Monday, December 21, 2009

A Merry Marquette Christmas: Part I

Remember this post from a few months back?  That was when we bottled our white wine and I mentioned we'd be bottling the red soon after.  Well, it wasn't as soon after as I thought.  I guess one of the important traits of being a good wine maker is being patient and waiting for just the right time.  Good thing Aaron is much better at that than me. 

After 15 months of aging, 3 months oaking, Aaron checked the acidity level this past weekend and announced that it is now the optimal time for bottling.  Wahooo! 

I was excited about the white wine we blended, but not nearly as excited as I am about this red. Why do you ask?  In September of 2008, we picked and bought 100 lbs of Marquette grapes from a local vineyard.  This was a grape that was released from the University of Minnesota in 2006.  Which means..... the first possible year ever that they were ready to be harvested was the fall of 2008, making this among the first of all vintages of this varietal of wine.  It is an ideal cold hardy grape, and has been said by some that it could possibly make a wine that could rival California.  We, among with several other wine makers in the state, are marching into unchartered territory.  Unlike a Merlot, that has thousands of years of history, and winemaking notes detailing what it best lends itself to, the Marquette is only in its very first year of production.  Winemakers are having a hay day experimenting and finding the ideal way to make this wine. 

We are making wine making history here, folks!
Our wine bottle Christmas tree!
Cleaning the bottles
This is all the wine we have yet to bottle.  We only did one carboy of Marquette this time, which yielded about 30 bottles. 

We got close to 30 bottles and decided to bring the first bottle over to my parent's house for our very un-ordinary traditional fondue and twice baked potato pre-Christmas dinner.  Seemed a perfect introduction of this very unordinary non-traditional wine.  We even created some wintery labels just for the occassion and appropriately labeled this Christmas edition of our Marquette wine, Merry Marquette.  It took us all of 4 seconds to come up with that as a last second thought.

Proud parents, Ashley and Aaron with their little bundle of joy.

Of course, I had to document pictures and notes fom our first Marquette tasting, although I may regret having asked for "offical" comments from my far from wine connoisseur family members.  Stay tuned for tasting notes, comments, and the concensus on our first vintage of Marquette.