Monthly Archive for July, 2012

Club Member BBQ Slideshow – Saturday July 28, 2012

Images taken by Pablo. Lafond Winery and Santa Barbara Winery Wine Club Members. Catering by the State Street Wine Bistro.

Annual Wine Club BBQ Picnic

It was a great day with the temperature in the 75F range. The food prepared by chef Nathan from our State Street Wine Bistro was outstanding.
After sampling some of Bruce’s barrel samples from the 2011 vintage, four different clones of Pinot Noir and enjoying chef Nathan’s Lunch, a small group ventured into the vineyard to look at the grapes and listen to Bruce explain why his wines are so good – it all begins in the vineyard.

Click images to enlarge:

Veraison in the Pinot Noir

Veraison, when the grapes begin to acquire color. Historically harvest has begun 6 weeks after the start of veraison, which puts it in the second week of September, same as last year.
Click image to enlarge:

50th Anniversary Celebration

Santa Barbara Winery 1962-2012

Disposing of Cleaning Water

When barrels are emptied they have to be cleaned and this requires a considerable amount of water. Disposing of the water through a normal septic system would be difficult and wasteful.

David Lafond built an underground pipe system which takes the water from the barrel cleaning station, over 300 feet, to a tank attached to a tractor.

When full the water is spread over the vineyard sometimes giving the road a reddish tinge. This system also encourages the spread of the specialized fermentation bacteria in the vineyard. The images, I think, are self explanatory. Click images to enlarge:

Moving Wine

The red wines are all made at Lafond Winery and bottled at Santa Barbara Winery in Santa Barbara. For the past two weeks, Bruce and his crew, have been emptying barrels in anticipation of moving the wine and preparing it for bottling.

The larger lots are moved by tankers, the smaller in barrels. Great care is taken in moving the wine, tanks are parged with nitrogen to avoid contact with oxygen, compressed air pumps, which are very gentle, move the wine to the tanker and the trip to Santa Barbara is about one hour.

The wines will be cold stabilized and allowed to settle. None of our red wines are filtered which can damage or reduce the complexity of the wines. Images show the tanker being loaded at the vineyard.

Emptying Barrels

All our 2011 red wines are stored in these barrels at Lafond Winery. The wine will be prepared for bottling in August, in fact, it needs to be bottled to make room for what looks to be a bumper 2012 harvest. You might say we are cutting it close.

View from the Tasting Room.


Vines have a way of dying from time to time – sometimes it is a gopher, sometimes damaged by a tractor – regardless they need to be replaced. The image shows the plants arriving from the nursery.

These are ‘green plants’, vines that have been grafted on a special root stock and are actually growing. Planting this late, the fact that they are live, will guarantee some growth for the rest of the season.

Because they are replants, in established blocks, they require special attention – they need more water and care. We have a dedicated ‘nurturer’ who visits them on a regular basis bringing water and nutrition.

Tuesday July 3, Pinot Noir Looking Very Good