Monthly Archive for October, 2009

Botrytis Cinirea

Botrytis cinirea is occurring, in a very small block of older Riesling vines, in our Lafond Vineyards. It will very likely produce less than 1500 375ml bottles. Botrytis cinirea can occur, under wet conditions, in other fruits, such as strawberries, where it is simply called rot and the fruit discarded. In grapes, usually after an initial rain, and if followed by dry weather, we call it Noble Rot. Which sounds infinitely better.  Wikipedia describes it very well…

In the Botrytis infection known as “noble rot” (pourriture noble in French, or Edelfäule in German), the fungus removes water from the grapes, leaving behind a higher percent of solids, such as sugars, fruit acids and minerals. This results in a more intense, concentrated final product. The wine is often said to have an aroma of honeysuckle and a bitter finish on the palate.

This is a recent photo at our vineyard showing the grapes at various stages. When complete the grapes are brownish in color and collapse on themselves as the water is removed by the fungus. The flavors become very concentrated and complex and, although sweet, maintain high acidity. The finished wine is usually under 10% in alcohol with residual sugar exceeding 20%.

Harvest is almost over at Lafond Winery & Vineyards

We are getting near the end. All the whites have been picked and what is left of the reds, Syrah, will be picked next week.

Winemaker, Bruce McGuire, goes through the field and marks off what is ripe and ready and what is not. This may mean going back into the same block and same row several times during harvest. Ancient river beds, which is what most of the Santa Rita Hills Appelation comprises, have very uneven soil profiles which makes for uneven ripening. The low fertile areas are generally picked first and the more fertile, sometimes weeks later.

Photo shows the change in color in the Pinot Noir as the vines begin to close down. The other photo shows the last of the Pinot Noir being barrelled. In the background you can see part of the more than 325 Pinot Noir barrels from this harvest. Photos were taken today.

New Release Santa Barbara Winery 2008 Late Harvest Riesling Lafond Vineyards

Lafond Vineyard’s Riesling vines were originally planted in 1972. Our long, cool growing season enables firm acids to develop which highlight the flavor intensity that makes this a wonderful full-bodied example of a noble grape we feel is underappreciated in the world.

Extended hang time on the vines helped to produce a wonderfully rich, yet elegant and clean dessert wine with an extraordinary balance of acids and sugars.

Riesling is a popular late harvest dessert wine when grown in the right conditions that will allow sugars to develop, while also maintaining the necessary acidity, very low pH, to keep the resulting wine fresh. Alcohol is kept low to showcase the purity of fruit courtesy of the Sta. Rita Hills’ long growing season.

In its youth, the 08 Late Harvest Riesling showcases aromas of orange blossom, honeyed pear, and burnt sugar. On the palate, stone fruits intermingle and rich viscosity is balanced by crisp acidity. The finish is long and mouth coating, leaving behind a clean feeling that is far from cloying. Serve slightly chilled in small glasses with a Rustic Peach or Pear Tart.

Suggested Retail: 28.00/375ml
To order: Santa Barbara Winery

New Release Santa Barbara Winery 2006 Stolpman Vineyard Sangiovese

The Stolpman Vineyard is located in Ballard Canyon about 9.5 miles east of our Lafond Vineyard. The warmer climate in Ballard Canyon is nicely suited for Sangiovese, historically the primary grape of the Chianti region of Italy.

Known for its dense cherry fruit, Sangiovese’s popularity has been on the increase as winemakers around the world discover the structure and full-bodied nature of the wine along with its affinity for blending with other varietals.

Winemaker Bruce McGuire continues to be pleased with this newer block of Sangiovese; 2006 is the fifth harvest from this section.

This wine is enflamed with rustic spice, bright forward cherry flavors, an underlying core of acidity, and soft food-friendly tannins. Walking the tight rope between the true Tuscan style and a New World flare, Bruce strives to maintain the structure of the acclaimed Chiantis from the Montalcino and Montepulciano regions.

It is always a champion in summer especially with dishes utilizing fresh vine-ripened tomatoes. Enjoy between the summer of 2009 and 2012.
Suggested retail 24.00/750ml
To order: Santa Barbara Winery

Harvest Festival Open House at Lafond Winery & Vineyards

Saturday, October 10 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
New Releases, Live Music, Cheese and Bread, Strawberries and much more…
Join Us

For more information call 805 688 7921. Harvest is continuing and there is a lot of activity. Some of the vines are beginning to color and the view down the valley can be spectacular.