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Old 01-24-2009, 01:28 PM   #11
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Wasn't sure how long in advance you were talking. I think I'm going to get hooked up with some of the Finger Lakes juice this year when it's available, I've been getting more and more into wine lately and some of the stuff out there is outstanding. My MIL lives out in Bath, so we love being able to take little trips up to the wineries, leave the_Bean with Nana and pretend that we're "sophisticated" adults for a little while.

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Old 01-24-2009, 03:26 PM   #12
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Spawn #1 is in grad school out by Corning. One of my favorite memories ever was the Columbus Day Weekend Alice adn I took my parents out there. I rented a big van and all of us and three of Sheila's friends piled in and we went up the east side of Seneca Lake. Now for those of you who haven't been out there, first off, what are you waiting for? It's GREAT. The lakes are rimmed with vineyards. You drive along and there is another one. Pop in, sample some wine, maybe buy a bottle, maybe buy a case. Pull back out onto the road and just about the time you get into 5th gear there is another vineyard.

So we're popping along and from the way back I hear, "This is so great! I'm riding in a van with my best friend, her parents and her grandparents and we're all getting drunk!"

"Uh, Chrissy, honey, you're sitting out the next few vineyards, ok? And we need to talk about spitting!"

If you are looking for a great wine experience the Finger Lakes are only a 5 hour drive away, thru some spectacular scenery (No not the NY Thruway.) I wouldn't go now, it's colder than hell out there now, but for 9 months out of 12 it's fantastic. Who ever would have thought that a died in the wool Red Sox fan could have so much nice to say about NY?

Anyway, back on topic. South American grapes. Mmmmmmmmm! I'm getting itchy just thinking about it. End of April's coming boys and girls!


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Old 01-24-2009, 04:06 PM   #13
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We went out to Seneca Lake for our fifth anniversary last year. Stayed at a nice little B&B up in Pen Yan, had a great dinner at the Madderlake Cafe in Geveva. Small little place, exceptional food, really knowledgeable about their wines (of course) but I really appreciated that the owner steered us towards a bottle that was not only exactly what we were looking for, but was very reasonably priced. We always end up with about a case of wine, total. One of the places, can't remember which, was doing tours of the facilities, which was really cool; the tour guide was very impressed that I knew what a wine thief was... Got to see all the equipment, the fermenters, got to do a barrel tasting. Well worth the $7. Have to remember which winery it was.

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Old 01-24-2009, 09:35 PM   #14
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Count me in Paul...

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Old 01-24-2009, 11:55 PM   #15
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All this talk about vino made me head down to the cellar and pull a bottle of last years Bordeaux blend out of the barrel. I replaced it with a bottle of 2006 Chilean Cab Sav, you need to keep the barrel topped up but I was dying to see where the Bordeax was. The Cab will blend in just fine.

I am quite pleased! Very nice jammy nose, black fruit, violets, and leather with a cigar box back end. On the tongue it is still a little hot, with an obvious alcohol presence. It doesn't have the tannic backbone that I wanted and not as much of the Cab Franc funk as I expected. It is very soft and round, very smooth. Nice notes of black fruit, currents and berries. Very left bank. I'm very happy. One year old and showing signs of being a winner. This one will only improve for the next 2-3 years and has the body to maybe go for 5-10.

Off to finish the potato leek soup that is simmering on the stove. I'm REALLY looking forward to supper.

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Old 01-25-2009, 03:17 AM   #16
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Sounds interesting. I know NOTHING about wines...but am willing to learn.

What are the specifics for this group buy? How much $$$ and how much wine is made etc?

-Will

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Old 01-25-2009, 06:31 PM   #17
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I would be interested in getting on this. Do you have your own crusher/destemmer? And what is the normal weight for 6 gallons, something like 20 lbs? I've done two concentrated kits and was very unhappy with the result. I am currently fermenting two unconcentrated kits, at least the color is better already. My next batch was going to be the flash frozen juice/skins, a local guy who makes pretty good wine uses that.

