Santa Barbara Winery White Wines

sbw-white-wines-webVoted 2014 Best White Wines of Santa Barbara by Readers of Santa Barbara’s Weekly Independent. Eight wines, Pinot Gris, Chenin Blanc, Orange Muscat, Riesling and two of each, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. All distinct and stylistic wines by Winemaker Bruce McGuire and Assistant Winemaker Will Cannon.

Except for the Reserve Chardonnay all these wines are under 20.00.
To Order: www.sbwinery

Lafond Winery SRH Wines

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Our 3 SRH wines, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah have each won Gold Medals at the 2014 Tasters Guild International Wine Competition, held in Texas, which brings to a total of 12 for these three wines.

We congratulate Winemaker Bruce McGuire and his talented crew for producing such exceptional wines. These are all wines from grapes grown in the Santa Rita Hills Appelation mostly from our vineyards but also from our neighbors.

Harvest 2014

9.26.14-harvestAll these picking boxes, picked during the night, have to be processed.

9.26.14-harvest-2Winemaker Bruc McGuire drawing off some fermenting Pinot Noir to check the sugar.
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Santa Barbara Wine Club Wine Pick-up Party Saturday, September 20

Despite all the harvest activity Suzanne found room for over 200 people. It was a great event with all that wine bubbling away fermenting in the background9.21.14-wine-club-1

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Open House at Lafond Winery City Tasting Room for Artist Michael Adams

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The art of Stemming

9.11.14-2This is our Pollenc stemmer from France. There are very few in the valley.

The grapes are gently seperated from their stems and as they pass over the rollers fall through the spaces between to a moving conveyor belt while the stems ride above to a tray at the end where an augur pushes them into a picking box.

It is important not to damage the skins – they give color, tannin and more to the wine but it is equally important not to damage the stems as the flavors that might be extracted are not good – on the green side. Bite into one and you can imagine.

Circulating the Wine

9.11.14-3In order not to damage the grapes by pumping we circulate the wine by draining into a picking box and then lifting it into the tank. The wine is not yet fully fermenting, in fact it is mostly juice, and has not developed a cap which can be punched down to give the juice contact with the skins.

Winemaking is not all Art – Bruce looking at his Spreadsheets

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A Dinner with Friends at the Lafond Winery Patio

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More of Harvest

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Images of the Harvest

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8.29.14-night-harvest-5These images show both hand and machine picking. Because of the unusually large harvest and the quick ripening grapes we felt the need to use one or two nights of machine picking. It so happens, on this one night, the pickers kicked a.. and beat the machine.

The picking machine, or harvester, has the same gentle Pollenc de-stemmer that we use, the difference is that the grapes come to the winery de-stemmed. I am not sure if we will use the harvester again, at the moment all tanks are full and grapes need to be pressed.

More about the Harvest

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8.28.14-harvest-3We are processing Pinot Noir and it looks to be a substantial harvest. Difficult to explain because after 2 years of drought you might assume that the harvest would be small.

The images show a new configuration of our grape handling process. The grapes picked at night are nice and cool despite warm days. They are de-stemmed in our ‘Pollenc’ machine which is incredibly gentle in seperating the grapes from the stem. The grapes pass through two conveyors where all extraneous material is removed. From the second conveyor they fall into an augur which pushes the grapes to the pump from where they go directly to the fermenting.

The whole process is very gentle and the secret is not to damage the skins. The skins give the wine its color and damaged skins can also give undesired flavors.

Santa Barbara Newspress Article about First Crush

8-26-2014 5-19-47-3 PM>Click here to view full article (pdf).

Inner Staves

Older barrels, 4-5 years old, lose their ability to transmit the subtle oak flavors we look for in wine. Every year at the beginning of harvest this expert crew comes to the winery and in a matter of minutes install inner oak staves in older barrels.
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First day of Crush – Thursday August 21, 2014

Pinot Noir Grapes picked Wednesday night from 8:00pm to 12:00am. No Champagne we celebrated with coffee.
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Wednesday, August the 20th: First Day of Harvest at Santa Barbara Winery and the obligatory Toast over the first box of grapes – Pinot Gris. Here’s to a good harvest.

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Pre-Harvest

Getting ready for harvest. Maintenance and Winemaker Bruce McGuire testing Pinot Noir at Lafond Winery in the Santa Rita Hills.
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August Dinner at the Vineyard

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Wine Club Member BBQ – Saturday, July19, 2014

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DeeTours at the Winery Saturday July 19

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