Monthly Archive for May, 2010

5/28 Lafond Vineyard Pinot Noir – Flowering almost over, clusters setting and grapes forming

Click image to enlarge.

New Release: Santa Barbara Winery, Santa Rita Hills Rosé of Syrah

When Bruce first identified a section of Hilltop Ranch Vineyard as being particularly well suited to making rosé, we were becoming aware of a reenergized interest in these wines produced in a dry style with serious winemaking techniques.

A dry rose is a prized complement to food and company, particularly well suited for warm summer days outside as an apertif or to accompany a meal.

The 2009 Rose of Syrah is composed of syrah fruit from Hilltop Ranch Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills on an adjoining property to Lafond Vineyard.

The grapes were destemmed and hand sorted, followed by an overnight cold soak on the skins prior to pressing for proper color intensity. A cool fermentation took place entirely in stainless steel tanks.

This process preserves the electric color and the bright fruit flavors and aromas nicely balanced by firm acidity courtesy of the cool climate Sta. Rita Hills. A terrific wine with ample weight to enjoy with all but the heartiest of foods.

A simple lunch of cheese, cured meats, olives and bread is a favorite. Enjoy through the winter of 2011.

Suggested retail 15.00/750ml
Production: 206 Cases
To order: Santa Barbara Winery

Lafond Vineyard Burning Creek Pinot Noir

Planted last year the vines were pruned back to 2 buds this spring. The first year is dedicated to growing a strong root system. This year we grow the vine out of the growth tube and train two canes that will be tied to the wire and provide the fruit canes for next year’s harvest.

The whole block is doing well, despite a cool spring, and a majority of the vines are at the stage shown in the photo. Next year’s harvest will be small, both naturally and because we will cut back in order not to stress the vine.

Click image to enlarge.

‘Top Chef’ at Santa Barbara Winery Saturday May 22, 2010

Click images to enlarge.

Winemaker, Bruce McGuire, Sampling Barrels to Determine Blends and Vineyard Designate Selections

Click images to enlarge

Pinot Noir Flowering at Lafond Vineyard

Click image to enlarge.

Wine Club Pick-up Party at Santa Barbara Winery

Manager Suzanne Fitzgerald decided some time ago, instead of just picking up your Wine Club shipment – convenient if you live in the area – why not make it a little more festive and offer some great cheese and other goodies as a way to thank the members. It has become very successful and this Saturday well over 100 come to the winery to not only savor some of chef Nathan Heil’s creations – from the Wine Bistro – but also some very special wines.
Click images to enlarge.

Re-Planting

Every year we have to re-plant vines. Some succumb to diseases, such as nematodes or Pierce’s disease, others to gophers, deer, wild boar, or other natural causes. We have developed a system – one person is assigned to going through the vineyard, every day, to monitor the new plants – to water, to make sure they are not being choked off by weeds. It is actually a pretty cushy job driving through the vineyard in an ATV pulling a 100gal. tank of water.

This year, in the 137 +/- acres, we manage, we are re-planting over 2000 vines. This is more than usual, we are being very aggressive and pulling out mature vines that have been affected by disease and have little chance of recovery. Next year it should be a lot less.

The second image is of Enrique Solozano our long-time Vineyard Foreman, who lives at the vineyard, and makes all the critical decisions.
Click images to enlarge.

Lafond Vineyards

It may not be unusual, but it is always surprising, to find a bee colony in the vineyard. Fortunately, one of our neighbors is a commercial honey producer with colonies in many areas and he will gladly relocate the colony. The bees may be anticipating the flowering which is about to happen. The lower image shows a cluster showing signs of doing just that.
Click images to enlarge.

Interview with Cameron Bendetsen Santa Barbara Winery Cellar Master

From Califirnia Wine TV

Busy May 1 at Santa Barbara Winery

Click images to enlarge.

5.01.10 Group of over 50 in the Tank room Santa Barbara Winery

Click Images to enlarge.

Private Tasting for a group from LA by Train Celebrating Engagement at Santa Barbara Winery

Click images to enlarge.