Monthly Archive for June, 2011

Wedding at Lafond Winery – Saturday June 25 2011 – Dinner at Sun Down

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Our Sun Down Club – Friday Evening

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Wine Tasting at the Museum of Natural History

Always one of the most beautiful settings for a wine tasting this year was no exception. Our crew represented both the Santa Barbara Winery and our Wine Bistro. It was a very pleasant afternoon.
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Pascale Beale-Groom at Santa Barbara Winery, Saturday July 23 from 12:00-2:00

Join us for an afternoon at the Santa Barbara Winery when we welcome our guest Pascale Beale-Groom, the renowned owner/chef of Montecito Country Kitchen, the Mediterranean-style cooking school based in Santa Barbara.
Pascale will demonstrate a summer menu from the second book in her series A Menu For All Seasons-Summer.  Each dish will be deliciously paired with a summer wine from the winery.
30.00 per person, 25.00 for Wine Club Members.
Reservations cam be made by Email or phone  805 963 3633

Pinot Noir Clusters 6/21/11

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View of the Pinot Noir Block June 17, 2011-The Canopy has filled in

Winemaker Bruce McGuire and Assistant Winemaker Shane Keck

Bruce and Shane were at the Lafond Winery Tuesday making final evaluations of the 2010 Pinot Noir. They are selecting wines that will make the first cut. These are the wines that will be bottled under our Vineyard Designate label.

The Vineyard Designate wines are made up of a single clone or a single vineyard. The single vineyard will contain a selection of several clones in a blend that the winemaker considers superior. An example of the two would be the 2006 Arita Hills and the 2008 Arita Hills Clone 667, both currently available.

Some clones make the cut every year but it may vary. Bruce selects 4 or 5 keeping in mind, as well, to save some of these superior elements for our SRH Pinot Noir which is a larger bottling. All the wines are from our vineyard or our neighbor Arita Hills, whose vineyard we also manage.

The Leafer

This strange looking machine, which David is getting ready, is our ‘Leafer’. The large tubes are vacuum tubes which suck the leaves, first to the cutting blades, then blows them out of the way behind the tractor.

Maintaining the canopy, exposing the fruit to the sun and air, is an important part of canopy management and essential in getting high quality fruit.

We will make several passes with the ‘Leafer’ during the growing season, each occasion followed by human hands – machines are not perfect.

The leafing only occurs in the fruit area, which is a little more than a foot in height, the top may be hedged but a good canopy of leaves is essential for the photosynthesis process and ripening grapes.

Cluster Set

We had one inch of rain over the weekend – very unusual for June – fortunately the rains were soft and the flowering is just about over.

The image is of a Pinot Noir cluster and as you can see the set, or distribution of the grapes is pretty good – no big gaps and quite full – means the crop should be normal and even a little better than normal.

Now we are hoping for a warm summer. The growth, because of the cool and wet spring, is already about 10 days behind. With a warm summer we might catch up or at least not push the harvest even later.
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Chef Dave Martin at Santa Barbara Winery

We had a full house and Chef Dave produced an extensive menu of Roasted Beet Salad, Smokehouse Rubbed Hanger Steak and Buttermilk Marinated Free Range Chicken Skewers. Accompanied, first with Santa Barbara Winery Reserve Chardonnay followed by the Nebbiolo. Here are a few images of his presentation.

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Private Tasting at Lafond Winery in our Walled Patio

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Flowering is proceeding rapidly and very soon the clusters will set. A lot can happen before then – rain is predicted for the weekend. A shower would not be a problem but heavy downpour, as occurred recently in Northern California, might – damaging the clusters and, even more serious, not allowing tractors to work the fields. Now is when mildew is a major threat. The phto is of Pinot Noir taken today.6.02.11-flowering.jpg