Happy New Vintage!
The 2016 harvest is being noted as the first “normal” vintage we’ve seen in quite a few years. So, what does that mean?
It is widely reported that with a mild early summer and consistent growing conditions, harvest volumes, and ripening time this vintage is considered “normal”. This is most interesting to me because at nearly every vintage we will hear reports that things are not normal in one way or another.
Here in our small vineyard we saw a fairly even growing season where temperatures and moisture are concerned along with a good bloom and set but then came a bit of uneven ripening which made cluster thinning a little trickier but that could be considered normal. As human beings chasing a “perfect” result, we would like to think that perfect growing conditions and absolute even ripening should be the normal. The truth is that those conditions never really happen so that should be considered ideal.
But again, what we humans sometimes perceive as ideal and what nature determines as the ideal and perfection can be in conflict. Nature always gets her way and I have learned that the sooner I’d come to terms with that the sooner I would learn to observe her and understand the real path to good winemaking.
I think of my winemaking in parallel with my lifespan. How many vintages will I enjoy the privilege of making wine? My love of the journey forces me to focus intensely with the objective of learning and understanding the influencing factors effecting the key to it all -- the vineyard and mother nature.
I remain committed to acquiesce to mother nature and let the vines guide me to the best wines I can make with each remaining vintage.
2016 Vintage in the Bottle
Our bottle with it’s beautiful shape is not the easiest for our mobile bottler to run on his line. (a lot of tipping) This year we bottled with a new set of tooling custom designed to fit the shape of our bottle and we are all very happy with the result. Many more bottles filled, corked and labeled in a lot less time.
More Mother Nature
2 years ago, Rodney vowed never to complain about rain again no matter how much we might get. He has stuck to his word and even when one of the trucks loaded with our newly bottled wines sunk in the parking lot, and he and our wonderful growers spent the day digging it AND the forklift out, there was no complaint about rain. All is well that ends well and thankfully the 2016 vintage is resting in bottles safe and snug in the warehouse.
All that’s left is to re-open the tasting room in March and share with you!
Favorite Food Pairings
This year our family holiday meal consisted of all pork belly Porchetta, cornbread, citrus salad and macaroni and cheese with gruyere.
Grenache Blanc was an extra nice complement with the cornbread, so if I could only taste one wine with this meal it would be Belle Blanc since the Grenache Blanc in the blend kisses the cornbread, the Roussanne is married to the pork and the Viognier with macaroni and cheese. Click images below for recipes!