Monthly Archive for June, 2010

Early Days at Santa Barbara Winery: an Old Clipping from the 1965 Santa Barbara News-Press

The winery opened in 1962 and this was one of our first ‘crushes’. The grapes were Zinfandel from a small vineyard in San Luis Obispo, at that time the closest source.

These were excellent grapes and, except for a few little known varieties, the only grapes grown in SLO.

The first vineyard in Santa Barbara County was planted that year, in Santa Maria by DeMattei and Nielson.

The quality was so good that from the first harvest, in 1968,  the grapes were scooped up by large wineries in Napa and Sonoma.

Their gamble had succeeded, other vineyards followed and a whole new industry was created.
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More Images from Lafond Vineyard

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Pinot Noir Clusters – Doing Well

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Images from Lafond Winery

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Chad, Africa Fund Raiser at Santa Barbara Winery Sunday, June 20

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New Release Lafond Winery 2008 SRH Pinot Noir

Rising in the middle of the western Santa Ynez Valley, the Santa Rita Hills are the distinguishing feature of our AVA, home of Lafond Vineyard and a wonderful area to grow Pinot Noir.

The long, very cool growing season of this area is exemplified by February bud break and September harvest, a long period for vine physiology that creates wines of intense concentration and balanced acidity. Winemaker Bruce McGuire chooses very specific sites in the vineyard for each of his Pinot Noir selections.

Several different Pinot Noir clones, some planted as early as 1983, add to the palate of flavor and texture from which to craft each Pinot Noir. In 2008, Bruce chose 8 clones from 15 vineyard lots (the majority from Lafond Vineyard and the nearby Arita Hills Vineyard) picked at ripeness over a four week period.

Frost damage affected yields from Lafond Vineyard, which produced only .7 tons / acre (about a quarter of average), leading to tremendous dark berry fruit concentration. The intensity from this vintage will reward cellaring through 2016, with 2010 being a great year to begin enjoying this wine.

The complexity of flavor found in Pinot Noir from Lafond Vineyard is a wonderful match with savory foods and a classic with grilled salmon or mushrooms.

Suggested Retail: 27.00/750ml
To Order: Lafond Winery

Lafond Vineyard Pinot Noir cluster June 16, 2010

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Drip Feeding the Chardonnay

Vines in sandy soil produce smaller grapes which in turn produce very intense wines. Our favorite Chardonnay block is on a sandy knoll created from drift sand and with very little nutrients. Until we began using drip irrigation the vines were stunted and produced little or no fruit.

Drip irrigation is particularly well suited for this condition and it allows us to introduce small amounts of liquid fertilizer directly to the plant. David Lafond is monitoring the operation.
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Hedging Syrah June 16, 2010

Syrah’s canopy grows rapidly and we have to control it very early. The hedger cuts the sides and tops of the vines on either side with what looks like a very threatening piece of hardware.

Leaves in the grape cluster area have already been removed and this further exposes the vine. In the case of Syrah this will probably have to be repeated two or three times during the growing season.
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Stairs to Vineyard – View from Landing

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Lafond Winery

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Pinot Noir After Leafing, June 5, 2010

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June 1, Lafond Winery, Emptying barrels of the 2009 Pinot Noir for Bottling

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