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Making Wine the 2016 Report

2016 September 7
by Gene Fiorot

It is time to begin the discussion.   Grapes are arriving soon..

As of 9/8/2016

Cool Nights and Days in the low 80s and high 70s in Suisun are creating the opportunity for long hang times allowing the grapes to get their last rise in brix very controlled and slow.   Grapes are beautiful this year and it is going to be a perfect year.   In Lodi  as well, the temps are swinging from day to night and during the day are in the 80s.   Again grapes are dark and ripe.   Even Fresno is experiencing temperature swings and temps only in the high 80s.    So this could be the vintage year to remember.   Why am I thinking Cab?




31 Responses leave one →
  1. September 8, 2016

    so what do you think the group will be making this yesr?

  2. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    September 8, 2016

    We are making Zin/PS, Barbera, Cab Sav, Sangiovese, Petit Verdot, Sav Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay.

  3. Al Battista permalink
    September 10, 2016

    Fingers crossed.

  4. Caledon permalink
    September 12, 2016

    Do you co-ferment the Zin and PS and at what proportion? I’m planning 85-15.

  5. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    September 13, 2016

    We are at 18% on the PS

  6. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    September 17, 2016

    The Zin and the Sangiovese are in the vats at 50 degrees. Keeping them insulated for a few days. Not in a rush to get them going.

  7. Proud Puppy permalink
    September 17, 2016

    Cab and those smooth silky tanins of the Suisun Lanza Petite Sirah ! Sounds terrific!

  8. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    September 17, 2016

    Limited supplies don’t delay !!!!

  9. Bzac permalink
    September 18, 2016

    I’m jealous , I’m not making wine this year

  10. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    September 22, 2016

    Are you out of the Country?

  11. Don permalink
    September 22, 2016

    Gene – are you getting a truck load this weekend or are your hands full already? They dont have the trucking setup they used to since the produce business dropped off. If they’re not headed your direction with room for my 40 lugs then I am SOL and forced to UHaul to Hartford and back. Gotta do what we gotta do but wondering if they’re coming to you Fri-Sat-Sun?

  12. Bzac permalink
    September 24, 2016

    I’m still in Canada , just 500 km north of the arctic circle on Baffin Island .
    It’s ok for me to take a gap year , 1500 bottles should hold us for a while .

  13. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    September 26, 2016

    Sorry Don I missed your comment. I received grapes on September 17th and will again on October 1. Hey Zac stay warm Yikes!

  14. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    September 26, 2016

    The Zin and Sangiovese are currently at 1 brix plan on a Saturday pressing. Did get a bump up in brix from 25.5 to 27 watered back to 25.5 before pitching.

  15. Bill Y permalink
    September 27, 2016

    Hello, somehow just found this site – lots of great info (And some familiar names from
    I have Lanza grapes this year for the first time – Sangio, Petit Verdot, Malbec. Purchsed from Gino Pinto’s. These are some really great grapes.. Numbers were fantastic and ferments are under way. The malbec is the darkest must I’ve ever seen at 3 days in.

    Looks like you guys have a good amount of experience with the lanza/LMP vineyards. Is this a typical year?

  16. tjn permalink
    September 28, 2016

    Crushed my Lanza 169, PV and PS yesterday at my friends house. the 169 and PV were some of the best grape I seen from M&M. PS has two lugs with a bit of mold buried in the lugs. I’m not sure if I have ever seen such big tight cluster with the PS before. My friend also had the Lanza valley cab and merlot which both looked very good. All and all much nicer looking grapes in all compared to the past two severely drought impacted years. Grape are still cold soaking in the 4runner so no measurement taken yet.

  17. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    September 28, 2016

    Yes a little white sugar mold was present in a PS crush at a friends house on Saturday. Nothing to worry about. True, the clusters are extremely tight. Sugar is around 25.5 but you should experience a bump up to 26.5 or so. So nice not having to deal with 29 brix and higher! And best yet is really nice PH on the Zin, PS and Sangiovese.

  18. glenn permalink
    September 28, 2016


    I was able to acquire a beautiful Oregon Willamette Valley Pinot Noir this year from a broker in Ohio. Came in at 23.5 brix and a ph of 3.4. of course I used you favorite yeast assman.

  19. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    September 28, 2016

    Good for you !!!! Love to try that area for Pinot Noir

  20. Dan Lodico permalink
    September 28, 2016

    I decided not to make wine this year because there was other stuff going on, like a trip to see my elderly uncles in Idaho, and a very ill sister in law. Also, the basement is full of wine…and it’s a good thing I did because now I’m laid up with a bad back, may need back surgery.
    So I’m just going to be a wine drinker this autumn .

    Good luck to all of you with your 2016 wine. With me out of the game it should be a great vintage year.

  21. tjn permalink
    September 29, 2016

    Initial brix ~ 27 hours after crush, 2 fermenters for both the 169 and PS

    169 – 27, 27
    PS – 25, 24.3
    PV – 26.5

  22. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    September 29, 2016

    Feel Better Dan !!!’

  23. carmine Frattaroli permalink
    September 29, 2016

    crushed the Lanza cab, Merlot and petite syrha. Pitched the yeast this morning . I did a co – Ferment ph 3.4 Brix 24.5. Cold Soak for two days. Lanza petite is incredible. Happy crushing and fermenting everybody . Hope you feel better Dan.

  24. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    September 30, 2016

    Those Petite Sirah Clusters are some Hand Grenades!

  25. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    October 3, 2016

    Well we crushed on Saturday October 1 the Koch Cab, 169 Cab, Petit Verdot, and the Barbera. The Cab Berries so small they went through the destemmer whole. No mold issues and the grapes arrived at 45 degrees. With insulated vats they should soak for a few days without issue and without having to intervene. All nice Ph numbers and initial sugar at 25.5 range.

  26. tjn permalink
    October 3, 2016

    My Koch that M&M crushed on Sunday for me came in at 26.3.

    Gene, I didn’t get a chance to see the Koch before crush, how did it look compared to the past couple of years?

  27. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    October 4, 2016

    Very small berries very nice for both the 169 and the Koch. Flavor profiles quite distinctive. Doing a 50/50 Co ferment and I am happy with the 3.58 Ph knowing the Koch is traditionally higher. What was your PH on the Koch. I am curious to see if it followed past vintages. Also got a bump up to 27 48 hours later. Yeast Pitched after 48 hours not much going on still at 63. They arrived at 45. Removed the insulation from the vats as temps in the winery are not that warm. Should be seeing some action in 24 hours.

  28. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    October 16, 2016

    Sorry for the delay in commenting Bill Y. Welcome to the blog. You asked if this is a typical year. This was a terrific year. The past two years we have had to deal with very high sugars. As for quality Lanza/Musto are always tops!

  29. Don permalink
    October 20, 2016

    Whats with the Malolactic bacteria dry-up? Anyone else having a problem? I ordered 2 weeks ago now I’m told the regional suppliers are OUT.

  30. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    October 20, 2016

    I never wait. I order mine in July from Scott’s and they pay for the overnight shipping. one thought is all the guys on figured out what MLF was

  31. Don permalink
    October 20, 2016

    Ha, good one! As it ends up Kim at Musto was wrong and there was some found there today – and I got the last shipment out of the stuff. I just hope they send the acti-ml and opti-malo with it as well (the latter supply has dried up as well).

    Happy MLF’ing

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