Laetitia’s 2017 Harvest

It’s harvest again, a time we look forward to all year and once it starts we can’t wait for it to be over.

Harvest – the fruit of our labor in the vineyard, the result of so many different factors: pruning, trellising, micro-climates, planting, soils and ultimately the weather.

In 2017 the weather has affected us throughout the growing season and isn’t letting us down this harvest. Laetitia’s crop is slightly smaller this year, a result of heavy rains at the start of 2017. We aren’t complaining though, we’ll take all the rain we can get.

Weather continues to be the big story this harvest. It has prevented us from going straight into full swing picking mode. We went from major heat to strange monsoons blowing through the ranch. Our concern for the safety of our harvesting crews with thunder, lightning and high winds caused us to cancel night harvest a couple of times.

Fortunately the record heat over Labor Day weekend (at 112° F in one area of the ranch) did not accelerate ripening; the high humidity kept the grapes’ progress under control.

Our Head Winemaker Eric Hickey grilling it up at this year’s Annual Grape Stomp

So there have been many hiccups in the flow of harvest which has been uneven at best.  But we are now back on track as the weather has stabilized. The morning fog is here and a beautiful calmness inhabits the vineyard.  I checked out the grapes on my morning walk and was pleased to see small, even clusters.

We only have 16 tons of grapes to bring in to wrap up the sparkling wine harvest. We will then be going full bore on still wine. 🍇

Our Pinot Noir is bright and fruity; the Chardonnay is holding wonderful acidity and structure. The Pinot Blanc, our final grape in the sparkling blend has not yet been picked but it looks great on the vine.

We’ve been using both traditional Coquard presses in the press room. Our annual Grape Stomp event marking the glorious beginning of harvest went off without a hitch, attracting over 300 stompers who joyfully participated and stomped in the press.

Fresh juice streaming from the #Europress

So the final presses are chugging along thanks to the outstanding performance of our diligent vineyard and winemaking crews.

If you’re driving by Laetitia late at night and see lights in the vineyard, night harvest is going on for the 12th year in a row.  Night harvest is efficient: it means that Dave and his winemaking team can press the grapes first thing in the morning, ensures our vineyard crews won’t get too hot, and neither will the grapes.

A big thanks to the teamwork that’s goes into scheduling and executing harvest, thanks to the weather for cooperating and thanks to all of you for being as excited as we are to birth a new vintage.

In addition to harvest, September is also Wine Club month. Make sure you pick up your shipment and take advantage of your 30% off all wines in any of the clubs this month.

A votre santé.

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