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Patrick Headley
October 21, 2021 | Patrick Headley

Harvest Blog - October 21st

A stretch of 90°+ days the week before last was all we needed to hasten ripening, and our winery is full to the brim with fermenting fruit. By the time you read this we’ll have harvested all our Santa Lucia Highlands
Pinot Noir, and we’re about 60% finished with the Hahn Family estate acreage.

I’m very excited about two of the picks we did recently. We brought in the first Riesling grapes from Hook Vineyard this week, amounting to 8-10 tons off a three-acre block. This is a new varietal for the estate,
destined for a wine we’ll make for the Tasting Room, and the fruit looks really solid. We also brought in Chardonnay from some young plantings in Smith Vineyard. Our estate Chardonnays typically come from Lone Oak Vineyard, but some of the vines there are upwards of 45 years old and need to be replanted. Several years ago we started planting Chardonnay on Smith Vineyard to pick up the slack. Last year would have been the first harvest off these new vines, but smoke from the fires prevented us from using the fruit. So it was definitely a relief to harvest that Chardonnay this year, and like the Riesling, it looks fantastic.

A couple of weeks ago Megan Conatser-McCollough told you about the first pass of Arroyo Seco fruit we brought in for our Smith & Hook Sauvignon Blanc. Those first grapes are meant to bring some of the fresh herbal qualities we associate with New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs to the wine, and though that characteristic was a little hard for me to detect when I tasted the grapes, the juice in the fermenter told a different story. I checked it out in the cellar…talk about aromas of fresh cut lawn! We’ll bring in the second and final pass of Sauvignon Blanc this Friday, and I can’t wait to smell and taste the difference.

Patrick Headley
Director of Viticulture


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