What a year! We all thought this would be an early harvest because of the warmer then normal spring and a hot August. But with the cool weather in September all of a sudden we were waiting and waiting. The tanks and barrel were ready but no grapes. This can be a little disconcerting to a winemaker. But finally the grapes sugars started to come up slowly.
The Estate Chardonnay came off first and with nice fully ripened flavors. The first barrel samples are showing nice pear, apple and nectarine fruit with just the right amount of sweet French oak coming through on the finish. This could be one of our best Chards yet.
October 3rd we got the Zinfandel in after a short rainstorm. No really
problem at first but as some bunch-rot started to show up, our crush crew
had to sort through every grape cluster picking out and removing ANY that
showed signs of rot. Now that I have had a chance to taste the young Zin
out of the barrel the wine is looking and tasting very nice. Great color
and big fruit. All that sorting really paid off!
The Merlot was harvested Oct. 10th through the 20th.The berries were fully ripe at about 24% sugar and when we pressed off the wine after fermentation the beautiful dark red color really showed off! This years' Merlot looks very promising.
The Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc were harvested on Nov. 7th and 8th just in time as the first frost hit on the 10th of Nov. Both of these grapes came in at 24+ sugars and a good P.H. of 3.35-3.50. This year we plan on producing a Meritage red blend featuring our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
As we approach the end of November we are pressing off the last of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The winery is full and the season is finally winding down. It’s been a great harvest and the 2000 vintage looks outstanding!
I hope to have barrel-tasting updates of the new wines on an ongoing basis so check back and see what’s going on at the winery!