2017 Harvest & Crush Report
Our second harvest was quite different from last year's. The heavy spring rains this year created an environment for greater yields across the valley, yet a late summer heat wave stressed many varietals and caused brix to advance faster than usual. We completed 9 harvests for a total of 11.5 tons of grape - about 3 times the 2016 amount. We added 4 additional Ramona vineyards that we harvested including a couple of small Sangiovese vineyards.
From Crystal Hill we harvested our Chardonnay much later than last year to allow the fruit to develop its full ripeness and flavor. The Merlot grape looked and tasted especially good this year and was the final harvest from our hill. The Syrah and Cabernet had smaller berries which should translate into more intense and complex flavors over time.
This year we started using white harvest crates for storing the fruit after picking. This allows us to inspect all the grape as it is being transferred from picking buckets to remove MOG (material other than grape). The other benefit of the crates is that it made the destemming process easier. All the harvest days were much cooler than last year which saved the fruit from the deleterious effects of high heat.
We destem the grape immediately after it's harvested so the fermentation is started with very fresh fruit. We produced about 2,200 gallons of must and about 1,400 gallons of bulk wine currently stored in stainless steel tanks to settle and begin the ageing process.
The wine will now "rest" over the coming months as we monitor the development of flavor and other factors to determine if and when its ready for bottling. Only excellent quality wine will make it into a bottle.