Discover Oregon's Masterful, Boutique Wine
Every bottle tells a story of struggle, nurture, patience, and wisdom.
Form and Structure
The next vineyard task – dormant pruning – is the most demanding and time consuming. Its importance is without question because the cuts set in motion the vine’s form and structure for years to come. An art that employs dangerous tools, dormant pruning gives the vigneron the first opportunity to put their mark on the current vintage. The previous year’s canes are pulled from the trellis and put in the rows for mulching.
After completion of pruning, the tedious and delicate task of wrapping and tying the canes to the trellis begins. Due to the brittle nature of the canes, this is best done in damp conditions, or the canes will break, leaving a portion of the trellis unfilled. The wait for the buds to emerge – bud break – begins. Then, unessential buds that have sprouted from the trunk and any doubles are removed. The timing of bud break is an important indicator of the length the growing season will be. Mowing of the grass between the rows begins, giving the vineyard its first picture perfect moment.
September makes the vintage
Sunlight and Rain
In August, two opposing sets of wires begin their journey up to the top of the posts – a time-hungry project that needs be completed at very specific growth stages. The shoots are arranged to a near vertical position during this time, giving the trellis system its name, Vertical Shoot Positioned or VSP; During this sequence, the family and others place many fingerprints on the vines and countless footprints in the vineyard. Pete cannot walk down a row without rearranging some of the canes, keeping all the leaves exposed to sunlight, maximizing every leaf’s potential and increasing airflow, one reason the wines are complex and layered.
Also during August, the tedious task of removing the leaves around the clusters is undertaken. This practice bathes the grapes in direct sunlight and hastens the drying time after the late summer and fall rains. The Abiqua Wind is very helpful for the latter. Then the LONG wait begins. Will September’s weather be warm and mostly dry? Cool and wet? The hard work of the season of love can only come to fruition when the final act is complete. September makes the vintage.
At Abiqua Wind Vineyard, the fruit achieve a perfect ripeness every year. What the vines overachieve every year, however, is high quality soundness and flavor. Healthy and vibrant grapes hold the vital nutritional requirements for happy and productive yeast and they, in turn, bring joy and happiness to winemakers and consumers. For these reasons, you’ll find Abiqua Wind Vineyard grapes in many other wines, both in Oregon and Washington.
Depth of Flavor
The Abiqua Wind pressing process removes all skins, stems, fiber, and seeds from the crushed grapes – ensuring incredible depth of flavor in each drop of juice.
Mastery, Science, & Intuition
Fruit is the primary component of winemaking; no cellar practice can replace stellar fruit. “One can make bad wine from good fruit; however, none are able to make good wine from bad fruit”.
Cleanliness is tantamount and is the most easily affordable cellar practice to mitigate any unpleasantness or ruination of a wonderful wine.
Diligence is important to complete the present cellar task with no shortcuts or miscues.
Timing to conduct the task at the perfect moment is of great importance.
Magic is what the yeast performs. Winemakers start with grape juice that may show flavor and aromatic precursors to the enlightened, however, the unsung heroes of winemaking – yeast – create the wonderful flavors, aromatics, and textures in a wine. A veteran winemaker with over 2.5 decades of experience once said, “Of the one-hundred processes that take place during the fermentation the winemaker can control ten.” The take home lesson: It’s 90% mother nature. As with keeping the fruit in the vineyard healthy, when the wine says it is time to rack, filter, and bottle or perform any cellar task – tomorrow is not an option. It’s our job to listen.