Winter Weather Impact at Iris January 19 2017
As the thaw continues here in the Southern Willamette Valley, we here at Iris would like to share some winter scenes and news from our vineyard.
The ice storm in mid-December left us with many trees and limbs to remove from our roadway. Thanks to our hardworking vineyard staff, we were able to open the road and tasting room quickly following. Our crew is continuing to make repairs to the deer fence surrounding the fields. It saw much damage from fallen trees and limbs. The vineyard itself weathered the ice storm without problem. The unpruned vines did not break under the weight of the ice as they are well supported by our high- tensile trellis. The trellis is designed to carry a heavy load. It must support the vines’ canopy of leaves in the summer breezes as well as the weight of multiple tons per acre of grapes.
We experienced some lower than average temperatures in the past week. The Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Gris vines we farm are dormant for the winter season. While dormant, they are not damaged by cold until temperatures fall below 5 degrees. We believe that we are safe thus far. In the next week, our vineyard manager will spend time in the field, dissecting dormant buds to double check that they are alive and ready for the 2017 vintage. If we discover some spotty damage, we will adjust our pruning strategy to compensate.
Our vineyard crew is getting started pruning the vineyard. We will be working on this important and labor intensive job until March. Stay tuned for more.
Thank you to our patient tasting room customers for your understanding as we have been forced to close a number of days recently. The roads out to the vineyard and our driveway had been unsafe for our staff and customers to make it out to Lorane, but we are happy that safe access has been restored. We all are keeping our fingers crossed that this Oregon rain continues to fall in liquid form!
Riddling Sparkling Rose' January 10 2017
We have a very special upcoming release at Iris: Sparkling Rose’! In order to bring this limited-edition release to you, this wine is currently in the riddling stage of sparkling winemaking.
Over the course of the riddling stage, the dead yeast cells and other sediment formed as a by-product from the fermentation stage collects in the neck of each bottle. The goal is to achieve a crystal-clear wine. Not only does the riddling process remove the sediment from the wine, but it also helps create its unique texture and complex bouquet. The longer the wine sits in the riddling stage, the more complex and bubbly it becomes.What is riddling? Riddling is an age-old technique that involves rotating tilted bottles to remove sediment created from the fermentation stage. During this stage, the bottles are placed on a riddling rack with their necks down and gradually rotated in 1/8 to ¼ turn increments, both clockwise and counterclockwise. The average riddling process consists of about 25 turns over 4-6 weeks while the steepness of each inverted bottle increases from 45 degrees to 60.
After the riddling process, the sediment must be disgorged from the bottles. To do this, each bottle is placed in a sub-zero solution for a few minutes to form an ice plug made of the sediment deposits in the neck. The cap is then removed and the pressure within the bottle shoots out the ice plug with the frozen sediment trapped inside it.
Stay tued for the release date of this very special varietal (an Iris first!), and follow its process on our social media channels!