Winemaker's Blog

A blog by winemaker Dan Morgan describing the winemaking process at Heartfelt Wines.

  • Our First Heartfelt Bottling
    Inspiration Red (Cabernet/Syrah blend) is next.
    The days and weeks leading up to our first ever bottling were exciting and challenging. The exciting aspect was tasting and blending the 2010 releases to fully showcase the fruit. Who would have thought that 1% of Petite Sirah blended with the Zinfandel would make a big difference? But it did! The Inspiration Red is always fun when it comes time for blending. How much Syrah is necessary to balance the Cabernet? Every year is a little different, but it’s always a joy to put the finishing touches on this unique blend. The challenging part was working with the federal government’s TTB division for the first time to obtain approvals on our labels and making last-minute modifications at press time! Many lessons learned. The real fun began on an unusually sunny and hot morning on Treasure Island, Thursday, May 24th, when we set up our very first bottling line. Within 6 hours, 16 barrels (960 gallons) of wine were transformed into approximately 400 cases of Heartfelt wines. We called on Artisan Mobile Bottling to provide the equipment, and family and friends came out to help. With a top speed of 100 cases per hour, we were able to hit that mark for a few minutes during the day. We did though have lots of laughs and no major injuries. First up was the Zinfandel. It took us a few cases to get the rhythm down, but soon we had 2 pallets and 120 cases safely put away. Without much let up, we moved through the Petite Sirah, Inspiration Red, and finally the Muse (Syrah). All 400 cases were completed by 1pm. The crew, though not experienced nor very fast, was giving of all they had. A heartfelt effort by one and all.

    You can see some pictures of the bottling process in the gallery Bottling the 2010 Vintages
    Posted Jun 13, 2012, 12:22 PM by Tom Morgan
  • Looking Back at the 2011 Harvest
    Grapes going into the wine press
    With our 2010 varietals nearly ready to be bottled, we wanted to update everyone on what’s happening with the 2011 harvest.

    As with our initial vintage, we made it a priority to again procure Caldwell fruit for our flagship Inspiration Red proprietary blend of Cabernet and Syrah. As is typical for this fruit, this crop was not picked until November 3rd, giving it additional time on the vine. The 2011 fruit embodies all the bold characteristics we have come to expect from this premium Caldwell vineyard.

    We were also fortunate to partner with the J. Rickards vineyard again, and got our hands on some 2011 old vine Zinfandel fruit, which was planted in 1908. During 2011, those who visited the winery were able to taste a barrel sample of our 2010 old vine Zinfandel and we received incredible reviews. Its sure to be a tasting room favorite when it gets bottled in the near future.

    By popular demand, we decided to produce a Chardonnay for 2011. After sampling fruit from a variety of Northern California vineyards, we decided on an exceptional fruit from the Russian River Valley in Windsor. The fruit was picked in late September, and we chose to incorporate some old-world techniques, popular in the Burgundy region of France, to craft a smooth, rich, creamy style of Chardonnay. This traditional process includes barrel fermentation in French Oak, lees aging, and malolactic fermentation. We are very happy with the fermentation progress and are expecting this varietal to have a soft creamy mouth feel and a long finish.

    You can see some pictures from the 2011 harvest here.
    Posted Feb 9, 2012, 9:26 AM by Heartfelt Photos
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2011 Posts

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