a DIRT & WINE blog


Wishing tree

I found this tiny little baby of a tree in our front beds, acorn still attached, nestled in the mulch. This would be a Shumard Oak. It put on so much growth its first spring, I couldn’t just toss him!

I think it will be fun to watch him grow and hopefully plant him in our future home. This wishful home of ours will have a good amount of acres for us to sprawl out on.

This is a lot of responsibility but worth a shot! Good luck Little Stick!


In a Vase on Monday: lavender dreams

It feels like it’s been way too long since I’ve had something clipped from the yard and brought inside to enjoy. What is even more concerning is this evergreen herb that’s been around all winter, waiting for a little trim.

Lavender dreamsI am happy to participate in Cathy’s, at Rambling in the Garden, clever meme: In a Vase on Monday. In preparation for our upcoming wedding in October, I found a bargain and got my hands on over a hundred mismatched, little clear vases. Some tall, some short, some round, and some square. This is one of them. They’re going to end up scattered around the house by then!

IMG_6898I put this bunch by the side of my bed. Lavender is thought to reduce stress and promote sleep. I’m not sure that it actually does but there is definitely something soothing about the scent.

Thanks again to Cathy for hosting today’s meme!


Batch #5: Sprung again

Spring has sprung and we just bottled our first white for the year. A Sauvignon Blanc from World Vineyard. We’re getting better at keeping something in the fermenter and learning we need to start stock-piling so we can let these babies age at least half a year. This particular batch is going to be hard to stock-pile.

We started the primary fermentation on 2/7, our birthday week. Before pitching the yeast, we had a gravity reading of 1.088. On the 16th, about 10 days later, we had a gravity reading of .996, giving us a light ABV of 12.08%, and went ahead and transferred into the secondary fermentation.

batch 5 first readingTen more days later, on the 26th, we had a gravity reading of .99 and followed the instructions to stabilize and clear. This still puts the ABV between 12 and 13%. I probably didn’t de-gas as much as I should have but did what we could with the drill and whip. It was pretty cloudy as we slid it back into the “wine cellar”.
secondary fermentationThree weeks later, we bottled, on 3/19 – the day before the official day of spring! Per the instructions, it should have been after two weeks. However, life happens. Anyway, what is exciting is how drinkable this is at bottling.
crystal clear bottlingMy attempt at aroma and tasting notes at bottling: There some sort of mineral or steel smell and definitely some fruit. However, for tasting, there is nothing too sweet here but a very light dry with a light floral finish. It is very crisp. Amazing.

This is going to be an exciting one to wait for! We have another white to start this week, the Pinot we did our first time around. It’s going to be a great year for wine making in this house!