I am pleased to share that as of the end of this week, harvest will be finished! The final grapes will be picked and start their journey to become wine. It is during that time when we start to slow down that I can take a breath and process what has gone on over the last few months.

People often ask what harvest is like for me. For me, the challenges of harvest can be compared to my other passion, surfing. A wave of grapes is coming in, and I don’t know what to expect. Will the wave be clean and smooth or come out with bumps that try to throw you off your rhythm? For nine weeks we have been riding the wave and pushing to keep from falling off.

You have heard some of our bumpy challenges and smooth successes from Megan, Juan Jose and myself. In terms of challenges, we had some heat spikes during our Santa Lucia Highlands picks, threat of big thunderheads moving through the Salinas Valley and some frost events in Paso Robles and San Antonio Valley. We also found success in picking quickly and at perfect ripeness for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, navigating the frost issues, no injuries, no breakdowns, no earthquakes and no fires.

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We had our bout with fires last year on the west side of the Santa Lucia Highlands. At the time, it was stressful for so many of us, but we had nowhere near the threats or structural damage in Napa and Sonoma.  We can only hear stories and imagine what everyone went through up north.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by that tsunami of fires.

As we rap up harvest this Indian Summer week, we all look forward to winter and cooler weather. The holidays, wet weather and family time are on our minds. We hope you all take time with your families traveling somewhere warm and exotic, or relaxing around a warm fire on a cool night, enjoying with a glass of Hahn Wines, the fruit of all our labor.

Cheers,

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Paul Clifton

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