This year’s harvest started out perfectly, but then Mother Nature made it a fast and furious one! By July it was clear harvest would come early for many sites, due to drought-driven dry soils and warm spells in February advancing bud break. Our first pick once again was Chardonnay from Mountain Winery in the last week of August, with some pristine fruit. With a picture-perfect start we looked forward to picking out our other 11 sites over the next seven or eight weeks as the grapes hit peak ripeness. But then a week-long record-breaking heat wave around Labor Day brought daily highs of 95F+. With fruit ripening incredibly fast and heroic picking crews in short supply, we had intense round-the clock harvesting and brought in fruit from nine vineyards in just two weeks. We are so thankful for all the incredible growers, vineyard crews, and cellar workers who helped us to get the fruit in and make some great wines.
Grape crop yields were down 30-50% across many sites, so many of our programs are a bit smaller this year. However, we added several exciting new programs including Pinot Noir from two new sites, a Petite Verdot from Bates Ranch, a Sauvignon Blanc from Hecker Pass, and Nebbiolo from off Summit road in Los Gatos. Those wines will be fun to barrel taste with you all in the near future – we encourage wine club members to reach out for a free winemaker-led winery tour and tasting in San Francisco.