The holiday season is always a time for reflection. With that in mind, all of us at Pride would like you to know that we are thankful to each and every one of you for your support of the winery. That you choose to enjoy our wines is something that we don't take for granted. There are many, many wonderful wines in the world and we sincerely appreciate the relationships we've forged with you and the investment you've chosen to make when purchasing our wines.
Hospitality tours, winery events, pouring wine, hanging around with beautiful pop music starlets...the hard work never ends for Pride Mountain Vineyards’ Hospitality & Events Coordinator, Mike Campbell.
Sunday, November 10th dawned clear and cool, providing perfect weather for the 150 or so vineyard, office and sales employees and their families who gathered for the annual Harvest Fiesta thrown every year by the Pride family to celebrate the end of harvest.
Winemaker Sally Johnson was one of a panel of test drivers for the Robb Report’s upcoming “Car of the Year” issue. After hosting the eclectic panel of test drivers, made up of car aficionados and philanthropists, for a pre-event dinner at Pride Mountain Vineyards on Thursday, November 6th, Sally and the group spent following day rating the performance of thirteen luxury sports cars by zooming through the back roads of the Napa Valley.
With weary bodies but upbeat spirit, our vineyard crew paused for a photo after picking the last grapes from our Rock Arch Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard on Thursday October 30th. The crew had more than earned their moment of rest after this year’s harvest, as uneven fruit ripening conditions required multiple picks of each vineyard block.
The week of October 13th, the Spring Mountain District Association hosted twenty-seven sommeliers and wine buyers from around the country for four days of seminars, tastings and "work-withs" at member wineries. Participants met winemakers, worked with vineyard managers and enjoyed accommodations that ranged from guest suites in the homes of our gracious neighbors to cabins in the vineyards.
Still looking rested and relaxed, our winemaking team Romel Rivera, Ruben Ayala, Sally Johnson (winemaker) Phillip Aquino and Lawrence Cortez saw the first grapes of 2008 on Thursday, September 4th. While two weeks earlier than first pick last year, Sally reports that the year seems to be on track, neither particularly early nor particularly late. Yields are low, but fruit quality, happily, is very high. Stay tuned for more detailed reports and photos!
On Monday, July 14th, we spotted the first pink berries in our estate vineyard. This is “veraison,” always an exciting time at the winery as we look forward to another harvest. Sangiovese, one of our earliest red grape varieties, is leading the charge, beating even the white grapes in the progression towards this year’s harvest. We expect the Chardonnay and Viognier to begin to soften and turn from green to gold within a few days to a week, but color in the Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc will most likely not appear for another two weeks. This is about the same as last year or even a little earlier, but it’s still too soon to predict whether this will be an early, typical, or late harvest. Last year, for example, all factors pointed to an early harvest, but in September, vineyard temperatures dropped, and we didn't really start picking until after a week of late October “Indian Summer” finally appeared.
Fortunately for those of us at the winery, the Peachtree State is a long way away . . . otherwise we might see a lot less of Carolyn Pride. Returning from a trip with son in law and national sales manager, Stuart Bryan, for the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction last weekend, it was clear that she truly enjoyed the gracious hospitality and the cultural opportunities presented by our friends 2500 miles away.
As the first sleepy shoot tips poke their way out into the crisp spring air, we begin our journey towards Harvest 2008. Sunny days and high temperatures reaching the mid-seventies signal the end of a long and unusually cold winter.
The rollercoaster ride of the 2007 harvest has finally come to an end! Budbreak was early this year with a warm spring that protected the vines from frost damage. Fruit set was perfect, which is key for us to get ripeness. By September, we were poised for an early and very ripe harvest. Leading up to the picking of the first grapes, predictions were for a Thanksgiving spent eating turkey, not pumping over vats of fermenting must, but there were a few surprises in store for us along the way!