From the Ground Up
Sixty days until harvest. It seems like yesterday that we were pruning and being thankful for the terrific rains that we had. The vines this year are a little larger than normal thanks to the wet winter. All that rain helped to cleanse the salts in the soil, making for better nutrient availability. Usually by this time we have already irrigated three or four times. This year, we are only half way through the first irrigation. The soil profile was filled by the winter rains. With the large vines this year, we have a little more work on our hands in managing the canopy. Regarding the crop size, I would say that we are in the normal range with some variation between varieties.
2018 Viognier: Each year, Viognier seems to become more important to us. Originally we thought it would become a wildly popular variety, and that did not happen. In the meantime, we have learned more about how to grow it and how to vinify it. It really makes a nice wine on its own. This vintage is a good example. We have been using Viognier to brighten the flavors in wines like our Rosé and Syrah, and we make a Late Harvest Viognier. This one reminds me of Sauvignon Blanc with its full flavor, yet it is a little more refined and delicate. Tasting Room visitors still have a hard time pronouncing the name: ‘vee-ON-yay’. The variety has earned its place in your summer wine selections.
2017 Hidden Asset: It is no longer hidden! This wine has become one of the most popular wines that we make. The goal with this wine was to make a red that tasted really good without relying on Cabernet Sauvignon. These other varieties, especially Malbec and Merlot, are great varieties with an emphasis on softness but with flavors that stand out. The wine is lush but still very dignified with spice and rich berry character with a hint of wood, but not overdone. It has a small amount of residual sugar which complements and adds to the mouthfeel and makes it more luscious. You almost can’t stand how good it tastes! This wine is the right variety mix of Malbec, Merlot, Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Cabernet Franc. If David Johannsen was still with us, he would laugh when I say it is the best one yet.
Everything is upside-down this harvest. The Harvest Party is happening before harvest and the Vineyard Tour is somewhere in the middle. Andy and Anjie do a great job.
Enjoy the summer!