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Paul Clifton
August 26, 2022 | Paul Clifton

Harvest Blog - August 26th

Welcome to the initial installment of our annual harvest blog! In a few days we’ll bring in the first Pinot Noir grapes from our Santa Lucia Highlands vineyards, marking my 20th harvest at Hahn Family Wines. The outlook for another outstanding vintage is good, though of course it’s too early to make firm predictions. Still, the most notable aspect of the 2022 growing season to date is the absence of any major weather events. Budbreak was a little early this year, especially for Chardonnay, but bloom came and went without a hitch and the timing of harvest looks to be normal, maybe a week earlier than last year.

As I mentioned we’ll start picking Pinot Noir first. Our vineyards feature a substantial variety of clones, and since they tend to go through bloom at different stages (which is advantageous if it rains during bloom), they’re also ready to harvest at different times. We always keep the clones separate as the wines go through fermentation and aging to see how each one performs. Among other things, this helps us determine which clones to plant – and where – in the future.

I’m excited to try out a new tool this year, a piece of technology developed in New Zealand. It’s a probe you drop into the fermenter that provides real time data on the temperature and Brix level of the fermenting grapes. I can simply open an app on my phone and get information about each tank’s progress, even if I’m out in the vineyard. I’ll let you know how we like it in a future post.

As we ready the winery for harvest, we’re also cranking out the final blends of our 2021 wines, including the SLH Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and our Hahn Appellation Series wines from Arroyo Seco. I say “cranking,” because we need to make room in the cellar for the 2022 vintage!

Paul Clifton
Director of Winemaking


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