We have officially wrapped up our picking season as of Saturday, September 18th! The winery is still abuzz with activity and will be for a few more weeks as the last picks become wine, but it feels great to have gotten so much done.
Harvest started on Friday, August 13th, when we picked just under 3 tons destined for a special, sparkly project. We treat this as a warmup, an opportunity to dust off the cobwebs (so to speak) and get ready for the season. The thick of harvest started August 19th at midnight with the crew working until dawn, picking of about 15 tons from Hallberg Ranch.
August was very cool with fog staying low throughout most days. This slowed the ripening of the grapes and allowed us to pick each block exactly when we wanted to. When the fog broke at the end of August and the vines sped up their ripening, our team kicked into high gear and picked over 20 tons every night, six nights a week, all from Hallberg Ranch. We did our last pick at Hallberg Ranch on Saturday, September 11th, after getting rained out at 3am on the morning on September 10th.
On Monday, September 13th, we started picking at Pinot Hill. This vineyard is much steeper, so the crew can only pick about 12-15 tons a night, about 20% less than they can do at Hallberg Ranch. It takes a lot more time and energy to get up and down the rows, but our skilled team takes it in stride and makes it looks easy. After six days of picking, everything was off the vines and we wrapped our operation on the 18th!
Our yields were just about exactly what we expected, right in the sweet spot. That is only possible because of the hard work and attention our vineyard crew has given the the vines every day throughout the growing season. All spring and summer they work to balance the vines’ growth and ripening through leaf removal and thinning, to ensures high quality grapes which go onto make incredible wines. The mark of this vintage was very small berries, a winemaker’s dream for flavorful and intense wines!
Both David and our clients are ecstatic about the quality of the fruit. I can report that the winery smells incredible, and the wines taste just as good. There is already a lot of wine that has gone to barrels, and more going in everyday. We are keeping the energy going, and would like to thank you all for following along as we did so. The song and artist recommendations we’ve received through Instagram are greatly appreciated! Soon, in turn, we will be able to share the fruits of our labors with you.
— Mari Jones