As promised, the Orion label is here! We submitted the label for approval last night, and at the time of submission, the TTB advised that approvals were taking about 30 days. So we are cautiously optimistic that we will have Orion approved by 15 May, printed by 30 May, and on the shelf by 7 June. We also submitted the Coming Home 2011 label at the same time, so we have similar expectations for our Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Orion label is our first label with blue in it. The others have been predominantly red. I like it. Like all of the others, Dianne created the look. We did not vintage date the Orion, not because we could not, but because it made the look cleaner. So while technically Orion is an non-vintaged [NV] wine, all of the fruit came from 2012.
I am excited about this wine. It has floral and green apple notes on the nose with a very crisp acidity. We think it will pair very nicely with a spicy curry chicken, or for something milder, baked tilapia with a lemon-butter-caper sauce.
We are getting ready for our 2013 planting, coming up Saturday. Right now, the forecast is calling for the coolest day in the last two weeks, but it looks like the rain will stay away for a dry planting day. We are adding 400 additional Petit Manseng vines this year, giving us a total of ~1.1 acres of that variety.
Petit Manseng is an exciting grape, one historically from the Languedoc region in southwest France, but it seems to have an affinity for the mid-Atlantic US. It accumulates sugar well, retains a very nice acidity even with really high [for east coast] sugar content. In combination, it gives the winemaker options to finish the wine dry or to leave some sugar and finish it off-dry or even sweet.
Exciting times for activity in the vineyard. Spring really is finally here, and we have seen the first few buds start to break in the Petit Manseng and Sangiovese. Not widespread bud break yet, but we do have a touch of greenery showing up. By this time next week, we should have 100% bud break in the Sangiovese and Petit Manseng, and the Cabernet Franc will be close behind, with some shoots popping in the Cabernet Sauvignon too.