A Good Year at Stinson Vineyards

The Winery: barrel racks and our tiny press, aka “R2D2”

Happy New Years from Stinson Vineyards!  We’re looking back on 2010 and have to admit – its been a pretty good year for us.  Between planting our first grapes and surviving our first harvest we’re starting to see everything take shape.  With the wines beginning to stabilize, we’re focusing on the next phase of our project: bottling and labeling the wines, planting 2200 vines in the spring, and of course opening the Tasting Room in June!

In the meantime, heres a look back at 2010:

Before pictures: the original garage structure

We never get tired of looking at the before pictures of our Garage Winery! Here’s a few from when it was still more “garage” than “winery”.  Its hard to imagine that these were taken just a few months before grapes started to arrive – the new floor is poured and the trench drain is in, but that’s about it.

Scott Stinson goes country

File this one under The Stinsons vs. Virginia Red Clay, or How It Took Us Two Weeks To Plant 64 Vines.  This is our first attempt with a small ripper.. It didn’t take us long to figure out that we need a full sized backhoe to tear  through this stubborn soil – thanks Harold!

The planted Petit Manseng vines in all their glory

Because of a hot, dry summer, the 2010 harvest came earlier than expected.  Our equipment arrived just in time, while we were still finishing up the Winery.  Luckily, this meant we still had strong men around to help unload the tanks!

The 25hl tank arrives

Our Nomblot Concrete Egg showed up on a lift-gate truck.  The Egg is a special tank for our Sauvignon Blanc; the concrete gives the wine an added minerality.  Unfortunately, we had no forklift and at 2700 pounds there was no way the lift gate would hold it.  Somehow Steve devised an unload solution that involved a mattress, the side of the building, and a Sawzall.. Still not sure how this one worked!

Our 2700lb baby.. The Nomblot Concrete Egg

The first incoming grapes to ripen were the Pinot Noir from our friends at Ankida Ridge Vineyards.  They have a beautiful site in Amherst, VA with enough elevation to grow Pinot.  Unfortunately for them, their grapes were the trial run!  Despite minor equipment drama we managed to get them chilled, destemmed, and sorted into a T-bin where they whole berry fermented until they were ready to press.

Our very first arrivals: Pinot Noir from Ankida Ridge Vineyards

After a long year, our first wines are all aging in various tanks and barrels waiting to be bottled in the new year.  

Here’s wishing everyone a happy, healthy 2011 filled with lots of good wine!

-Rachel

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One Response to “A Good Year at Stinson Vineyards”

  1. They’ve Got an Egg! And another Winery! « Eclectic Edibles. Says:

    […] know what the heck that was or what it was for, either. Fortunately, you can do what I did, and read about it on their blog. As I found out when I did so yesterday, it probably explained some of what I had in my tasting […]

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