Harvest is in the air. It has been a very good growing season. Our crop looks to be twice the size of what we saw in 2015. A good chance to break even! There were some issues with water but we have had enough to make the crop. Last year our Pinot Grigio crop was almost non-existent. This year, I would say it is back to normal. This variety continues to be a favorite of white wine drinkers and also one of our best sellers as grapes. Our Pinot Grigio, which is grown in the cool climate of Los Alamos, makes for an outstanding wine. The only variety that thinks it is still 2015 is Malvasia Bianca. The crop is very small.
Thank you all for helping bring the number of bottles sold at Toccata up substantially this year. I did get a small laugh when I just saw that the Moscato di Santa Barbara was the #1 seller for the month. Low in alcohol and loaded with flavor with a few bubbles - it just makes summer more enjoyable. For those of you who are big on reds, don’t be afraid to try our dry 2012 Freisa. I was recently with a true expert on Italian wines and he had nothing but praise for this wine. I also want to put a plug in for the last few remaining bottles of the 2009 Late Harvest Muscat Canelli. The price is about to go up a little bit. I would put it on par with great late harvest producers.
2014 Ramato: In Italy they call it Ramato. It could almost be called Pinot Grigio Rosé. This wine has special appeal to me because it is amazing what a little bit of skin contact will do to Pinot Grigio. It gives it depth and additional flavors and is fun to look at. We make it two different ways: the traditional way through fermentation for a short period of time on the skins, or the way we make our regular white Pinot Grigio. Pinot Grigio is a red grape, a mutant of Pinot Noir. When we get down to the latter part of pressing, we start to get color from the skins. We finish the pressing into an additional tank. In squeezing the grapes we are able to get the color and flavor from the skins which is necessary to make this wine. A refreshing, flavorful, fermented dry wine - great with tacos or a chicken salad.
2014 Pinot Noir: This wine is better than good. It does Italians well to have this in their cellar. From both our Los Alamos vineyard and our Goodchild Vineyard in Santa Maria from sections that provide us with a little more character. This one is mostly Clone 667, which is our favorite clone, but also includes a clone called “Joseph Swan” (from a well known valley north of San Francisco). Limited in quantity and after you’ve tried it, you’d better act soon! 2014 was an outstanding growing year for Pinot Noir. Our L&L 2014 “High 9” Pinot Noir just won the Gold Medal at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. I get cherries in the nose and almost a dried cherry in the taste. It’s something special.
Now that harvest is here, for any of you pickers who are looking, we have work for you to do. I’d like to say we’d pay you with wine but it’s against the law! Harvest is the culmination of a year’s work. Always a challenge.