Standing in the vineyard hours after the winery has closed, I imagine hearing the call “Riders Up!!!” and the Derby bugler sounding “Call to Post,” as if it were actually echoing through the vines. Out here in the vineyard, it takes countless hours of hard work to get to a place like this; you’re blessed that you even made it to race day. So here we are: the growing season is off to a fantastic start. Our new trellis configuration (the modified ballerina, if you want to geek out) is busting out in foliage. The flowering is successfully completed, and the vines are showing an excellent fruit set, with berries the size of green peas. This is an exciting time. Giddy up!
In the winery, in the comfort of the cool tasting room, on the breezy dining porch, and in the banquet hall, it’s also an exciting time. We have released our delicious 2018 Sauvignon Blanc—you’ll notice a grass and citrus nose with mouth-watering acidity—to rave reviews, and it’s flying off the bar, a perfect complement to the warm spring weather. Our 2018 Viognier, also just released, has perfumy aromas of peach, pear, and honeysuckle and a nice crisp acidity on the finish. As the temperature rises outside, we know you’ll love this refreshing wine just as much as we do. And, never fear, the 2018 Sparkling Rosé—already a tasty, proven crowd pleaser—is back in the house. Given the unusually tough challenges of the 2018 growing year, we are especially proud of all three of these fantastic wines. Come taste for yourself!
Other big news chez nous: Ryan Swann, our vineyard manager, got married this past weekend here at the vineyard. And do we ever have a wedding gift for him? It’s a new toy to play with in the vines: a mechanical leaf puller. Okay, that may not sound that thrilling to you. But we know Ryan’s gonna love it! Using it, he’ll be able to expose the grape clusters to more sunlight, which will help with ripening and eliminating pyrazines (a compound responsible for herby and vegetal flavors), which we monitor closely in producing the best tasting wines we can. Ryan takes the greatest of pride in his crucial role in our bountiful harvests, and we’re happy he has one more tool in his shed.
Otherwise, the excessive rains that plagued us last year have not been a problem this year. (Fingers crossed for continued good luck.) So we’re at the starting gate, ready to ride, and looking forward to harvest time, which typically straddles Labor Day, two weeks earlier than most of the state. Enjoy your new toy, Ryan! Everyone else, come over and join us in raising a glass to our wonderful vineyard manager and to the joy of another summer season among the vines.