This week, we are wrapping up brandy season. This has been a really tough year for grapes; most of the wineries have really struggled with the ridiculous amounts of rain we've gotten in September. Too much rain at this late date leaves grapes that are watery and flavorless, not very good for wine.
Fortunately for us, the bulk of our grapes were picked before the big September rains started, and we've received some very nice wine for making into brandy this year. The Seyval blanc was exceptional again this year, and the Chambourcin and Norton will make nice additions to the brandy. Norton is a new grape for us, and distilling it has proven very interesting. The grape is extremely floral and should offer some nice aromatic notes to the 2013 release of our 1757 brandy.
Wineries working with us this year on brandy are Tarara, Fabbioli, and Chrysalis. Thanks to all of you wonderful winemakers (Jordan, Doug and Melanie, and Alan) for your efforts.
As mentioned last month, for those of you awaiting the next batch of Pearousia pear brandy, just as soon as we get done with all those grapes, we'll be getting back to work on the pear brandy, aiming to get that out by late this year.
There are a variety of events planned for autumn that should prove entertaining and educational:
- October 8 - Bottling Workshop - We'll be bottling four barrels of Roundstone Rye. It's time to catch back up from the break we took while making brandy! This workshop is full, but if you have your spot reserved already, we'll see you on Saturday.
- October 15-16 - Fall Color Tour 2011 - Please join us all weekend for tastings and free tours. This is one of the most popular weekends for touring around Loudoun County and seeing local farms and businesses. Please stop in to check us out!
- October 15 - Oktoberfest - Join us for a traditional Oktoberfest in Hamilton on Saturday night. The price of admission includes all food and drink (provided by local butcher, Lothar), and proceeds go to a good cause. This is going to be one heck of a great evening!
- November 1 - WhiskyFest New York - If you've got your tickets already, you're in good shape, because this event is SOLD OUT! We'll be pouring our spirits at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square for this one of a kind whiskey festival.
For the full list of events, check our events page.
Cocktail for October - Castle Hill Cider Sour
How about a nice apple cider cocktail for autumn? This one is super simple to make, and really delicious!
2 oz Catoctin Creek eco-ganic Roundstone Rye
Castle Hill Celestial sparkling cider
Dash of Peychauds bitters
1 tsp superfine sugar
Fill a shaker with ice. Add the rye, sugar and bitters, and top off with cider. Shake well (holding tightly, since the carbonated cider will be under pressure!), and strain into a tumbler full of ice. Serve with a slice of apple.
See this cocktail and over fifty more on our cocktails page.
As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Facebook and Twitter pages, where you can stay up to date with the daily activities at the distillery. Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!
Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM
Scott & Becky