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Jun 04

Winery Week: Harmony Hill

Harmony Hill is by far my favorite place to end a day. They now have a farmer's market on Saturday afternoons, as well as live music on Fridays and Saturdays.

We've been here so many times that we didn't really have anything new to taste, but we did get a special treat. The Ovation is one of my favorites at Harmony Hill and winemaker Bill Skvarla let us try some right out the tank. The Ovation 2008 was going to be bottled last Wednesday.

Ovation is a blend of traminette (there it is again) and cayuga. It's was bright and fruity, with some spice behind it. This is a back-porch / back deck white if there ever was one. I have always wanted to buy a case of this for summer, but it hasn't happened yet. I really want a case of this particular wine. Why? Because Kevin and I helped harvest the grapes!

Bill told us that he ran into the high alcohol issues as well. What I love about Bill is that I can ask him a winemaking question and he'll answer me in regular old English. He loves to share the knowledge and he is great at explaining things. He told me that high alcohol tends to result from a long, hot growing season, coupled with a drought. It crankes up the brix, cranks up the alcohol. What's brix? I like this definition from Wines of Canada:

The measurement of soluble solids in grapes at harvest, taken with a
refractometer and expressed in degrees. In unfermented grapes, degrees
of Brix are approximately the same as percent of sugar. After
fermentation, the alcohol concentration is roughly half the sugar
concentration of the juice. Thus, grapes harvested at 22.5 degrees Brix
will produce a wine with an alcohol content between 12.5 to 13.5%.

While we were at the winery, we also tried the 2006 Rhapsody, which is a blend of 94% Cabernet Franc and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon. I have no doubt we've tasted this many times before. This time, however, it surprised us. It seems to be turning into something similar to a Sangiovese, softening up the tannins and retaining the structure. Who knew? I love wine because it's dynamic, and this was the perfect example.

Opening weekend, Harmony Hill was packed. If you plan on going one evening this summer, make sure you get there early and bring your own picnic. With all the people, you might want to bring your own lawn chair or blanket as well. And even your dogs (on leashes) and kids if you want.

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Posted by Michelle at 10:10 am in Local, Local Wineries, Tastings, Wineries | Permalink | Comments (1)

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