Well, it would seem harvest is over. Most of the grapes made it into the winery and they are calling for a frost tonight......maybe another tomorrow night. Seems that would end it, wouldn't it?
But wait! There are still grapes hanging out there that look pretty good. These are what people call the Christmas berries. They are the grapes that did not get harvested with the rest because they were not ripe at the time. Occasionally, we get to pick them at a later date if they hold up and continue to ripen. We had several tons in 2005 that turned into a spectacular blend that we call Hobson's Choice at our winery.
What we did was harvest several varieties in the same bins and crushed them together and fermented them on the skins. It was aged in used French oak barrels for 30 months. The results, which we originally called "field blend", turned out to be quite excellent. A fun experiment indeed.
The term "Hobson's Choice" (and you can look this story up on the internet for more details), comes from English literature. There was indeed a man named Hobson who owned a horse stable in England. He was tired of people coming there to rent his horses and requesting different ones. Therefore, he resolved to have a horse ready at all times and, when someone came to ride, they got his choice of horse. Thus the term Hobson's Choice.
Now, given the last name of the owners of my winery are named Hobson, and no doubt have some ancestry dating back to this man, they decided to have a wine named Hobson's Choice. This is the first release and, it is expected, the wine will be different every time it is bottled....and so it will be the Hobson's choice as to what they put in the bottle. It is a bit of a radical idea in the wine world but the story is great and people love it.
Hobson's Choice is only available from the winery and is a rich, dry red wine made basically from a combination of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Gris.