...and then it was over!
Such is the tale of the tape as regards the grape harvest of 2013 here in California. What looked to be an early harvest has followed through on the promise. After an unprecedented season of hot weather, often challenging daily record highs, picking began for us on September 10th with the Southfork Grenache. Last year this fruit was used in tandem with Mourvedre, also grown on Apple Hill, to produce our first rosé. This year it is being fermented as a stand alone Grenache, and is presently undergoing extended maceration, and showing very nicely indeed.
Our second pick was a mere 9 days later and involved some wonderful Petite Sirah from the Fair Play district. It is a lot of fun to again be working with this inky, robust varietal, and this fruit is something special from this high elevation vineyard.
Lastly, (although certainly not least) we procurred some absolutely terrific Zinfandel from Amador County. It is indeed a treat to be working with Zin again - my first time since the Biale days....the source of the fruit is the esteemed Shake Ridge Vineyard of Ann Kramer and family, just up the hill from Sutter Creek, the home of our new tasting room. The pick occurred in the early morning hours of September 25th and this fruit was absolutely pristine. It is just about "to go dry" as of this writing, and we are very excited about the potential of the finished wine to come!
Now it is on to the final pressing, and to manage the barrel aging of the wine - or as the French say, elevage...the educating or upbringing of the wine. We look forward to this journey of discovery and enlightenment. As a winemaker, we are afforded the luxury of tasting new and developing wines (usually monthly). We are constantly plotting their course in our heads as to what we think they will become, how well they might blend or pair with another varietel, and so forth...but it doesn't always follow that course, and it is those times which produce the "ah-hah" moments which keep us all coming back.
Come and see us and let's taste through some wines together.
The very best to you and yours and a sincere thank-you from us for your patronage and enthusiasm of our mission.
Gary & Kim