As the sun melts into the cold, distant Pacific horizon, splitting the sky into colored hemispheres of turquoise, vermillion, Roma tomato and orange chiffon, a chilly shadow crawls over the winery up in the hills of the SLH. Deep into autumn, harvest is over. The final stainless steel tank of Hook Vineyard Malbec is just about finished fermenting. Tomorrow, we will move the skins and wine into the press, give it a squeeze, get the wine into barrels, and be done with harvest for the year. With a grateful sigh, we begin to count our blessings and how abundant they are!
We began harvest on August 30th and October 27th will bring the end of it. While the last plump and sweet grapes came in last week, the final pressing is the end. Time to relax, no way! For the next few weeks we will begin to rack the wines off their lees and sediments, getting the new wines into their barrels. Our lab techs will start to run analyses on all the new wine. Things like pH, alcohol, residual sugar, assessing tannins, color and then we begin to taste! Tasting and evaluating the new wines is a process that begins now and does not stop until the wines are in the bottle. Paul and I taste all the lots frequently from here on out. We develop a relationship with each lot, getting to know their strengths and weaknesses, assessing each wine’s character so that when it comes time to make the grand blends we know exactly what to do. Choosing the oak regimen is a very critical, but fun task which begins now.
Now for some estate data! Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Arroyo Seco and Monterey produced 2,174 tons for us. 20 clones, 6 vineyards, 534 acres and 4.1 tons per acre averaged. The wines made from these grapes will become our Hahn Winery, SLH, Lucienne and Winery Selection wines. Merlot is only at Ste. Philippe which brought in 3,836 tons and it all becomes the Hahn Winery Merlot — which is a fantastic Merlot and I highly recommend it. Chardonnay came from Smith, Lone Oak and Ste. Nicolas. It will make Hahn Winery, Winery Selection, Lucienne and SLH Chardonnays finished at 720 tons. Syrah from Hook Vineyard gave us 37 tons and this goes into our GSM. Hook Vineyard Malbec brought in 62 tons of deeply hued goodness. Pinot Gris came in at 59 tons from Lone Oak and Grenache from both Hook and Ste. Philippe managed to produce 503 tons!
Back in my first blog, I speculated that we would harvest 3,750 tons of estate fruit and we ended up with 3,836 tons — in other words we crushed it! In just 51 days we harvested all 910 planted acres. Roughly this same amount was harvested from non-estate contracted vineyards. We generated 186 separate lots of wine which we will keep separated in the cellar until time to blend sometime next year. Come visit the winery and try the new wines from the barrel! The first wine we will bottle is our 2016 Hahn Winery Pinot Gris and you will see that in the stores as soon as December! Look for it and enjoy the fresh taste of the new vintage!
So, lets raise a glass, be grateful, appreciative and thankful for the safe and enjoyable harvest and thank you to Nicky Hahn and his family for having the vision to turn his dream into this reality, our family winery in the hills that has made us proud once again.
The team is happy to celebrate the completion of
Luxury Lucienne Pinot Noir about to be poured at our
Our Winery at the top of the hill.
Take an ATV tour when you come barrel
Cheers to another successful harvest!