Spring has sprung in our estate vineyards, and there’s so much to do! At Hallberg Ranch, our crew has begun mowing (to warm up the ground and help guard against frost) and turning the earth (to help seal in moisture for the year), as well as thinning out some of the extra buds on the vines so everything has enough space to flourish later in the growing season. Since it is still frost season, we’re keeping a keen eye on nighttime temperatures to ensure the vines have a healthy chance of producing great grapes.
In the winery, the winemaking team has just concluded an extensive review of our 2020 barrels, assessing the interactions between toasting levels, forest origins, individual clones, and our two vineyard sights. It’s a whole big process of doing a blind tasting with the team and a representative from the cooperage we work with, noting down any necessary adjustments to create the perfect synergy between our wines and the gorgeous French oak. We continue to find that barrels or toast levels providing mouthfeel energy and subtle flavors are preferred over barrels with strong flavors or lingering structure.
Next, the team will do a complete barrel by barrel survey to determine those that will make the cut for each of our blends—from our smallest blends like Pinot Hill Elite and La Combette, to our largest, the Hallberg Ranch blend. This is the point at which each wine is truly assembled for the first time, and one of the most exciting and gratifying parts of winemaking.
We hope your Spring is going great so far, and look forward to raising a glass with you as 2021 continues!