Harvest of 2014 will go down in the record books here in Amador County! It was the fastest harvest I’ve seen in 16 years. A few early season heat spikes set the vines into action and with the weather pattern settling into a near perfect ebb and flow of temperatures of 93° during the day and 55º at night, the vines wasted no time ripening the fruit.
Our harvest started on August 11th and we finished on September 26th, almost 30 days earlier than a “normal” year. Yields averaged between 20%-40% lower than the past several years but the quality looks outstanding! Moises, my Assistant Winemaker, and I are very excited to see how the new wines will develop in the coming months.
We’ve employed the help of some fun new "toys" (read: geeky Winemaker stuff). We have a new 800 gallon French oak tank that we are aging our Barbera in….this is going to be awesome! Also, we are moving towards the use of larger format barrels, about twice the size of a standard 60 gallon barrel and the results are amazing. We are seeing ultra-concentrated and smooth wines, oozing with delicious fresh fruit. They are definitely going to be something to talk about.
We only have a few more tanks to press out in the next week or so and then we will focus on bringing the new wines into all the new barrels and then, once again, begin the task of putting the 2013 blends together for bottling next Spring.
Until next time,