Monthly Archive for November, 2009

Fall in the Vineyard

We are getting freezing temperatures at night but the days continue to be fairly warm. Today, however, there seems to be a change, it is cloudy, cold and windy. Driving up from Santa Barbara today the winds on the coast were very strong and definitely required two handed steering.

The winds were a little less once over the pass but colder. The vines are going into their dormant stage – the earlier varieties loose their leaves first and the Syrah, which is harvested last, is just beginning to. Pruning will begin in January. The photos were taken today Friday, November 27, 2009.

The last photo is of our fountain and pool, adjacent to the Tasting Room.

Friday November 13, 2009 Lafond Vineyards Picking and Stomping Late Harvest Riesling

The final pick – the Late Harvest Botrytized Riesling. Winemaker, Bruce McGuire, noticed after our October rain, that the botrytis cinerea, or ‘noble rot’ was growing on some of our Riesling. We made the decision to set aside a 2 acre block and see what we could get. The fungus, fortunately, under ideal conditions, continued to develop and this Friday Bruce made the decision that it was time to pick.

What you see in the images is our traditional stomping of these grapes. The boxes are only 1/2 full to make the work easier. First everyone dons rubber boots and the stomping ends when the grapes have released their precious liquid. Experience has taught us that this is not only the gentlest way but also the most efficient method for extracting juice from these grapes.

The stomped grapes are then refrigerated for 3 to 4 days keeping the juice and skins in contact to permit the full absorption of all the flavors. Then the pomace is pressed.

These are rough calculations, but we expect close to 150 gallons of wine at 9% alcohol by volume and residual sugar of between 20 and 24 Brix. It could be fatastic.