What’s up in the home winery is written from Michael’s perspective since he is the home winemaker. Anne’s role in the winery is strictly quality control.
Earlier this year, we expected the 2022 harvest to be on the light side. The ongoing drought in California promised us winemakers a shortage of grapes for our winemaking projects. But, speaking for myself, this harvest was very fruitful and bountiful and our home winery is pretty small. Which has allowed me (so far) to plan scaling back in 2023 and possibly 2024 as well.
Why scale back? I am fortunate enough to have wine in storage that needs more time in bottle to reach serious drinkability. That means there are several vintages of a Bordeaux blend (2016, 2018 and 2020) that are currently aging. Plus, I have several years of syrah, petite sirah, grenache and blends that, while they taste okay now, will taste great in several years. So, when your storage is full, what’s your backup plan? Make wine that doesn’t need much aging, like white wines and rosé and make fewer reds, but make good ones like Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo that can take their time.
My garage home winery has two years’ worth of wine right that is designated to keep the barrels full (most important) and allow us to have our pick for dinner wines, charity pourings and special events for several years to come. What will I do in 2023? Make some whites and rosé we can guzzle. Take Anne to Italy in 2024, although 2023 isn’t out of the picture if the right deal comes along. A deal that involves wine, great food and visiting one of the greatest places on this earth.