Cider God Blog Takeover, June Edition

Welcome back guys and gals, its now June which means its time for another update for Harvest Ridge Winery through the eyes of Damon, the Cider God. A lot of cool happenings are going on right this minute but first let me catch you up on what’s gone on since the last update.

We had a pretty busy end to the month as we bottled like crazy. On one day alone, we knocked out 2015 Cab-Merlot and Merlot. The next week we bottled 2016 Chardonnay and the week after that we bottled Blue Line White. Blue Line White you ask? I’ll explain…

Blue Line White was a nameless white blend we made. We were unsure of a name and left it to our Facebook family– you guys– to name this blend. Submitted by Beth R. and with the honor of law enforcement in mind, Blue Line White was determined the best and most honorable name. Stay tuned for more details on when this will be dropping and how to pick it up.

With the calendar hitting June, we prepped for a release of our newest wine, Cab-Franc Rosé. We released it on June 2nd as well as kicked off our Gourmet Burger Fridays from Chesapeake Culinary Center.

This Cab-Franc Rosé has a very pronounced, floral aroma with a smooth, yet complex mid palette with a dry finish. Limited quantities of this are available so get some while you can!

Bringing it back into the production building for a minute, I’d like to share how we determine what blends will work, which ones don’t and how we reach such a determination. Our Winemaker, Jason, likes to say that if you don’t rely a bit on trial or experiment in winemaking, you’ve already lost the battle and wont make it in the industry very long. Bench research and trial is vital in winemaking. An example of the trials we do involve many barrels for reds and white wines.

Now just because we have all these in barrels, no two barrels will produce the exact same flavor, finish, etc. We use barrels with light toast, medium, and heavy toast. The heavier the toast, the more “oaky,” smoky taste you SHOULD get in your wines. Mostly true but like I said, your outcomes vary. With that being said, when its time to blend or take them out of barrel, the production team sits down and goes through every single barrel to do tastings and determine which barrels might work well with another.

With that, we turn to trials… sitting in the lab working on a small scale with our wines attempting to find what fits our style and what we think the consumer will like. We are thinking about you guys, yes. From the vines to the bottle, you are on our minds. When Jason and I pick our favorites, keeping consumer in mind, we then turn to fellow staff to try some. If the winery owner, Chuck, is dropping in, we’ll let him have a taste and see what he thinks as well as give the tasting room staff a try. We take all of it into consideration. From there we work on getting them out of barrels and into tanks for blending and preparation for bottling. There’s a full team effort here at Harvest Ridge.

Upcoming events and happenings– we kicked off our inaugural Premium Wine Tour experience on June 3rd and 4th. We would like to offer a much more immersive experience for those who want to learn more, see more, and taste more. Our Premium Wine Tour will give customers this opportunity. Before launching these tours to the public, we gave a preview to our wine club members. I attended the first class for the wine educators and I left the meeting with my head spinning, in a good way of course. There’s so much information to gain and so much fun in seeing all the happenings in the winery and vineyard. We take you from vine to bottle. Stay tuned for when we will be opening these tours up to all.

The 2nd Annual Rebel Seed Run The Vineyard 5K to benefit Operation Warm Heart of Dover AFB is June 17th. Tickets are $40 a person, come out and run or support the runners on hand and be sure to stay around afterward as there will be multiple vendors on hand as well as a couple food trucks. Muhammad’s Caribbean Cuisine and Southern Momma’s Funnel Cakes will be on-site. There are still some spots open and you may register online

Father’s Day is coming up. We’ll be running specials for Pops all day on the 18th. Bring Dad in and treat him to a couple glasses and hopefully leave with a couple bottles as well. Look out for details on the specials on Facebook and Instagram.

I’ve got some labeling to get back to. Let me get back to it before they have me outside power washing or something. See you next month!

— Damon, The Cider God

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