From the Ground Up
It is November and we are still picking Pinot Noir. Normally, we would be done by the 15th of October. The weather has been great. Grapes have been slow to ripen. Crop size is normal in some varieties and to the heavy side in other varieties. We have just about completed harvesting for outside wineries. We have been harvesting for ourselves right from the start. With the good weather, we have been able to pick the grapes at optimal levels which will result in some exceptional wines. For those of you attending our Harvest Party, you may have to walk around the fermentation bins. You will be able to smell the fermentation in the air.
2016 Sparkling Wine: We have been making Sparkling Wine since 2000. Each year, we end up with a Sparkling Wine that is full of excitement, flavor, bubbles, and fun. This is our original and standard bearer which is half Pinot Noir and half Chardonnay, picked on the same day and co-fermented. This one has some uniqueness in flavor. You get a hint of the Chardonnay character. We have been playing around with sugar levels. Normally for Sparkling Wine we pick at sugars from 18-20° Brix. We try to pick the Pinot Noir at lower levels and we began experimenting with picking the Chardonnay at higher levels in this vintage. It is better than good and a reason to celebrate any day.
2015 Cabernet Sauvignon “Cote del Sol”: This wine has been the star of the show for several years. It scores high and is well liked. I always say it is amazing what a little bit of Syrah can do to Cabernet. In the Cote del Sol, we co-ferment - we pick the grapes on the same day and ferment them together. Cabernet has all the structure and it doesn’t take much Syrah to round off the edges and make it smooth and drinkable sooner. This one comes from a low crop year and shows very intense flavor and unbelieveable color. Due to the low yields, this vintage is in short supply and has been released at its lowest price to Wine Club members. By January, it will be chasing “Clone 6” in price so if you want more, the time is now.
We are approaching my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. There is always a lot to be thankful for in our country, our family, our friends, even our Wine Club members! I have something extra to be thankful for. My health has been tested. I am so fortunate for the care and the insight to what life is all about. God bless you all. Happy Thanksgiving.