We finished bottling our 2021 vintages just in time, because harvest is coming earlier than ever in Sonoma County this year! Our crop looks good and the vines are healthy. In some areas of the vineyards we have already begun picking for the 2022 vintage! Meanwhile, our vineyard crew is also finishing up thinning a few later-ripening blocks. Sampling grapes from these areas tell us that they’ll be ready soon as well.
Overall, this growing season has been kind to us. In Spring we were missed by the frost that some vineyards in our region were affected by. Summer has been nice and cool so far, with lots of fog lingering well into the afternoons on most days. We’re expecting higher temperatures for the next week which will push ripening along nicely.
Even in the severe drought affecting regions throughout California, our yields look to be on target (about 3 tons/acre) or just below and the vines are showing no signs of stress. We attribute this to our dry farming; the vines are accessing water way down in the soil that may have rained years ago.
Last week, we kicked off the harvest picking a few rows to make sparkling wine. There wasn’t enough to fill up the press, so we had a special team building exercise for our harvest interns! They stomped on the fruit (also called foot treading) to break get the juice from the grapes. Like the Hallberg Blanc we don’t ferment this wine on the skins, so we need to separate them right away to keep the juice white.
With warmer weather and happy vines, the grapes will continue to ripen evenly and beautifully. We can’t wait to see the wines they will make!