In any case, I would be up for 12 gallons total. However many pounds that would approximate anyway.

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Old 01-26-2009, 03:58 AM   #18
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Ok someone break out your sliderule. (For those of you under the age of 45 Google sliderules. Honest to God, we used to use those things. We flew men to the moon using those things.)

Grapes come in lugs. A lug is a pretty standard measure of grapes, it is a box, either cheap wood or plastic. It holds 38 lbs +/- . It takes about two and a half lugs to end up with 5 gallons of wine. You will end up with more than 5 gallons to start with but every time you rack the wine off the lees you loose some and need to top up, so you need a bunch of smaller bottles to hold your topping up wine. So like I said, about three lugs per 5 gallons. Now, here is where it gets weird. Chilean grapes come in half lugs. (When I say Chilean I am refering to any and all grapes from South America, Chilean, Argentinean, etc.) These lugs hold around 15-18 lbs. I usually figure 4 of these lugs per 5 gallons and I know I'm going to be tight for topping up wine. The Chilean grapes have been costing around $20 per lug (half lug) over the past few years and from what I've seen that will be about the going rate this year.

So for instance...

One ton of grapes will yeild about 120 gallons of wine, enough for 2 standard 60 gallon barrels, yielding around 50 cases, or 600 bottles of wine At full on retail that should cost around $2300. If we bought that much we would get a better price and the cost would go down. It's been my experience that the wholesaler plays it kind of loose and does not have a hard and fast, "This is the cost, take it or leave it." business model. He works with you and if you buy more you get a better price.

So it follows that one quarter ton (500 lbs) of grpes yields around 30 gallons or 12 +/- cases. (12 standard 750 ml bottles per case)

There will be other associated cost with this. I have several fermenting vessels but can only handle about 1/4 ton at a time. If we are going to do this we'll need to buy a larger fermenter. They go for around $200, not a big expense if we are spreading it out amoung a bunch of people in a co-op. I already have a press, and I can borrow a crusher/destemmer. (I currently use my patented Pauthenurse's backbreaking low tech 'wire screen over a barrel' destemmer. It works great. You WILL need Motrin the following day and a lot of it.) Yeast is an additional cost as is yeast nutrient and malo lactic bacteria.

So what it comes down to is how many people want in on this and how much each person wants to pony up. I'd suggest we might buy in at a 'share price' of (for example) $50. Everyone interested buys into the coop at $50/share. We determine what we are going to buy/make. If we get 15 people buying 20 shares we'll have $1000 cash money. With that we could buy 1/4 ton + of grapes plus any and all sundry expenses.

OK I'm realizing that I'm a bit too drunk to do teh calculations here, Alice and I spent the day at the Boston Wine Expo then came home and I foolishly opened a bottle of Port with supper that a friend of mine made and I'm pretty tight right now. But you see where I'm goiong with this. I have a few friends who are coop members, one in Colorado and one in CA. I'll ask them how they run the coop. Lets hear some discussionn.

PTN

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Old 01-26-2009, 04:17 AM   #19
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Just for clarification purposes, here is a pic of lugs of grapes. These are full lugs from CA, 2007 vintage, currently residing in a barrel in my cellar. My press is in the backgorund as is my low tech destemmer.



Here is a pic of my low tech destemmer at work. Actually, it's a picture of Carlos at work, feeding the destemmer.


And although I don't usually do this I did buy a few lugs of Old Vine Zinfandel and let my neice and nephew crush them the 'ol fashioned way' It was a memorable family event, the kids still talk about it.



PTN

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Old 01-26-2009, 09:08 PM   #20
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This is a great idea!!! I live in JP, been brewing beer for years, and I am currently fermenting my first two fruit wines (berry blend and cherry). I'd really like to get in on this since the output will be delicious, and I'd like to get the chance to meet and learn from others in the area.

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