Whew! What a finish. We finally wrapped up harvest by bringing in some Syrah from Ventana Vineyard and some Muscat Hamburg from Joullian Vineyard just before a major rainstorm blew into our region. Bringing in our last batch of grapes is a major relief to us all – just as we’re feeling the fatigue of our efforts – a much needed break is on the horizon. Every year, harvest builds in layers of complexity as grapes continue to arrive at our doorstep, but slowly dismantles itself once fermentations finish and there are no more grapes to pick. Since we’ve now finished bringing grapes through our door, we have less fermentations to manage and are slowly pressing off all our grapes. Oh, and we’re seeing our families and friends more, too – never a bad thing.
2021 will go down as a great vintage for our region, and something that will be remembered for years to come as a breath of fresh air (no pun intended) after a year of fires and COVID woes. We experienced a dry winter and spring that led into a cool summer, delaying ripening. Being my 7th vintage in Monterey County, I feel like I’ve started to get an understanding of what to expect – but this vintage threw me for a loop. Vineyards that see daily fog (Santa Lucia Highlands, lower Carmel Valley, etc.) seemed to be delayed in ripening 2-3 weeks. Other vineyards that sit above the fog line, or far enough up valley to not see daily fog harvested on time – harvesting Cabernet Sauvignon from the upper Carmel Valley before most of our Pinot Noir from the Santa Lucia Highlands (a backwards formula in most years). Aside from messing with our understanding of “normal”, all grape varieties had an extremely high level of natural acidity – a winemaker’s dream come true (usually, the balance of acid and sugar is off a bit, and achieving full ripeness means sacrificing acid). This year was a lesson in patience, and something I’m confident you’ll be just as pleased with the wines as I am – in due time. Speaking of which, we’ve already bottled a few wines from this vintage, including our new Petillant Naturel of Grenache Blanc, Nouveau of Gamay, and a “Vinho Verde” inspired refreshing Verdejo. We have a few other tricks up our sleeves, but just like a fine wine (and harvesting grapes), patience is a virtue – and you’re just going to have to stay tuned.
58 blocks harvested
6 cellar staff
1 stunning vintage