Is it possible that we are just a few weeks from harvest? Yes! Time marches on and the vines have changed to a more mature color of green. The canes went from dark green to yellow and then brown, a good sign of maturity.
Our newly planted Sangiovese and some of the grafting that we have done to our Italian varieties are all doing well. If a grafted vine does not take, we might decide to replace it or use a layer cane for replacement or, if the stump is still good, we might decide to regraft. It is very important that you pamper the grafts and prevent the grafts from washing out. To solve this problem, we take a girdling knife and cut the stump and bleed the vine to prevent the excess moisture in the vine from washing out the graft. Nothing that we do in the vineyard is simple.
Over the past few weeks, we have been bottling wines from last year and the year before. It seems that these wines get better with every passing year.
2019 Pinot Grigio: Last year, the Pinot Grigio grapes from Santa Maria were among the first picked. We switched from Los Alamos to Santa Maria Pinot Grigio with this vintage. Santa Maria is definitely cooler and the environment gives us a wine that is a little brighter, slightly higher in acid, and with more elevated flavors. Most Pinot Grigios are not nearly as intense as this wine. You will be impressed with the nose. It is pretty. How often have you found a Pinot Grigio that you enjoy sniffing? Opening this one should be fun.
2019 Barbera: Intense, black, soft, jammy - you just want to hold this wine in your mouth and let it soak a while. This is a wine destined for the dinner table to serve along with a full-flavored meal. This Barbera doesn’t need to be aged. It just needs to be enjoyed!
2018 Classico: In your last club newsletter, we talked about this wine’s half-brother, Riserva. The difference between the two wines is in the blend percentages. This one has more Sangiovese in the blend while Riserva has more Cabernet. The result is that the Classico drinks a little easier, is a little softer, and a little more lush, all thanks to the Sangiovese. This is another example of the proven great blend of the well-structured Cabernet with the medium-bodied, easier-to-drink Sangiovese. You could enjoy it in the afternoon as a cocktail red, but it is more fit for the dinner table. This one speaks Italian.
Summer is almost gone. Mask requirements have returned to Santa Barbara County. They still want us to be bandits! They just keep holding us up. Most importantly, be safe, take care of the family, and let freedom ring.