We are nearly 75% of the way through harvest. So far, we’ve only had an inch of rain, two heat waves, two fires, and a near frost. Thankfully, the weather was good before and after each of those events so, believe it or not, everything is looking good in the vineyard.
Rose' has become an overwhelming choice for summer sipping over the last few years. In California, with the temperate climate, we drink it year-round. But the fly-over country between the two coasts is finally catching on to how refreshing a delicious rose' can be. It would seem that the popularity of rose' has reached critical mass. I mean, you know that when Apothic, Kendall-Jackson, Menage a Trois, Noble Vines and Dark Horse jump on the rose' bandwagon, the bloom just might be off the rose, so to speak. I'm not saying any of these bottlings are bad; several of them are quite tasty. But in the great scheme of things, many of them are mass produced, marketed to appeal to a certain customer profile and price point.
Wouldn't you rather indulge yourself with a rose' from a Santa Barbara County producer who makes rose' in a style that the winemaker simply likes to drink? No corporate committees or targeted ads; just the best darn rose' that he or she can make every year. Here are some from this year's crop that I enjoyed.
A full-bodied aged sparkler with a rich complexity, fine mousse, and ultra fine bubbles, this Champagne boasts a brilliant bouquet of crisp apple and grapefruit flavors and a lasting finish of creamed buttery bread
Harvest is in the air. It has been a very good growing season. Our crop looks to be twice the size of what we saw in 2015. A good chance to break even! There were some issues with water but we have had enough to make the crop. Last year our Pinot Grigio crop was almost non-existent. This year, I would say it is back to normal.
We started pruning in early December. It takes 35 workers about 90 days to prune our vineyards. It is one of the most tedious jobs that we do. Selection of the proper canes and spurs will determine what kind and what size of crop we have.
Just returned from a wonderful trip to Bordeaux, France. It was a great experience to see some of the finest vineyards in the world. We were accompanied by the nicest people you could ever meet. When you think of Bordeaux, you think of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon but Merlot really dominates with over 60% of all the plantings. As a grape grower, I was surprised at how cool and wet it can be. I’m always amazed at the variety of conditions under which people can grow grapes. I was impressed with the care given to their vines and with the 500 years of history.