Harvest is humming along here at Hahn Family Wines. We’ve finished picking Pinot Noir from our Santa Lucia Highlands vineyards and transitioned to Pinot Noir from our Ste. Philippe Vineyard in Arroyo Seco, which we hope to have completed by the end of the week. Destined for the Hahn Estate tier, we’re fermenting each of the two clones from Ste. Philippe – Clone 943 and the Swan clone – separately in open top fermenters. We’re also in the midst of barrel fermenting Chardonnay from the Ste. Nicolaus Vineyard, also destined for Hahn Estate.
We’re over the halfway mark, close to 60% through harvest. The 40% remaining includes Chardonnay from Lone Oak as well as Grenache, Merlot, Syrah and Malbec from Hook. Chardonnay and Grenache are next on the picking schedule.
The cellar always poses a logistical challenge at this stage and tank space is at a premium, with a couple factors making it even more challenging right now. First, after upgrading our bottling line in September, several tanks of finished wines are still filled, awaiting bottling. Wines in those tanks will bottle soon, as harvest winds down, but for now, there are fewer tanks to work with. Also, the weather has turned cooler, especially at night, which means that our tank fermentations are taking a little longer than they did a few weeks ago. We’re moving wines into barrels as fast as we can, but there’s not much we can do to hurry along the fermentations.
Still, our team seems to take it all in stride. We’ve been here before, and we know how to work around challenges like this. The key is great communication and flexibility, which our folks have in spades. Today we’re hosting some new members of Hahn’s DTC (direct-to-consumer) team, showing them around the winery, introducing them to the winemaking team and tasting through some wines. We’ll toast the harvest with some bubbles. It’s going to be a good day!
Juan Jo Verdina, Winemaker