Have you ever pulled a bottle of rose or white wine from the fridge only to behold a beautiful cloudy appearance inside the bottle? Or, on a much less harmful (in fact, completely harmless) state, found titrates (colorless crystals) clinging to the cork? If so, it probably was a result of the wine not being stabilized.

Someone mentioned to me the other day that our ’08 Viognier blend was cloudy–it isn’t, and it won’t be. It does, however, throw a sediment–like a quality red wine. I know our white is not cloudy because we cold stabilize. We have jacketed tanks that would allow us to run glycol around them, thus reducing the temperature inside the tanks to below freezing–28 degrees seems to be the magic number. At AmByth, we take a simpler approach: when the weather is going to drop below freezing over night, we move the whites and rose out into the breezeway between the winery and the little house. And we have a trend this week–every night the forecast calls for lows between 23-30. So we just move the tanks, barrels and carboys outside for the night! Typically, the wind is funneled down this breezeway, bringing the temperatures down even more. And viola! cold stabilization occurs naturally. You’ll see the photo above of the wine outside–you see here about 200 cases of wine total. Before bottling, we further check by taking samples and putting them in the fridge for a week (I know, geniuses at work here!). If there is a problem, they will cloud with the cold. Red wines also need to stabilize, but they do this with extended oak barrel aging (which we do here at AmByth).

Other methods of stabilizing wines are fining and/or very fine filtering. At AmByth, we do neither. We belong to the camp that believes this is stripping the wine of some of those finer, more delicate elements. Then of course, with fining and filtering, there are large sulfite additions that are necessary–well, by now you should our stance on that!

So enjoy our stabilized yet still sedimented white and red wines. The 07’s are just now starting to throw a more solid sediment. As with all fine wines, decanting is a good idea (and fun)!

We are so very happy to have Dutchess and Fiona on the farm. They are our miniature Highland cows, delivered last week. Dutchess is 3 years old, she is the mother of Fiona (5 months) with another calf due in March. We plan on keeping them at AmByth as dairy cows. And of course we plan on composting their manure. Phillip and I specifically looked for dairy cows with horns, as we believe they are a “perfect” cow–in their complete fullness, without any body parts removed, thus making their manure more potent and unadulterated. We believe they are “unstressed” and that this will show in their manure.

We would like to wish you all a very merry and blessed Christmas. This is a special time of the year, full of celebrations and traditions, as well as a time of reflection and renewal. May peace be upon you, and may you know ultimate Love this season.