On Wednesday morning November 16, we brought in the final eight tons of cabernet sauvignon, took the photo at left of our vineyard crew and winemaking team, and officially called the 2011 harvest a wrap.
One historic ranch, older than the two counties it straddles - Napa and Sonoma. The first grapes were planted 142 years ago in 1869. When Jim and Carolyn Pride purchased the property in 1989, the then 170 acre ranch contained 45 acres of vineyard. Today, the ranch is 240 acres with 86 planted acres of vineyard.
Harvest 2011 began today at the top of Spring Mountain, with a scant 1400 pounds of chardonnay from a small, sunny section of our Mountain Top block. While our main block of chardonnay will require an additional two weeks of hang time, these petite, succulent clusters are ready to go. These grapes are a Burgundian selection of chardonnay, clone 96, known for low yield and intense aromatics.
Our first vintage as a winery was 1991 which means that we are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year. It therefore seems appropriate to indulge in a stroll down memory lane as well as to reflect on where we are and where we are going.
It’s the week before the Napa Valley Vintners' annual Auction Napa Valley, which is always one of the highlights of the year for me. In addition to our annual candlelight dinner in the caves for top bidders next week, I am really looking forward to the barrel auction next Friday.
Founder Carolyn Pride made a rare public appearance at the Eleventh Annual Nantucket Food and Wine Festival. She is shown above assisting her daughter, Suzanne Pride Bryan, pouring at the Harbor Gala at The White Elephant on Thursday, May 19, 2011 .
With the 2010 Harvest put to bed, our attention shifts to the vineyards and to preparation for 2011. Vines must be pruned, jute and straw laid down to protect our vulnerable hillsides from erosion from the winter’s rains, and we prepare to replant two of our lesser-known vineyard blocks with newly grafted vines.