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Harvest Notes - 09/01/03

by Craig Green

It looks like our big picking day this year will be either the weekend of the 20th or 27th of September. Still too early to tell. When we (you) pick it will most certainly be the bottom block of Paul's Syrah. By then my vineyard will be pretty much harvested.

Since last year there have been some major changes around here. We are bonded and officially commercial. Our 2002 Sauvignon Blanc, which many of you helped pick, is bottled (105 cases) and it awaits labels that are at the printer. Once the labels arrive we have but to label and capsule the bottles and we are ready to sell the product. Our price point is $16/bottle. Those that have tasted it believe it is by far the best SB we have ever done and a match for even the most jaded, high-end palate. We also bottled about 20 cases of a very good Syrah Rosé. That, too, awaits labels. We have 12 barrels (720 gallons) of 2002 Syrah aging and another five barrels of Petite Sirah that need more time in wood but will be, in our opinion, excellent.

To deal with all of this we have more than doubled the size of the winery and now have about 1,500 sq. ft. of temperature-controlled space. We have also invested in a substantial volume of stainless steel, floating lid tanks, a new bottler, a plate-frame filter, a wine pump and a labeler. (And all this without a bottle!) In addition we have invested in a wine lab which will bring our production methods and quality control into the 21st century. There's still a lot of 'art' involved but having some information on which to base one's arty decisions is helpful.

The second change occurred in my vineyard when we re-trellised the Sauvignon Blanc from the jungle it was to a more orderly Geneva Double Curtain arrangement. This will be a major benefit in the future but, with the weird spring and the weirder fall (rain in August...(?) .....4 times!) it has conspired to render this year's SB crop small. The fruit suffered shatter and then sunburn (19 days of 100°+ in July) and finally bird strike and some rot. That's why, this year, we'll direct your energies to Paul's Syrah which, after some boron applied last year, looks great.

So....................please set aside the Saturdays of those two weekends. As they get closer, we'll let you know which it is likely to be.

Paul's Syrah is a big job.....easy picking due to the trellising but a lot of fruit. Knowing your availability would be appreciated.


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