- September 28, 2018
We’re halfway through Harvest! We finished picking Chardonnay and Malbec for Rosé. Now, we wait for the red varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot) to ripen.
We wanted to share a quick Chardonnay Harvest update from Winemaker Parke and Vineyard Manager David, along with a fun film highlighting some scenes from the past few weeks.
Chardonnay Harvest started the morning of Tuesday, September 11th, and in summary, it was bountiful and very high quality due to excellent weather patterns, relatively moderate afternoon temperatures and cool mornings allowing for the flavors to develop while sugars accumulated gradually.
With a quiet moment in the vineyard and cellar, we decided to ask Parke and David a few questions about Harvest.
When you think about the Chardonnay Harvest, what stands out to you?
Parke: Ideal growing conditions and moderate temperatures, no heat spikes. Very nice weather during Harvest, leading to exceptional quality.
David: It was big! High yields but also, I was excited about the high quality and great flavors. Although I am glad it’s over because I don’t have to worry about it anymore. Now I just look towards harvesting the red varietals.
What keeps you up at night during Harvest?
Parke: If I’ve had too many espressos… and I think about any potential weather challenges.
David: Besides harvesting?! He says laughing.
Early in the morning when you start your Harvest day, what’s the first thing that goes through your head?
Parke: Once I get over my sleepiness, I take a moment to enjoy the brisk, cool mornings along with the quiet and darkness. Then I begin to wonder, “How long do I have before the first grapes arrive? And what needs to be done before then?”
David: “Am I starting on time?” I know Parke doesn’t like to get up early and wait around for grapes, so we always make sure we are prompt with delivering the first gondola to him. I also worry, “Do I have the machine set properly? Are we ready? Is everyone where they are supposed to be?”
What’s the biggest benefit to the new machine harvester?
Parke: It’s very gentle on the vines.
David: The new machine harvester produces the cleanest fruit I’ve ever seen. The comforts of the new cabin are amazing – it has great ergonomics, super comfy and so smooth. When we first drove the harvester, I asked Gerardo (the other person who drives it) what he likes… “the nice heater and air conditioning!”
In 3 words, how are you feeling about Cabernet Harvest?
Parke: The end’s near!
David: I can’t wait!
After Harvest, when you have your weekends back, what’s the first thing you will do?
Parke: I would like to go to Donner Lake, so we can relax and enjoy the quiet of the mountains.
David: I am going to try to get running again.