After consulting the great wine abacus, the final 2023 tonnage tally has been tabulated, adjudicated and inebriated. Our trusty cellar team processed a one hundred eighty four tons of Albariño, Alicante Bouschet, Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Grenache, Grüner Veltliner, Koshu,Malbec, Mataro, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Pinot Grigio/Gris, Pinot Noir, Primitivo, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Syrah, Tempranillo, Trousseau Gris, Viognier and Zinfandel. That’s 26, 27 or 28 different grapes depending on whether you prefer oral tradition or Professor Carol Meredith’s studies in grape genetics.
Mother Nature delivered a growing season for the ages. As much as we appreciate the favorable weather patterns, curtseys and bows must be given to our incredible winemaking team. The stunning quality of the vintage could not have been achieved without their experience, steady hand and tireless work ethic.
This year’s grape picks stretched well beyond beyond. In 2022, the month of October was relatively painless as the overwhelming majority of grapes were off vine by the end of September. This year, a number of vineyards had yet to be harvested well into November. The exceptionally long growing season brought unparalleled phenolic depth as the seeds, stems and skins of grapes have time to fully develop.
The harvest season began with Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon from Wildwood Vineyard from the Sonoma Valley in late September. From the get-go it was clear the long growing season was delivering exceptional depth of flavor. Put a big check mark next to quality.
Harvest truly kicked into gear on October 6th. With many varietals ripening simultaneously, there were concerns of bottlenecks. Instead, the next four weeks turned into a well-choreographed ballet harkening to the Nicholas Brothers performance in “Stormy Weather” or the ball movement of the Golden State Warriors circa 2015. Our cellar crew’s ability to juggle incoming grapes, manage fermentations and press wine into barrel was an inspiring sight. The harvest dance included team members from all departments jumping in with extra hands. Up to three teams of cellar crew worked shifts around the clock to ensure your fruit was handled with the utmost care.
With grapes off vine, the team will narrow the focus on managing fermentations, pressing wine into French oak barrels and executing the desired levels of malolactic conversion.