Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Here is a fun video we quickly made on Hattie, the ghost of Del Rio Vineyards.

Have a sweet and safe Halloween! Click here for some sweet saving on Del Rio wine.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rock Point Bridge - Celebration

As the Rock Point Bridge celebration draws closer I find it fitting we learn a little bit more about the history of the bridge.

Bridge History

The Rock Point Bridge was unveiled in 1920, a time when Oregon's paved roads totaled only 620 miles and its designer, Conde B. McCullough, had barely settled in as Oregon's state bridge engineer. McCullough would later go on to leave a legacy of beautiful bridges along Oregon's coast. Both his trademark aesthetics and efficient, custom-designed spans are present in the Rock Point Bridge.

McCullough illustrated how form could complement function and the nearby landscape. Using a reinforced concrete deck arch, he designed a 505-foot span bridge over one of the rockiest sections of the Rogue River, hence the name Rock Point.
According to Historic Highway Bridges of Oregon, construction was a challenge: "Because of the great depth of water at the bridge location, it was impossible to build falsework under the main arch span. Thecontractor (Parker and Banfield, Portland) solved the problem by building a temporary wood truss span over the bridge to give support to the forms."

The bridge's south approach was replaced in 1953. In 2000, the Rock Point Bridge underwent expedited repair work to strengthen the crossbeams, which lifted a 10,000-pound weight restriction on the span.
For more information ab
out the rehabilitation work, visit the project
web site:

Conde B. McCullough

McCullough arrived in Oregon in 1916 to teach engineering at Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University). A pioneer of the movement to create a well-planned American highway system, McCullough argued that bridges should be built efficiently, economically, and aesthetically. He became Oregon's state bridge engineer in 1919. His legacy of beautiful bridges lives today and most of his bridges are considered significant landmarks. Historical photographs of Oregon bridges are available online at the ODOT History Center:

SOURCE: Oregon Department of Transportation.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Home Winemaking Installment #3

Wow, what a difference a week makes. Today, Jen and I went out again to test the Viognier and our results are reflecting ripening grapes.

Check out our new data:
⁰Brix = 22
pH = 3.33
TA = 12
Taste = I can say “yummy” this time around. Not nearly as tart.

The numbers are looking better, however, still not quite time to pick.

Enjoy a few pictures of the "testing" process:

Measuring Brix with the refractometer.

Checking out our pH.

Jen attempting to pull a sample.

Lindsey is titrating to determine the TA.

Measuring the TA - Struck out twice before realizing we forgot the coloring agent (Phenolphthalein).

Yes, we got it to turn pink!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Restaurant Tips

Ordering a bottle of wine can be a process in a fine dining experience. The first step is to select the wine you would like with dinner and the second is to know what to do when your bottle of wine arrives. Snooth, a website devoted to improving the wine online shopping experience. Snooth is a great source for wine education. Recently they included a great article on wine service in restraints and the six steps to know and follow.

Check it out.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Home Winemaking Installment #2

⁰Brix – Ready or Not? - Determining Ripeness
How does a winemaker, viticulturalist, harvest intern, or wine enthusiast know when to pick the grapes? It boils down to four main categories: sweetness, acidity, pH, & flavor.

Here is our (Jen & Lindsey) first test of the Viognier: Jen picking and Lindsey squishing our Viognier sample.

The sweetness or sugar content of the grapes is measured in degrees ⁰Brix. Through the process of fermentation the sugar is converted to alcohol. The ideal level for Brix is different for each wine, whether red, white or dessert. The higher the sugar content, the higher the final alcohol content can be. For white wines, the ideal is between 21 and 23 ⁰Brix, for Red 23-25⁰Brix and as high as possible for dessert wines.Here, Jen is looking through a refractometer to measure the Brix. Our Viognier is at 20.5, which is not quite high enough.

pH:pH is both a microbial and chemical importance. It drives reaction toward or against the designated goal. The level of pH is incredibly important in producing a quality wine, and it is important to always monitor. The appropriate range for white is 3.2-3.5 and for reds 3.3 to 3.6.

Lucky for us, Nicolas, our new harvest intern, was in the lab and willing to help with our TA and pH testing. Our pH was at 3.31.

:The acidity in grapes is mostly Tartaric and Malic acids and some Citric, Acetic, and Suscinic acids. The acidity determines how tart the finished wine is and contributes to overall quality. Acidity is measure in g/L and at Harvest, should be between 7-9 g/L for whites and 6-8 g/L for reds.

Our TA was at 15, signaling our Viognier is not ripe enough.

Flavor: Flavors progress through the ripening process. The white wine grapes go from bean, veggie, and grassy flavors to citrus and then to honey and raisin. The red grapes start with a green pepper or olive flavor and transition to berries, fruit, and spice then ending with flavors of jam and raisin. All that said, each varietal has its own unique flavor profile.

The overall appearance and condition of the grape is also important to consider. There can be damage from birds, mold, or sunburn. If the grapes are not ripening or are falling apart, it is time to process. The weather also highly influences the schedule of picking. Cool, dry weather is ideal as cold fruit is the best.

The Viognier was quite tart. All measurements indicated that we need to wait to pick our viognier. We are looking forward to harvesting some fruit but will just have to keep watching and waiting.

SOURCE: Donovan, Linda, 2010 Home Winemaking Class, September 8 & 9, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Drink Pink - Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Drink Pink at Del Rio. Support breast cancer awareness by purchasing Del Rio's Rose Jolee.

We are offering a 6 pack bundle of 2009 Rose Jolee for $60.00. For every bundle purchased, Del Rio will donate $5.00 to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure project. The promotion will continue throughout the month of October.

Pink (Rose Jolee) Details:
Delightfully pink, with a fragrance of honeysuckle and roses, this delicately sweet wine is the perfect partner for fun! Aromas leap out of the glass in an explosion of peach and tangerine. The flavors of citrus balance well with the aromas and, a slight spritz completes this fun wine.

Composed of 80% Early Muscat, 10% Merlot, & 10% Malbec
Retail price: $15.00/bottle

The Breast Cancer Awareness Bundle is available for purchase in the Tasting Room and our online store.