Ruby Magdalena Vineyards

Let’s talk cover crop in the vineyard

In our vineyard, we have green in the alleys between the rows of grapes. There’s a reason for this, actually there are several reasons. The cover crop helps to regulate temperature. On hot, hot days the heat from the sun isn’t reflected back up to the plants, which helps the grape plants immensely. It also […]

Do you have a wind machine or use smudge pots for cold temperatures?

We get this question quite a bit: We do not have either a wind machine or smudge pots…but our neighbors do! In the early spring while the blossoms on the neighboring orchards are so fragile, and when temps drop below 32°, the wind machines are used to circulate the air to keep the damaging cold […]

It’s Thursday, March 17th

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Do you know why it’s important to have green in the vineyard? The leaves (canopy) of the grape vines produce carbohydrates (sugars) from sunlight, water and CO2 gas to grow plant tissue and ripen the grape clusters. The growing vine also provides nutrients for the microbes that live in the soil, […]

Spring is officially here: What does that mean for us here in the vineyard?

Soon the vines will start to wake up. They will begin to weep as the sap rises from the roots where it was stored over winter. This years buds will start to get fuzzy as they get ready to swell into larger buds and eventually break open and show off their bright green leaves!

“Red, red wine goes to my head…”

…and heart, circulatory and lymphatic systems and evidently to my hands! We’ve been talking about phenols, and polyphenols. Let’s continue with another branch of the phenolic group: anthocyanins (and their sugarless counterparts the anthocyanidins). Anthocyanins are highly pigmented, water-soluble phenols. They contribute the red, purple and blue colors in fruits and vegetables. The colors that […]

Have you heard of wine phenolics and polyphenols?

We’re going to wrap up this month of barrel talk with a little bit about these compounds and what contributions a barrel can give to a red wine. . First of all…what is a phenolic compound? A phenolic compound by definition is an aromatic organic compound that has a phenol ring in its structure. There […]

Wine, all the way to the top!

We do this periodically to prevent the wine from spoiling. A barrel is not an airtight container such as a stainless-steel drum. A barrel will allow evaporation of wine through the wood itself and the tiny spaces between boards of the staves and the heads. This evaporative process drives the phenomenon called microoxygenation (or microx) […]

Did you know that barrels come in a variety of sizes?

Here’s a bit of information that we found from one source Let’s start with the smallest called a Firkin. This little guy holds a mere 41L (11 gallons) and is traditionally used for dispensing cask ale. A few sizes up is where the wine barrel called a Barrique or a Burgundy comes in, American oak […]

Do you know how oak barrels affect the taste of wine?

Storing wine in oak barrels offers several contributions such as: micro oxygenation, malolactic fermentation and addition of flavors. A few things that affect flavors that are contributed to wine are: The type of oak used (mainly French or American oak); the time that the wine is stored in the barrel; and the toast inside of […]

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