On the homesteading news, Rancher Bob and I bottled our first vintage today (not counting the two bottles I capped and took with me to Kansas). We netted 14 bottles, or 16 if you count the two 22 oz bottles I took as well. Not bad for a first purely experimental run using only the fruit Bob's vines produced last year.
We look to be on for at least ten gallons of wine this year, or approximately 36-40 bottles given the fruit we have picked so far.
The bottles I took with me revealed the best muscadine wine I have ever enjoyed, and a wine which I contend has the complexity and subtlety of fine European wines, while still remaining absolutely true to the muscadine flavor. Though golden in color, the wine has characteristics more often found in bold reds, like Zinfindel or Cabernet, but without some of the more harsh tannic aspects. The wine is still dry, unusual for muscadine wine, but not as astringent as those reds without any loss of complexity. I am even tempted to try to turn it into brandy, though I cannot imagine sacrificing a good deal of wine to end up with a small bit of brandy. Still, I think that the flavors would lend themselves quite well to the endeavor.
Still very wet here so no work on clearing the site, much less excavation. However it is a good sign that captain Rob called to ask about bringing the bulldozer out to be ready to start should it dry out. This damn excavation which was originally scheduled for February might just happen this year..
To those who follow this for that aspect of the blog, I promise more timely updates, pictures, and details once the build begins.