Crush 2016

It was a beautiful week for a trip to Benton City!  The weather was crisp and warm, the sky was bright blue, and the vineyards along the way were heavy with grape clusters. 

After settling in we enjoyed stretching our legs during a long walk on the Richland Riverwalk and then had a delicious dinner at Tagaris Winery. We watched a beautiful sunset before going to bed, knowing we had an early wake-up and long day ahead. In the morning, our freshly picked grapes came out of the vineyard just as we arrived at Kiona. After weighing and transferring them to our totes they loaded the grapes into the truck where Brad secured them for the ride home. Kiona Vineyard is on Red Mountain and it is such a beautiful place. I never tire of taking pictures of the scenery and activity in this special spot. 

Back at home we are always so grateful for our willing crew!  Thank you to Dennis, Julie, Rian, and Izzie for all of your hard work!1500 pounds of beautiful grapes are now fermenting in the wine barn. We are excited to be adding another chapter to the JBradley Wine story with vintage 2016.  

Bottling Day

Finally, our 2013 wine was ready to be bottled!  We were overjoyed as our family and our friend Dennis arrived for the fun and festivities. It was a hard working and hilarious crew.  

We had two new machines to help with the job.  A 10-pad filter helped to fine  the wine as it poured into a new automatic bottling machine that filled 6 bottles simultaneously. Brad had worried about these new processes and had done several test runs (with water), so everything went smoothly. The only hiccup during the day was with our corker!  The handle broke about halfway through the job.  Bo tried using a make-shift handle but even with all of his cross fit training, he needed more leverage for this job.  We enjoyed a break together while Brad went to borrow one and we could finish. 

The weekend was a mix of work, laughter, recreation, and wonderful family time.  When we work together in the wine barn we are always reminded that one of the main reasons we enjoy this hobby so much is the time spent with family and friends. 

At the end of the day there are 46 new cases of Cabernet Sauvignon and Lemberger in the JBradley barn. It will rest for a few more months to let “the magic happen in the bottle” before we begin drinking it. 

As always, we celebrate the cycle from harvest to bottling!

Lunch for the crew

The crew, at work and play.  We thank them all!!

Bud Break

The annual growth cycle of grapevines is the process that takes place in the vineyard each year, beginning with bud break in the spring and culminating in leaf fall in autumn followed by winter dormancy. From a winemaking perspective, each step in the process plays a vital role in the development of grapes with ideal characteristics for making wine.
This is happening right here at JBradley, in our little row of grapevines. 


Continuing on our wine-making learning curve, this weekend we purchased bentonite, which, when blended with water creates a clay-like concoction.  After it rests for 24 hours it is whisked into a small amount of wine and then is blended with a larger amount of wine. It attracts particles that detract from wine clarity and drags them to the bottom of the container.  From there it is siphoned (or racked) off.  If we see that it works in this tester carboy we will then apply it to the whole barrel of Cabernet Sauvignon.  Each technique we try is new and interesting and worth documenting for the future.

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