Up on the 71st floor of the US Bank in Los Angeles, I enjoyed an informative luncheon at the elegant 71Above restaurant overlooking the city to the mountains and sea. At my table sat Michael Lewellen, the son of Royce Lewellen from Lucas & Lewellen Winery. Michael shared with me a little bit about himself and the history of his father’s winery with Louie Lucas.
Once crushed, the grapes were left on their pigmented skin for several hours, then gently pressed and the delicious pink juice was cold fermented to preserve fresh flavors of berries, wet stone, and alyssum blossoms.
We are at the beginning of what could be our earliest season yet. Little rain and warm weather have pushed the grapes early. Of course, now that they’re out about a foot, we are spending our nights watching for frost. Fortunately, each night has been borderline, but we did need to be there in case temperatures dropped near daybreak. We’re really just babysitters of the vineyard.
We have had a different kind of a winter with not much of anything in the way of frost, rain, or cold. Our vines look great. Our water supply so far is holding steady, and it looks like we’re going to have an early harvest.
We are still enjoying the remnants of winter and will finish pruning in ten or twelve days. That’s 450,000 reasons to be happy! With the lack of rain, we are starting to irrigate. A chance of rain is forecast for the next three days, which would be a great help.