After a lot of waiting, the grapes of the Santa Cruz Mountains are reaching varietal ripeness. Our first harvest was one of our suppliers; Thurston Vineyard. This is a supplier we tried out last year with a small batch. Their Pinot Noir vineyard is so well tended that I liked them the first day I met them. The wine we made from their grapes was refreshingly different from our estate Pinot and every bit as good, with light fruitiness, bright acid and a very old-world varietal expression. We were so excited about the wine we made last year from their vineyard, we entered into agreement to take all of their crop this year. We got a ton and a half from their acre and had a great time harvesting with the owners and their friends. Next harvests: Griffin Hill's Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Ormsby Trail Vineyard Cabernet, Zayante Vineyards Merlot (a first!) and our old favorite, the Spring Hollow Vineyard Zinfandel. Our plans have us making a lot more wine this year than last, but since we have been selling out of some varieties, we find that we are always presenting wines that are just hitting the two-year vintage mark, but don't have enough age on them to truly show how great they can be. Building up a little inventory will be a good thing.
The photo shows the Thurston Pinot Noir, shortly after crush. We allowed the native yeast some time with the must to help add in complexity and add expression of our terroir. We'll allow this ferment to get as warm as it wants and get lots of extraction for a pretty big wine. It's getting a lot of attention with thrice daily punch downs, and will get a gentle basket press and be stirred on the lees (battonage) for many
months. Fans of our Pinot Noir will be happy to hear that our winemaking for our Pinot is not changing.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!