In our last bottling run of 2016, we bottled 2016 Iowa Steuben. The amount of wine was limited by the fruit we harvested, but we think the berry flavors, complemented by a nice hint of cinnamon on the finish, will make this wine a great complement to spicy foods or it will be very nice just by itself. It will settle down after bottling and we hope to release it sometime in the next few weeks.

The cellar team has focused on finishing up fining of our remaining white and some of our rosé wines. We have started blending these wines and getting them prepared for bottling. Our next bottling runs are scheduled for early January and will be Rockets Glare Rosé® and Sweethearts Rosé.

During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, we focused on barrel work. We moved the 2015 Marquette from several barrels to a stainless tank after we tasted each batch. We have a total of about 600 gallons of 2015 Marquette at this point. Some will be bottled as 2015 Iowa Marquette and the rest will be used in blends.

We will clean out the barrels and then move the 2016 Iowa Marquette from a stainless tank into the barrels. The 2016 Iowa Marquette is different from past vintages and we are hoping that some barrel aging will improve this wine.

We are also moving the 2016 Tawny Finalé from a stainless tank to several neutral barrels. This process was complicated by the fact that three of the four neutral barrels leaked and we struggled to get them wet enough so that the wood swelled and they stopped leaking.