From the Ground Up
Harvest has begun, a little on the late side, thanks mostly to Mother Nature. I think I should just do a weather report in my newsletter! The early varieties where we have been checking the sugar are Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Gewurztraminer, and Chardonnay. The 2018 crop looks normal in size and will take us until late October to get picked.
Some of our new projects, like grafting some Viognier to Cabernet Sauvignon, looked a little scary at the start but now look really good. We had the heaviest rainstorm of the year the day we started grafting. We have plenty of empty tanks and empty barrels for the new vintage. Megan and Ian are looking for some interns for the harvest - our experience with interns is that they need a chaperone!
Our August Vineyard Tour got to be really exciting when we reached the Goodchild Ranch and the gate was locked and the portable potty was nowhere to be found. I located a weak spot in the fence and went looking for Andy to kick it down, to the applause of everyone on the buses! It was a fun day with fun people and several funny things along the way.
2017 Chardonnay, Goodchild Vineyard: Barrel fermented in mostly neutral oak with 16% new French oak barrels, the alcohol is a little less than in the past. We decided to pick these Chardonnay grapes earlier than usual for slightly higher acidity for a wine that resembles Chablis. As a result, this wine may take a little bit of time to soften and needs to be aerated a little bit when you open the bottle. A little bit of time swirling in the glass will enhance this wine, which makes a great pairing with simple salmon dishes, cold crab, and pasta with light butter sauce.
2015 Pinot Noir, Goodchild “High 9”: 2015 was one of the lowest yielding crops in the last 20 years. Both bunch size and berry size were small resulting in pretty intense wines. “High 9” had one of the more decent crops in our vineyard that year. It has been consistent in quality and this one is no exception. The 2015 vintage has great color, flavor, and was made with some of our newer barrels. This one scored 90 pts at Wine Enthusiast and is an early release to Wine Club.
I expect the Harvest Party to be a little early this year as we may still be picking! Hope you can join us.
I need to make a comment on this 100th edition of the newsletter. Putting up with Anjie every month to write this column is a lifelong burden, one that puts a spark in what we do.