Monthly Archive for July, 2013


7.31.13-veraisonThe grapes are taking on color. Some blocks are more advanced but this image is about average. This will be an early harvest. With veraison come the birds and we are now installing nets. This makes it a little more complicated as we are still dropping fruit.
Click image to enlarge.

Images of the Lafond Winery taken today. The press is on the crush bad – only to be serviced, harvest is still some time off.





Pinot Noir Today

7.21.13-pinot-noirThe Pinot Noir is growing on schedule. The lack of Spring rain requires more irrigation than in normal years. The crop is abundant, we have dropped some fruit to balance the vines and we will probably have to drop more. It depends on the size of the canopy, some areas show abundant canopy but others are not in balance with the fruit.

Moving Red Wine



7.11.13-tanker-3We are almost at the end of moving our red wine from Lafond Winery to Santa Barbara Winery to be bottled. These are large quantity lots which are almost impossible to move by barrel alone.

The wine is removed from barrels and put into a holding stainless steel tank then transferred to a tanker truck. The truck then brings the wine to Santa Barbara, an hour drive, where it is transferred again to stainless steel tanks where the cold stabilization process begins.

In one of the photos you can see ice forming below the insulated jacket as the temperature drops below freezing. Another photo shows the barrel cleaner which is set on a sequence timer beginning with hot water and finishing with cold water saturated with ozone gas.

Moving Barrels to Santa Barbara for Bottling



7.08.13-unloading-barrels-3Unloading barrels of Pinot Noir from the Lafond Winery in the Santa Rita Hills. The wines are special lots selected by the winemaker – vineyard designated and some with both vineyard and clone identification.

The wines will be cold stabilized and allowed to settle in stainless steel tanks. They will then be bottled without filtration.

Dave’s Homemade by Chef Dave Martin back by Popular Demand at Santa Barbara Winery




Santa Barbara Winery July 4th




The Funk Zone July 4th

7.04.13-funk-zone-5 And a quiet island at Santa Barbara Winery

Pinot Noir at Lafond Winery

This week we are emptying barrels and preparing the wine for bottling. These are mostly Pinot Noir with some Syrah that winemaker Bruce McGuire has selected for the regular Pinot Noir bottling as well as the small clone and vineyard selected lots.

The image shows the extraction of the wine from the barrel by pressured nitrogen eliminating the need to pump. The rod in the barrel is called a ‘bulldog’, and I have no idea why, which has a gas line that fills the empty cavity with nitrogen under pressure. The wine is then collected in a stainless steel tank.

The ‘bulldog’ draws the wine at the bottom just above the sediment. Today we have three of these working at the same time. In the image he is drawing off, by hand, some of the wine so that the bulldog will not cause the barrel to spill.7.04.13-lafond-winery