A few French oak barrels were selected for barrel fermentation, and we kept some wine aside in stainless steel.  The idea is to blend them after fermentation, finding the right combination of both components in order to showcase the best of the variety.

August 11th and 13th were harvest time for Tempranillo from Salt Lick Vineyards.  What wonderful looking vines and grapes.  These two pictures were taken of the very same plant 13 days prior to harvest (left) and the day after harvest (right).  It’s good to note that the vine ended it’s job with a fully working canopy demonstrated by the even green color of all leaves, just the way we want them to be.  This means they were exclusively working for the grapes, and now they can concentrate on preparing themselves for the winter during the next 60 days , which is plenty of time to have a really nice accumulation of reserves and nutrients for the next season.

10 Ripening 7-2911 Post harvest 8-12There is a lot more information to come, and we will keep you posted with the latest in the next post when we can tell you more about the most exiting part, the wines!

Sergio Cuadra
Director of Winemaking
Fall Creek Vineyards

Wine o’Clock News – Texas Terroir, Part 1

As a winemaker for 20 years in Chile, I was on my way last August to become the Director of Winemaking for Fall Creek Vineyards.  The minute I got off the plane in Austin, I immediately thought Texas weather was just too hot for growing high quality wine grapes;  it was something like 100ºF. Continue reading

Pruning fundamentals

It’s good to remember that vines have been growing by themselves a very long time before man discovered how wonderful fermented berry juice tasted.  Long before the trellising of poles and wires the vines made use of other trees and their branches to climb their way to the sun lighted perimeter of the forests where they could get more energy than in the shade.  Continue reading