Louis Lucas is one of the folks who pioneered grape growing in Santa Barbara County, beginning with his partnership in the historic Tepusquet Vineyard. Back in those early days, planting a vineyard was seen as a risky business. There weren't very many wineries in the county and it wasn't yet clear if the bigger North Coast wineries would be willing to purchase grapes from such a supposedly warm area in Southern California.
After a warm winter, March has come in with more than three weeks of freezing night time temperatures. We can be thankful that none of our buds have pushed. Otherwise, we would have some serious problems.
Solvang is one of the most charming communities on the Central Coast, but locals love it as home to some of the world’s most extravagant pastries. The Danish town is chock full of fantastic bakeries, with delicious butter cookies and Danishes to die for.
The renowned Aebleskiver, which means “pancake puffs” in Danish, are addicting and will melt in your mouth.
A warm spring has really pushed our grapevines and we’re already seeing bloom. With the good winter rains, vines really look healthy, vigorous, and have great color. Our recent heat spell has pushed us even further, although the latest forecast is for a cooling trend and potential showers. It’s all part of farming!
This harvest started the first week of August and ended the second week of October - the earliest start and finish in my 43 years of harvesting grapes in Santa Barbara County. One consolation is that we will have had time to prepare for the Harvest Party. Things should be in great shape to enjoy the festivities.
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.