Winemaking

We Gather Together

Thanksgiving is America’s banquet. It’s one of the few completely American holidays, created from a history that only we share. It’s probably my favorite holiday of the year - I love all of the flavors and smells and the grand tradition of a large family meal. Everything feels more peaceful at Thanksgiving. It marks the end of a busy harvest season for me - a calm nostalgic pause before the inevitable commercial stress of the Christmas holidays.

A Vintage Concerto in C for Flute, Harp and Orchestra K. 2011

So how was the 2011 vintage? We had a lot to overcome this past year – including the proud distinction of having an earthquake and a hurricane both in the same week! No year is ever easy, but the 2011 harvest for Bedell was a complete triumph. We have an outstanding vineyard team and I'm so proud to be working with them. The dedication that I see every day is unparalleled. The end result is that we have a cellar full of beautiful wines.

Great Expectations

“How is the vintage?” “Are the grapes looking good this year?”  “How’s the wine going to be?” As a winemaker, I appreciate getting asked questions like these over the course of the year. The wine culture on the North Fork is still relatively young and years ago, fewer people were as tuned into the local wine scene as they are today. But as many of us know, it’s a difficult question to answer, especially before the harvest is completed. 

The 2011 Vintage - Put it in the Books!

After many long days and nights our 2011 harvest finally came to a close on October 24th. As the last of the fruit was brought to the crush pad, our crew gathered for a ceremonial "thank you" to all who worked so hard to make this season a success! Here are a few highlights of our celebration - complete with some cold beer and sparklers! Making great wine is always a team effort and our Bedell crew is the best in the business. Happy 2011!

A New Cork State of Mind

There has been a great deal written about the use of natural cork vs. screwcaps in the wine blogosphere lately – mostly by folks who only have the experience of pulling them out or twisting them off. Many people who come to Bedell ask me the question – “What’s the deal with screwcaps?” Others are concerned about cork and wonder about the environmental aspects of using them to bottle wine.

Indigenous Yeast - A Walk on the Wild Side - Part 1

Indigenous, spontaneous, natural, aboriginal, feral, native, endemic, ambient, wild—no matter what you want to call them, the art of making wine without adding commercial yeasts is gaining favor in the United States. Of course, spontaneous fermentation is nothing new to the cellars of the Old World, where wine has been made with natural yeasts for thousands of years. Today, many of the world’s finest wines are still produced with native yeasts.

Going Native

For those of you who have never been, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a wonderful place to visit and an oasis of nature in the middle of this bustling borough. Alongside the flowering cherries, peonies and bonsai displays - nestled in between Flatbush and Washington Avenues - the BBG has the country’s first Native Flora Garden. This year celebrates the 100th anniversary of the garden and to honor this special event, BBG is offering guided tours with the curator. When my wife Nancy saw this she knew I would be first in line and signed us up. Luckily we had a beautiful day and the gardens were looking spectacular.

Can You Hear Me Now?

Do you ever wonder if plants have feelings? Some people do. The idea that plants are capable of experiencing emotion was first recorded in 1848, when the German experimental psychologist Dr. Gustav Theodor Fechner suggested the idea in his book Nanna. Dr. Fechner believed that plants are capable of emotions, just like humans or animals, and that one could promote healthy growth by speaking to them with affection.

A New Year Begins...

Let me just start off by saying that I hate the term “blog.” It’s a word that sounds like a description of something plodding or clumsy. Like someone stuck in a muddy field. I’ve been stuck in muddy fields so I know. I’d like to believe this little area of commentary is going to be something a little more – shall we say – elegant? Perhaps that is too much of a wine descriptor. Creative and thought-provoking but in particular – fun.