It’s the busiest time of the year for us, in the vineyard and the winery. Regular overnight harvesting is ongoing, along with busy days on the crush pad turning beautiful grapes into extraordinary wines!
The weather conditions have been curious and varied, a true roller coaster of conditions. September presented us with several days of very warm afternoons, during which temperatures rose into the low 100 degree Fahrenheit range. A few days of light rainfall and high temperatures in the mid-70’s fell between the hot spells, and seemed to refresh the vines as they continued ripening their crop.
The grapevines seemed to handle this erratic weather with resilience and patience. Overall quality of the grapes in fermenters is high, showing great promise for the 2019 vintage!
Our first day of harvest this year was on September 16, about a week later than 2018. Pinot Noir, as always, was first picked off the vines, but Chardonnay was not far behind. We have already picked at multiple locations and are continuing at a steady pace. Another three weeks, and we should have harvest completed.
PINOT NOIR FERMENTATION STEPS
Here’s a short photo essay, visually describing the processes we use to crush and ferment Pinot Noir from our Russian River Valley vineyards. Knowing that most of you can’t make it out to Wine Country during harvest, to see this first hand, I wanted to introduce you to the activities that define our experiences on the “crush pad”!
This process, with minor variations, will be repeated for all our Pinot Noir blocks, over approximately four weeks early in each harvest year.