The 2018 Harvest at Hahn Family Wines officially kicked off several weeks ago with a small amount of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay hand-picked to make our Sparkling Wines.
Though we blessed them (as we do annually with the first grapes of the season), pressed them, and started the fermentations (which are now dry!!!) it still didn’t feel quite like “harvest.” Before the holiday weekend, we received 8 tons of Pinot Noir which saw a lengthy cold soak. While trying to pitch the yeast, I was equally focused on getting it right and trying not to get covered in the stuff. I think in the back of my mind, getting dirty meant (on top of more laundry) that harvest IS here. I’m not so sure I was “ready” for it either. Denial, maybe?
Then out of nowhere, I caught a bug of strep throat and was out of commission for the next few days. I kept in touch with the other winemakers as more grapes arrived at the winery and other tanks were being yeasted. Away from the winery, I knew I was missing out. The meds kicked in and I returned to work quickly, feeling much better. As I caught up on the mounds of work orders, emails, scheduling, and ferments I missed, I finally started to feel like she was here, and she IS indeed here! From the slight turning of the weather, the indescribable smell of Pinot Noir fermentations, the trucks of grapes heading up the hill, to the subtle yellow and orange you see in the vines, Harvest IS here and I’m ready for her.
As we continue to put estate Pinot Noir on the schedule, I will keep a good eye on our contracted fruit in the regions of Paso Robles, San Antonio Valley, Hames Valley, and Paicines region. So far, even ripening and sufficient canopy’s should lead the way to a fantastic vintage for these regions.
After a slow and hesitant start, I am looking forward to getting dirty (but not more laundry), cooperation from Mother Nature, and a vintage showcasing our best fruit yet. Let’s do this Harvest 2018!