Monthly Archive for August, 2009

New Release Santa Barbnara Winery

Central Coast
2008 Pinot Noir

2008 marks the ninth vintage of our “color label” Pinot Noir. Winemaker Bruce McGuire has secured select vineyard lots at Scheid Vineyards up in Monterey County just for this bottling. 2008 brought a small crop with extremely streamlined concentration.

Bruce has toured this section of vineyard and was pleased with the viticulture as well as the three Pinot Noir clones available: Pommard, Clone 115, and Clone 23. This vintage is made up of one third part each of these clones.

Clone 23 brings a subtle earthiness to the flavor palate, adding additional depth and structure. Berry flavors, smooth mouthfeel, and a firm acidity fill out the wine and enhance its enviable versatility. 5% Zinfandel from Wild Rose Vineyard adds spice and exotic character to the nose.

Capitalizing on forward fruit and mid-weight structure, Bruce used older barrels for aging, thus preserving the bright and perfumed fruit character of the finished wine. This particular blend of Pinot Noir clones makes a food friendly wine suitable for pairing with roast chicken, open fire grilled fish, and a wide variety of pasta dishes.
Suggested Retail: 16.50
To order: Santa Barbara Winery

Lafond Vineyards Hedging Syrah

Syrah is a late harvesting variety and while the the Pinot Noir is now covered with nets, the Syrah canes are still growing and need a final trim. If canes are allowed to grow too long they will fall over the retaining wires and cover the fruit.

And, because it is a late harvesting variety, it is more likely to rain before the grapes are brought in – exposed fruit allows for quicker drying and less likely hood of mold growth.

Fortunately Syrah, like most late harvest varieties, has a thick skin and less susceptible to damage from the rain itself. The photos show the hedger which trims two rows at a time both side and top.

Lafond Vineyards August 14, 2009

Pinot Noir

The vineyard has been netted and veraison ( the change in color) is almost complete. Winemaker Bruce McGuire estimates that harvest will begin mid- September.

Workers have gone through the vineyard, working under the nets, dropping all green fruit –  fruit that has not begun or only partially begun changing color –  in order to balance the vine and even ripening. The effort now is to make sure that we pick with as little variance in ripeness as possible.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday was a beautiful day. Warm but with a cooling afternoon breeze that blows up the valley from the ocean. There were several events occurring at the same time, the Annual Wine Club Member BBQ, a smaller group meeting in the Patio and, of course, our regular visitors.

The BBQ was held under the trees with the same caterer we have used for several years. As in the past the food was delicious and a fitting companion to our wines.

Winemaker Bruce McGuire took small groups to the winery to sample wine directly from the barrels. Chris again provided  us with wonderful Flamenco Guitar Music. Chris is that tall fellow who often works in the Santa Barbara Winery Tasting Room. The whole thing was organized by Mirella Ramirez our Events and Visitors Manager at the Lafond Winery. Suzanne Fitzgerald, from Santa Barbara Winery, was also there pouring wine and greeting members.