by Justin Taylor

The New Year is at our fingertips, time for growth in the projects from the year just past.  As with any long term endeavor, you’re starting and ending points might transcend weeks, months or even years to accomplish desired goals.  It takes a lot of momentum and staying power to hold on through the life of such a big project, and I have learned so much of this exists in the wine industry.  As your neighborhood winemaker, I want to take this issue to illustrate the interworking timeline that exists in bringing some of my biggest projects together, from vintage to bottle.  

In 2019 we started one of my most ambitious works to date, a sparkling wine produced through the traditional methods generally seen in the Champagne region of France.  Derived from Merlot grapes we harvested, fermented, and are preparing to bottle this beautiful and elegant base wine that we plan to release in small lots in the summer of 2020.

The reds of 2019 are showing an incredible amount of quality in their youth, and we will watch them take shape during barrel aging in the 12-18 months ahead.  We have tested a process found in the Italian region of Valpolicella where freshly harvested grapes are stored in air drying racks to allow for flavor and sugar concentration in the fruit.  The subsequent juice for fermentation is much more robust and rich.  This wine is going to create a tiny 25 case lot, that won’t see the bottle until summer of 2021, and boy are we excited for this!

And finally, the second big expansion of the cider brand we are developing at Parker-Binns will see a whole new platform in 2020.  This project as taken two and a half years to nail down, and we are very anxious to see where it is headed next.

The answer to Wine and Vine trivia would be the Colonists of the Virginia Company from the early 17th century.  The European vines died due to a climate very different from Europe, but the lessons learned during this time helped shape the pre-prohibition wine boom in the United States.  The Wine and Vine trivia for next issue: What is a wine thief?

Justin Taylor is Winemaker at Parker-Binns Vineyard, Mill Spring.