We just started with the second week of harvest and we are getting our pickers fine tuned. Father John Finley gave us all a blessing, which was badly needed and enjoyed by all! Growing grapes and making wine has a lot to do with the wonders of nature. Sometimes a little bit of divine guidance makes it work. We expected our first week to be very limited in our picking selection but surprisingly we ended picking over 70 tons. The Gewürztraminer was totally ready to go and in the Valley View Sauvignon Blanc, half the vineyard was already there, so we picked half of that for Gainey and half for ourselves.
The big challenge of harvest is being able to pick the grapes at the peak of perfection and get them scheduled with our winery and the many other wineries that we sell grapes to. Being able to see where the grapes are at the present and what they might do in either the next few hours or the next few days can make a huge difference in the resulting wines.
This year’s Vineyard Tour was something special, starting with the people that attended. We all had a great time with great weather and suffered through great wines! Hats off to Lynne’s lasagna and a beautiful day.
2014 “Goodchild” Chardonnay: Made from mostly old vine Chardonnay at the very cool Goodchild Vineyard and barrel fermented with a small amount of new oak. Emphasis is on the fruit and not the barrels. 2014 was a plentiful crop with plentiful growth on the vines which helped produce a well balanced maturity. Part of our original Goodchild Vineyard Chardonnay was grafted on to existing table grape vines, and those vines are beginning to show a little wear and tear. It is our intention to start to replace a few rows each year.
2012 Petite Sirah: We should continue talking about old vines. Our more than 35 year old Petite Sirah vines in Los Alamos continue to grow exceptional grapes. We limit the production to nearly 2 1/2 tons per acre. The vines produce grapes of a deep black color which passes on to the wine a super richness and makes it as smooth as silk. This wine has been a favorite of all who have tried it. It is a variety that just will not handle being rained on. The 2012 season was very kind and the grapes were able to reach full maturity whereas some years we are forced to pick early because of weather. It is the real deal and made for meat lovers.
We’re looking forward to the Celebration of Harvest event on October 8th at Old Mission Santa Ines, followed by our Winemaker Dinner at Aly’s Restaurant in Solvang. The night before, we will release three Champagnes at the Lucas & Lewellen Tasting Room, starting with the new 2013 Blanc de Noir and two versions of the 2012 with extended aging on the tirage.
Hope your summer was filled with great memories.