Archive for the ‘grapes’ Category

Grape Juice is Also Fruit of the Vine

November 2, 2011

Grape Jellys for sale in the Tasting Room

The grape – it’s not just for wine.  We have real grape juice for sale from local Chambourcin and Seyval Blanc grapes grown by our neighbors at Oakencroft Farm on Garth Road.  This vineyard used to produce grapes for wines but switched over several years ago to fine grape juice production.  Their challenge is to produce the juice without fermenting the juice!  The grape juice is bottled in beautiful wine bottles.  It’s a real treat and a nice alternative drink for a special dinner in your home or as “un petit cadeau” when you’re a guest.

At Stinson Farms, we’ve been making a limited amount of Grape Jelly out of our winegrapes, including some delicious Tannat from our next door neighbor, Mount Juliet Vineyards.  We are loving Tannat this fall – its one the highest resevatrol grapes so makes us feel extra healthy when we’re eating/drinking it!  Look for our 2011 Dry Tannat as well as a 2011 Tannat Port in a few years.  Its important to barrel age this grape sufficiently as it has very strong tannins.

Tray below the sorting table, full of green berries, seeds, and squished berries

We also have Cabernet Sauvignon Jelly.  Rodney, our “Cellar Rat”, says the Cabernet Sauvignon jam is great on pancakes.  Mourvedre juice is in the refrigerator waiting to clear and then it will be made into jelly. Next I hope to make some from Petit Verdot.



Grapes Grapes Grapes

October 18, 2011

This years vintage has brought us all kinds of fruit – the good, the bad, and the ugly.  One things for sure, we’re up to our ears in GRAPES.. and with the end in sight we’re looking forward to having everything in juice form asap! If you still haven’t gotten enough, here’s some grape porn for your viewing pleasure.

Etheral Sauvignon Blanc from Muse Vineyards

Pressing Chardonnay with Basket Press at Ankida Ridge Vineyards 

THE EGG finally gets its fill of Sauv Blanc

Merlot grapes from Mount Juliet Vineyards

Destemming Grapes..


Its On! The 2011 Harvest

September 13, 2011

Lugs of beautiful Sauvignon Blanc grapes from Muse Vineyards

Our first grapes of the 2011 harvest came in last week, ahead of the massive rain brought on by Tropical Storm Lee.  We counted 4 inches of rain over about 40 hours – enough to do some serious damage to the slowwwly ripening whites!  Thanks to the hard work of Mount Juliet and Muse Vineyards we were able to pull our Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grapes just in time.  And thats only the beginning!

Sadly, we’ve just about outgrown our little press, the valiant R2D2.

Tasting Room Guests beware: We WILL put you to work!

Over the next month and a half we’ll be getting: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Vidal Blanc, Petit Manseng, Mourvedré, and Tannat grapes.  Ok, so maybe we went a little overboard contracting for fruit this year..


Putting the Vineyard in “Stinson Vineyards”

May 12, 2011

2nd-leaf Petit Manseng vines with new vineyard in background.

Our newbie grapes arrived from California early in April, dormant and asleep.  Because a big storm was expected on April 16th, our planter Carl Tinder planned to get in as many dormant plants as possible before the rain.  But when we opened the first box of Sauvignon Blanc Musqué we had a big surprise – they were in pots!  This meant they were live plants and much fragile than the dormant ones.  They’d have to plant them right away.  We were grateful for the threat of rain or we might have left these fragile plants in the box for days, thinking they were dormant.

Musqué is a mutated variety of a regular clone that generally indicates it is highly aromatic.  We’ll be mixing the Sauvignon Blanc Musqué in with our regular Sauv Blanc grapes to make a delicious, signature blend.  And of course fermenting it in our 2700 lb baby, the Nomblot Concrete Egg.


Protecting the newbies with milk cartons; Flagging holes for vines.

The other varieties we planted are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and more Petit Manseng.  One nursery sent 50 “mystery grapes” by mistake – unlabeled and unaccounted for vines.  We planted them in pots and once we figure out what they are they’ll be available for purchase in our Tasting Room, just in case you want to give small scale viticulture a try!


A Good Year at Stinson Vineyards

January 5, 2011

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.