September 19, 2013
Harvest 2013 begins with a bang!
Mother Nature has been good to us this year. The growing season kicked off with a warm, dry and early spring, allowing our vines to get a great head start on ripening without the vigorous growth that can result from a wet spring with too much water in the soils. From budbreak through veraison and now the beginning of our harvest season, our vines have been bathed in warm sunshine and gentle breezes. Our cabernet sauvignon and syrah crop is about the same as last year (both 2012 and 2013 are light crop years for both of these varieties), while our merlot yield is significantly lower than last year, but still has an average-sized crop. Our chardonnay and viognier crop are picking out at about average, and our cabernet franc looks to be similar. In short, there is much to be excited about this vintage.
Our first chardonnay grapes from some younger vines were harvested on September 6th, and are now quietly fermenting in French oak barrels inside of the cold wing of our caves. The main block of chardonnay was harvested on September 10th, and viognier has followed over the last two weeks. The first red grapes to be picked were actually from a few small sections of cabernet sauvignon that set an ultra-light crop and ripened up more quickly than our (typically earlier) merlot, syrah and sangiovese.
This year we have begun harvesting our grapes at night in order to bring the fruit in as cold as possible, allowing us to extend our cold soak in tank. Paying the crew a visit this morning, Carolyn Pride (left), Suzanne Pride Bryan (right) and I (center) were excited to cheer them on (and Suzanne whipped up an incredible breakfast of huevos rancheros, donuts and bagels afterwards). Jessica Baker, our events manager, was up early, too, and captured some great images of the pick. We appreciate the hard work of the many people who are a part of shepherding these incredible grapes to the bottles we share with you.