While I continue to be delinquent in my posting, see this WSJ article about the Colchagua Valley.
Here is an article I ran across that explains what is often very confusing about French (and other Old World) wine appellations. This is very pertinent to my experience here, as people keep asking me what type of we are making, and the answer is not obvious to those used to drinking New World, varietal labeled wine. So here we make a Bergerac Blanc, which is Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, and the red wine is made from (mostly) Merlot, as well as Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Read the article and this will make a whole lot more sense if you are wondering why I’m not just calling the red a Merlot.
As for what I’ve been up to, I’ve been working long, but very enjoyable, hours, doing a variety of the tasks in the winery (we started the Rosé this week – which is made from Malbec grapes but we use the same process as for the white wine). I have worked on the labeling line, performed Chaptalization (adding sugar to the must to increase the final alcohol content of the wine if there isn’t enough natural sugar in the juice to produce the correct amount – it doesn’t make the wine sweeter because the yeast eat the sugar and convert it to ethanol), helped with a lot of racking, etc.
Sunset from the winery: