Monthly Archive for October, 2010

Tuesday Primitivo

Tuesday we received Primitivo from the Joughin Vineyard. The fruit was excellent. Andy Joughin, our long time vineyard manager, has a small vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley where he grows Primitivo and several other Italian varieties.

Our winemaker, Bruce McGuire, was instrumental in planting these varieties which because of our cooler Santa Rita Hills  climate, are not suitable for our vineyard – but they do extremely well in Andy’s.

Primitivo by any other name is Zinfandel. DNA analysis has shown that our California Zinfandel, long considered of unknown origin, is in fact a perfect match for the Italian Primitivo. It has removed some of the mystery, which for many increased its attractiveness, but in compensation gave it excellent credentials.
Below some pictures processing Primitivo including weighing the boxes.
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Last Day of Pinot Noir with Syrah to go

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Company Event at Lafond Winery Patio

This Company has an an annual group bonding event at our patio. The event includes Mirella’s famous Tacos and other things as well as live music. This year, unfortunately, except for brief periods, was cloudy and at times even drizzly. Every one, however, had a good time.
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Tuesday October 19 – Drizzly Day but good for Pressing Grapes, Cleaning and Filling Barrels

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The Crush Pad

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Saturday October 16, 2010, Santa Barbara Winery

Many things going on today from barrel filling, oil tasting and, of course, wine tasting.
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New Release Santa Barbara Winery

Pinot Gris is grown throughout the world, with Northern Italy perhaps getting the most recognition in recent times.

A fairly hearty variety, Pinot Gris is ideally grown in a climate just cool enough to develop the acidity needed to provide structure for the near full bodied mouth feel.

Bruce is very impressed with Thompson Vineyard in Alisos Canyon, a site he feels is well suited for making big, rich wines.

This vineyard seems to be in the climate midrange, as it is in neither the coolest, nor the warmest area in Santa Barbara County. While its reputation lies primarily as a superior red grape vineyard, it also produces great Pinot Gris.

The varietals planted here have been thoughtfully chosen and are starting to show the full potential of this vineyard and its microclimate. A cool stainless steel fermentations maintains the crisp acidity of the wine while putting forth fresh apple and pear flavors.

While this wine is a very pleasant aperitif, it has ample weight for pairing with young goat cheeses, roasted pork dishes, crab, or Thai Sea Bass. This wine is best in its youth, when it is at its freshest.
Suggested retail: 16.00
To order: Santa Barbara Winery


Pressed white grapes, which still have nutrients, are mixed with straw and regularly turned over. Pressed red grapes, however, are not good canditates for composting. Fermentation has removed all nutrients but they make excellent ground cover. When dried, usually the follwing summer, we use them in our flower and plant beds. The dark red color provides an excellent contrast.
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Recycling Water

At Lafond Winery we have developed a system where water used in cleaning and other outside water use, is collected and delivered to a mobile, 1000 gal. water tank. When the tanker is full the water is spread throughout the vineyard.
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Today was a day for Pressing – Removing the Wine before Pressing the Solids

Lafond Winery Open House Saturday 9, October 2010

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Picking Pinot at La Quinta

La Quinta is a small vineyard just across the road from us – less than 3 acres. This year we have been farming it for Steve Russel, the owner. The vineyard is very steep with very narrow rows, some facing north and some east. One of the clones in this vineyard is julia, which is not one of the 8 or 9 we have planted in our Lafond Vineyard and will be interested to see how it does. The setting is very picturesque as you can see from the photos.
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Pressing our First Pinot Noir at Lafond Winery

This is the first fermnter to be ready to press. The juice, which is now wine, is first drained out of the tank then the real work begins – getting the solids out. Most of the solids are raked out but eventually someone has to get in and shovel out the remainder. These are then put into the press.

With the end of Chardonnay – Moving Equiment to the Pinot Noir and Preparing Picking Buckets

Last Day Lafond Vineyard Chardonnay

Today was the last day of picking whites form the Lafond Vineyard. Pickers began at 8:00pm the night before and picked through to this morning. Last weeks heat wave pushed the vines and we needed to get the harvest in.

Later this week we will start picking our neighbor, Hilltop Vineyard’s, Chardonnay. Despite, or because, of an unusual year – cool summer and sudden heat wave – the crop looks excellent. This is a photo of one of the last boxes of the Lafond Chardonnay. The barrels in the foreground are puncheons that have been filled with fermenting juice.

After racking, to remove the solids, the juice is inoculated with yeast and pumped into barrels – in the case of Chardonnay into the larger 160 gal. puncheons.