Hello, my name is Johnston Moore. I am the new Assistant Winemaker here at Boxwood Winery. I am excited to be a part of things here at Boxwood because, after graduating with an Enology and Viticulture degree from Cornell University, I am able to keep doing what I enjoy most – learning about wine!
The activity at Boxwood Winery has dramatically increased during the past week. The most notable occurrence was a visit from Stéphane Derenoncourt, Boxwood Winery’s preeminent winemaking consultant. For me, this was a visit I had been looking forward to since the day I started work at Boxwood. I had read about Stéphane Derenoncourt’s humble beginnings and the ever-growing prestige of his many winemaking and consulting projects, so I looked forward to the day I would get the chance to meet him in person. For me, this was another great opportunity to learn.
Additionally, on this visit, we had with us Lucie Morton, our renowned viticultural consultant. This would be the second time I had seen Lucie in the past month. Each time I expect my ampelographical knowledge to be tested. Ampelography, the identification of grapevines by their morphology or appearance, is just one of Lucie’s many viticultural specialties. Needless to say, Lucie can spot any vine species that are growing in the wrong place.
On this visit to the vineyard on a rainy Monday morning, we were more focused on the condition of our vines than their identity. A couple of the heavy storms that have come through this summer brought with them hail. This was enough to damage the leaves and some of our berries. Naturally, damage to the berries is a concern as it sometimes can make the grapes more susceptible to disease. Thankfully for us, the hot summer days will dry up any split berries before they can become an issue. That, along with the upcoming cluster thinning and de-compaction that Adam McTaggart has planned should make any of our damaged fruit a non-issue.
Next on the agenda for the day of Stéphane and Lucie’s visit was a trip inside the Boxwood Winery cave to conduct a barrel tasting. Each varietal was carefully tasted. The goal being to evaluate their maturation in our French oak barrels so that later in the year they can be carefully blended into the various blends that Boxwood is known for. Around the room everyone nodded in agreement that the 2011 vintages were developing nicely.
Speaking of development, our grapes are currently well into veraison (the changing of the grapes from green to a deep purple) something that will be a likely topic of discussion in the weeks to come.