In the field
It’s official - harvest season has come to an end. The grapes are in. The bird nets are down and we can all take a deep breath. Inhale. Now, let it out.
Whew, I’m tired!
As we reviewed the season, Cam noted that the daily temperature shifts we experienced this year were similar to those of Napa or Sonoma.
The significant variation between daytime and nighttime temperatures helps maintain the natural acidity of the grapes. The dry weather results in smaller berries, which pack a bigger juicier punch.
Mother Nature – the festival may have been a little wet, but you did give us some really yummy grapes.Thank you!
In the Cellar
At this point, most of our red wines are still in primary fermentation. With cool temperatures, red wines such as our Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, are able to have a long fermentation, enriching both the color and flavor profile.
Our famed Pinot Noir is currently in the barrel. Among the first grapes to be picked, Pinot Noir is the first red to be strained off its skins. After separating the wine from the skins and seeds, the wine is put in barrels, where it undergoes a secondary fermentation, also known as malolactic fermentation, and picks up very subtle hints of oak. At Unionville Vineyards, we use neutral French oak barrels, which impart only the subtlest hint of wood. Pinot Noir is characterized by its lighter color and more delicate flavor profile, due to its relatively thin skins and high pulp-to-skin ratio.
Coming soon: Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Two savory recipes filled with all the fall favorites. They pair with Pinot Noir and make excellent Thanksgiving side dishes.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Today, we are picking the first grapes for what is Unionville's 27th harvest. Two years after the first grapes were picked and fermented, they were sold in the newly-opened tasting room- 25 years ago. Although I've been thinking about this moment for about a year, we've started our anniversary celebration and I'm still struggling to put it all in context.
In the past few years I've learned so much that could be shared with you now. I've spent hours at the township building, reading through letters written back and forth between parties involved in the winery's founding in the early 1990's. I've walked the vineyards, pausing with each "King of the Vineyard" as Conor calls them- the craggy, gnarly vines nearly as old as me. I've stared at the black and white photos in the hallway of the 1858 Farmhouse of the family and workers who tended to this property many decades ago.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I know that is cliché to say, but it truly is a great time at Unionville. We’ve got all of our reds pressed and in barrel. Cooler, stainless-steel fermentations are finishing up in tank, I’m finally able to breathe a little easier, and wake up a little later. With the holidays upon us, the wine making team has a lot on the mind, but one thing standing out is the blending, bottling, and release of Vat #23 – the latest rendition of our opulent Port wine.
Port has a storied history at Unionville – the fortified delight has been made at the winery since its first vintage in 1993, Before we delve into that, we have to talk a little about how Port is made and the different styles in which it can be presented. Port, named for its origin country, Portugal, is typically a sweet or medium-dry red wine, fortified with distilled grape spirit, then cellared and bottled at different times and in different ways to present specific stylizations. The two most recognizable presentations of Port wine are Ruby and Tawny Ports. Ruby styles are young wines usually aged for only a couple of years (or less). They’re released early to showcase juicy acidity and fruity characteristics of young wine with fuller mouthfeel and complexity
Since I started at Unionville 5 years ago, it has always been a goal to have our wines evaluated by top critics. In the years since, John Foy at the Star-Ledger has called our wines "Napa worthy," and Stuart Pigott, who freelances for James Suckling and Wine Business Monthly wrote that our Syrah was the best expression of the grape in the United States. T.J. Foderaro at Inside Jersey Magazine, Alan Richman (Saveur), Robin Shreeves (Cherry Hill Courier-Post), Rosie Saferstein (NJ Monthly), and the Trenton Times' Susan Yeske have all added their voices to the coalition of the willing in the last couple of years.
Having Unionville in the pages of one of the major wine magazines had remained elusive, until last summer when Mark Squires, East Coast wine critic for the Wine Advocate sat down and tasted...
Sign up to be the first to hear about our events!