Harvest is getting more fun by the day! More fun than sitting on a bag of tangerines (thank you Tony Bennett)! I walked out of my house this morning to a brisk 48°F, but the promise of 75°F in the afternoon made me choose to wear shorts. Driving up through the redwoods that line our driveway, I see a Pellenc harvesting grapes to my left in Block GS-1, which is Pinot Noir. These majestic yellow beasts were filling their bins with a gentleness that belied their technological prowess. These grapes would arrive at the winery within the hour, fresh off the vine.
At the winery we are bottling Hahn Winery Pinot Noir 2015. Jose and his forklift shuttle about, moving pallets of cases to and from the bottling area. A tractor pulls up to deliver four bins of Pinot Noir, clone 777, from Block CH. Chano and his forklift are offloading these bins. The truckload of gorgeous Pinot Noir being harvested on my drive in is now being unloaded by Marco and Antonio. Calera, Mt. Eden and 2A are the clones in this delivery. Looking further down production I see Leander, Guti, Danny and Izzy racking Pinot Noir into barrels. This is Pinot Noir
that came in ten days ago, has gone through fermentation and is ready to start barrel aging. Morning pump-overs are under way, so humming mechanical sounds and the whoosh of pump-over sprinklers fill the air. You can’t turn around without relishing the aromas of fermenting Pinot Noir, crisp Chardonnay juice and toasty oak barrels. There are so many bees, you can almost smell them too.
A truck comes and goes, taking our pomace to an area in the vineyards where it will become compost. Pomace is the leftovers after pressing both white and red grapes. White grapes will get pressed prior to fermentation, while red grapes get pressed after fermentation of its juice and skins. Pomace includes everything leftover and is a sustainable way of composting. Interestingly, in Italy it is occasionally re-fermented into Grappa. Sergio and Luis are pumping out a small blend of Smith & Hook Cabernet Sauvignon to be bottled into 1.5L and 3L promotional bottles. Liz is busy recording Brix and temperatures of all of our tanks as we do our daily “tank walk”. Natalie is inoculating some tanks with pre-selected yeasts. Ah, the smell of yeast in the morning! The winery at the top of the hill, overlooking Soledad and the valley floor, is buzzing with activity this morning.
The beautiful redwoods that line our driveway, welcoming everyone to Hahn Estate.
As of today, we are approximately 25% done with harvest, from an “acreage picked” stand point.
This hose just moved 30 tons of Pinot Noir grapes. The water used to clean it will be sustainably reclaimed for future uses.
Neutral barrels being prepped to receive recently fermented 2016 Pinot Noir.
Pinot Noir arriving at the winery! This is clone 2A from Block GS.
Hand harvesting Smith Vineyard for our luxurious Lucienne program.