Signaling an end to the multi-year drought, 2016 began with a very mild winter. We saw ample rainfall which charged up the soil with good moisture reserves. Temperatures were moderate, with only a few nights in early spring which required vigilance against the threat of frost. The gentle conditions continued through bloom, and resulted in good fruit set and balanced crop levels – a welcome return to normal after the tiny harvest in 2015! The grapes were treated to perfect growing and ripening conditions throughout the season. With only a few modest heat spikes in June and July that topped out in the mid-90s and a relatively cool August, our grapes were able to hang for an extended period to develop concentrated flavors.
Located in an extrememly cool pocket of sourther Russian River Valley, near the Petaluma wind gap, these grapes are bathed in extreme fog during the summer months. This gives the grapes an extrememly long and slow maturation period, preventing high sugar concentration or development of strong color in the skins. The extrememly cool conditions mean that the grapes ripen well into the end of September, and when picked in the early morning hours just before sunrise, they arrive at the winery cold and ready for gentle pressing.