The vines are dormant; but mustard and other cover crops are allowed to bloom to prevent erosion, then are plowed under to add nutrients to the soil. Our crews are pruning and setting trellis systems. Swarms of starlings arrive to pick off the last of the vines’ berries. In the Winery, most fermentations are complete. Sauvignon Blanc is bottled
February Pruning and vine preparations are complete. The later the prune, the later the flowering, hopefully outmaneuvering a May frost. Sprinkler systems and wind machines are made ready for frosty spring mornings. Wines such as Chardonnay and Sémillon are bottled. Glass, labels and capsules must be ready for the bulk of the bottling that lies ahead.
The growing season is officially under way with budbreak, a stage when vine buds crack open and small shoots emerge. This is the beginning of the new crop. In the Winery, we now begin racking—siphoning off the clear wine from the sediment. Racking can occur three or four times during the winemaking process. Riesling is bottled.
Vines show thick clusters of new leaves. The vineyard crews remove tiny shoots so only vital vegetation is left. White wines are released. Blending for red varieties begins. Frost is a frequent threat. Wind machines, sprinklers—even helicopters—are used to protect the young crop. Zinfandel and Syrah are bottled.
Have you ever come across what appear to be white flakes floating in your bottle of wine? The result is similar to a snow globe. Or perhaps the cork has crystalized? Did you assume that this somehow meant the wine was flawed or ruined?
Video courtesy of Dr. Vino
What you had most likely seen are tartaric crystals, commonly referred to as "wine diamonds."
Tartrate crystals are not uncommon for wines that are minimally filtered. Mass market wines will usually be treated to minimize crystal and sediment precipitation. Tartrate crystals are colorless and add no flavor to the wine (in fact Crème de Tartar is used in cooking as a thickening agent), but can as you noted, cause the wine to be gritty. Here are a couple of things that should mitigate (not eliminate) this issue. First and foremost, we frequently recommend that wines purchased from any winery and shipped via a package express company be laid down and left to rest for 4 to 5 weeks. That will allow any sediment (or tartrate crystals) to settle to one side of the bottle. Then when you are ready to enjoy your rested wine, carefully decant the wine into a decanter, leaving perhaps an inch of wine in the bottom of the bottle. The shape of the bottom of most Bordeaux and many Burgundy bottles have a punt at the bottom, designed in part to help capture the sediment.
Those two steps: letting the wine rest after its bottle shock from travelling, and decanting the wine should minimize the appearance of sediment and tartrate crystals.
Jordan & James’s wedding was an evening that will go down in V. Sattui history. The love, beauty, and grace that encompassed the evening took one’s breath away. Yet again, Photographer Shannon Stellmacher, preserved the love and joy surrounding the evening through her stunning photography. An amazing team of vendors, including Elaine Bell Catering, Florabella, DJ Tony Sparks, Darlene & Jim Forbes, and of course the eye behind the design, Joann Holder, made for a flawless evening. Congratulations Jordan & James! We are forever grateful you gave us the honor of hosting your wedding at V. Sattui Winery.
The splendor of Vincent and Megan's wedding day could only be matched by the beautiful couple themselves. Shannon Stellmacher captured the beauty of the scene with rose petals lining the aisle. Guests enjoyed V. Sattui's Dry Riesling and famous Gamay Rouge while the happy couple took photos on the Vittorio Terrace and then headed down to the Barrel Room to celebrate with a reception. V. Sattui was proud to host their friends and family for a June wedding to remember!
Classy elegance surrounded this beautiful new couple and their wedding guests as they enjoyed a warm October evening at V. Sattui Winery. Jasmine's intricate lace gown was a soft touch to the romantic, stone courtyard setting. After the ceremony, Photographer Shannon Stellmacher captured the magic of the Barrel Room Reception, where guests joined the happy couple for dining, dancing, and toasts with V. Sattui's sparkling Cuvee Rouge.
Melissa and Noah exchanged vows in a beautiful courtyard ceremony surrounded by an audience of family and friends. Photographer, Shannon Stellmacher captured the couple's beautifully vibrant personalities perfectly paired with the stunning beauty of the day. V. Sattui was proud to host this momentous occasion and wishes Melissa and Noah the best!