One of the most challenging on record for many in the Santa Barbara County area! From the coldest summer on record to searing heat to rain and thundershowers to ___________ (not sure what’s next), Mother Nature continues to throw us wilder knuckleballs than Tim Wakefield throws – and we don’t have a catcher on staff trained in fielding them perfectly!!!
Here’s the ‘score’ so far . . . . Some of the pinot is in for Fess Parker, and in general, we’re seeing relatively high sugar levels yet relatively high acid levels. Cluster sizes are on the small size and initial flavors in the fermenting bins have been quite good.
We’ve gotten some of the Fess Parker viognier in as well, and we all like what we’ve tasted – great flavors, even a little richness already in the fermenting juice.
Tercero has gotten our Gewurztraminer in, and the majority of it is fermenting away in a tank, about halfway done, with wonderful aromatics of spice, honey, a touch of pineapple and green apple, with citrus notes already. We also did one barrel ferment, which is nearly dry but that we’re leaving slightly sweet to be able to ‘play around’ with it down the line. Older oak was used – no new oak here!
We will be bringing our viognier in from White Hawk at the tail end of this week, when the temperatures warm up once again. We’re excited to be making our first viognier, and our plan is to ferment some in stainless and some in 3-4 year old oak barrels to add some additional ‘texture’ to the wine.
We also hope to bring our syrah in from White Hawk next week, something we are very excited about since this will be our first time working with syrah from this well-known vineyard. The grapes already taste pretty good, but will taste even better as they pick up a little more ripeness with the coming warm-up. Pictures and videos to hopefully follow soon . . .
Gotta get back to it – time to process some Clone 115 from Rancho Las Hermanas (formerly Ashley’s Vyd in the Sta. Rita Hills) and then help press some Rio Vista Pinot (also Sta Rita Hills).