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Four years, many wines ago...

We've picked, crushed, smushed, and fermented our çylek grapes. Yesterday we filtered and drained the wine from our 500 liter and 50 liter barrel of mush to begin the racking process. We moved the wine to a 200 liter barrel inside to rest for a few days and then we filter the wine into another barrel to rest again. The mush will rest for raki to brewed in few weeks.

We repeat this process every few days to remove the muck and sediment from the wine for the first seven to ten days.

Once the wine stabilizes we will move the wine into our oak barrels to age. Tasting the wine at nearly every stage from sugary sweet grape juice, bubbly sweet grape juice, smooth grape juice with less sugar, and on day 14 it taste more like wine and less like juice. Young wine is always a great introduction for people that are new to wine. It's got a lot of the great flavor without the punch of a mature wine. This round will yield about 60 bottles of wine. But we aren't done with our season. We will be harvesting the rest of our ripened grapes this week to start the process over again. If you are nearby come by and we'll let you stomp some of the next round.

The grapes is not the only thing that is ripe. We've picked several pomegranates and squeezed out amazingly sweet juice from our garden and even several from the orchard.

And our quince tree is full and ready for picking. We will be peeling, slicing and preserving the quince in the form of jam.

The garden is still producing beans, peppers, eggplants, brussel sprouts, watermelons, and pumpkins. Our garlic, onions, cabbage, and leeks are growing fast.

The remaining producing trees are the olives, walnuts, jujubes, persimmons, orange and lemons.

I fly our small drone a few times a month to capture the changes. I put together a few shots over the last six months. We live in a beautiful bowl where our sneezes and laughter echo around. The mount behind the house has some magical views. Today marks four years here in Albania. One of the many questions I hear often, is why Albania...my dear people, why not!

Our beloved property has evolved in many ways over the last four years. One project underway includes the destruction of an old stone shed built by my husband and his father in the 90s. We did consider keeping a few walls but the condition is just too far gone. We are planning a steel-framed building in it's place to store our wine and raki equipment, and additional cold storage for the pomegranates. And one day accomodations and tasting room. Just need to sell a few more books.

Happy Fall!









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