What's Happening At Massbach Ridge Winery

Grape Pruning=Wine Sculpting

Pruning= cutting 90% of a grapevine’s growth from last year to develop a balance between quantity and quality.

It’s SPRING!  We are outside full-time during the month of March sculpting this year’s vintage of fruit. #wineriesinspring

Watch –Peggy Pruning a Frontenac plant

If the vines are left on their own, each vine will look more like a bush with all of last year’s buds growing another shoot.  As a farmer, this sounds okay.  More growth=more yield.  BUT, the quality of fruit would be terrible.

Here are a few of the issues if the vine was left unpruned –

  • Smaller bunches
  • Too much vegitation keeps the fruit from getting sunlight
  • Too much vegitation keeps moisture from dew and rain lingering too long promoting fungal growth… yuck
  • The many, many small bunchs will not ripen before the leaves fall

TAKE HOME –   No Pruning=Exponential Mess=Poor Wine Quality

Because of our committment to high quality wine, we take great care to created a quality/quantity balance on each vine.  Yes, each vine.  More fruiting buds will be left on a vigorous plant than one that show less growht fromthe previous years.

Well, enough yacking.  I’m going outside!!

Take care friends and come out soon to see the manicured vineyard. #estatewinery

Cheers,

Peggy

March!?!?!

March means full-time pruning in Massbach but Old Man Winter wasn’t done.  This week brought pelting snow and temperatures that are making even the vines shiver.  Needless, to say, we took a few days off from pruning.

Until next week,

Cheers,

Peggy

for a video, please click the link below

https://www.facebook.com/peggy.harmston/videos/10212125475796537/

 

Cabin Fever Wine Tasting 2018

Tired of the cold? Feeling a bit feverish for spring? We can cure that with a little hot spiced wine! Our spiced red wine is warmed to perfection and is sure to warm your body and soul.  We will have wine tasting available as well as special tastings of a few new vintages!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Time: 11 AM – 5 PM

Cost: $5

 

Reservations

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Cold temps and the Vines?

Mother Nature has been throwing us plenty of cold temps this winter.  On top of the hill in Massbach, we have seen as low as -14F so far in 2018.  Do these cold temps affect the vines?  No…… but? read on……….

The vines we grow are rated to survive temperatures as low as -40F.  We saw lows like this back in 2014.  The several acres of Vignoles we grow do not tolerate temperatures so low but tend survive.  The truck may split and die but the roots live on.  We then start retraining the vine and look forward to the vintage two years down the road.  I think the Vignoles will be just fine this year IF all we experienced is a couple of weeks with lows at -5F .

But!?  In between the sub-zero temps the past couple of weeks, warm streaks start making us think of spring.  The vines do the same and may start relaxing, maybe start some juices flowing again. The seesaw of drastic temperatures is what may be the most harmful for the vine.

Vines in cold dormancy will sleep off the low temps until warmer temps wake the roots and they start taking in groundwater up through the vine.  If this happens and another cold streak hits, the vine is more subject to crack and split causing considerable damage to the truck.

What will we do?  Sit and wait. Stay warm. Drink some wine.  East some cheese. And be thankful for all that Mother Nature give us.

 Cheers,

Peggy

Winter Tours and Tastings

Big snowflakes fell on Dec. 11th and covered everything! I’m sure we will get many more days of snow to lighten our hearts.  But, regardless of the type of weather, we receive this winter, we will be busy working with 2017’s wines; tweaking, filtering, bottling……

The tasting room always stays open and busy through the winter too.  Come out for some wine when you get itchy to get out of the house.  We will be glad to show you around!

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM ALL OF US AT MASSBACH RIDGE WINERY!

Blessings to you and yours during this festive season!

Thank you for enjoying Massbach wines and the wonderful times throughout the year.  We look forward to the year to come.

Cheers,

Peggy, Megan, Travis, Teresa, Nick and Nancy

Holiday Wine & Cheer!

We invite you out to Massbach Ridge to partake in holiday cheer.

Please join us on Saturday, December 16 to sit around the fire and enjoy Christmas carols with wine.  Mike Kelly and Mr. Ed will be entertaining from 1pm to 4pm.

We hope to see you personally to tell you Merry Christmas!

If you can’t make it out, we will be shipping on Dec. 4th, 11th, and 18th and would love to send you some cheer!Family by Fire

Massbach Nouveau 2017

Celebrate the new estate-grown wine that has been artfully produced for you this summer! Join us for the 1st release of the 2017 vintage and tours of the winery. Get ready for a great experience! Events, pairings, and tastings throughout Jo-Daviess county.

What is Nouveau Wine?

November 17th-19th around the world will be celebrating 2017’s new wine.

The French tradition is an early indicator of the quality of wine of this year’s vintage.

Nouveau wine is traditional made without crushing or pressing the grapes until the fermentation is complete inside the grape itself.  A process called Carbonic Masceration.

A wild fruit and elderberry flavor resulted in the past when I followed these protocols.  I didn’t like it.

So instead , the Massbach Nouveau represents the “free run” of Marquette and Foch grapes.  The light pressing of the new grapes.

Enjoy our Nouveau wine that is light and and has magnificscent cranberry flavors.!

Peggy

Time to be Thankful

With November in full swing, I cannot help but to be very thankful for a bountiful harvest; the wonderful people that help us picked and everyone that is a fan of Massbach wines.

If you were out here this fall you may have seen our new addition shown in the picture.

“Red” joined the Massbach Winery family this year and proves that everyone gets tired during a long day of harvest – even puppies.

Now, let’s talk wine!  New wines are settling in the tanks and barrels.  We are getting a couple ready to bottle very soon.

Massbach Nouveau will be release November 17th- the traditional Nouveau weekend.

This is the second year I’ve used some Marquette grapes with Marechal Foch for the young wine.  The wine has a beautiful rose’ color and has prominent cranberry aromas and flavors.

The second wine we are readying to bottle is a new batch of Massbach Reserve.  After over a year in oak barrels, the Frontenac wine shows off chocolate and berry notes.

Join us for Nouveau weekend November 17th-19th to sample these and other estate wines.

See you soon,

Peggy