Monthly Archive for September, 2013

Santa Barbara Winery, Wine Club Members’ Wine Pick-up Saturday, September 28, 2013


Open House Lafond Winery, Sat.-Sun. October 12-13

Harvest Festival
Lafond Winery Open House
Saturday and Sunday Oct. 12-13

Enjoy Mirella’s Famous Tacos, a great selection of Cheese and Bread as well as our usual spreads, Brownies and freshly picked Strawberries.

The Vintners’ Harvest Celebration main event is Sat. Oct. 12 from 1-4 at Rancho Sisquoc. Early Bird on-line is 75.00, at the door 85.00.
The Lafond Winery Open House is free for all Wine Club Members and 15.00 for all others.

October Wine Club will be shipped October 1 and Wine pick-up wil be available at the Open House.
Come Join us!

More Images of the Harvest at Lafond Winery





Machine Pickiing

2013-harvest-7This harvester which uses the same gentle crusher/stemmer we us in our production is technically advanced and made in France. We contracted for 2 nights picking to evaluate whether it was suitable for us. Unfortunately it broke down the first night. The machine, I might add, is a 1/2 million investment.

What we did find, although it required a lot fewer people, it did not pick faster than our hand-picking crews. Harvest machines are essential in large vineyards, there simply are not enough pickers, but for smaller wineries the benefit of passing in front of human eyes, on conveyor belts, before reaching the fermenter is a big plus.

Starting Fermentation

First a view of the overall winery. Then Carlos drawing out four picking boxes of juice from a fermenter that has been cooling for two nights. You can see the ice on the tank walls.
Carlos has mixed yeast with hot water. Barolo yeast, which winemaker Bruce McGuire prefers for Pinot Noir. Then he places the box under the tank and barely opens the spigot so that the yeast will gradually acclimatize itself to the cold juice.
Once this box is fermenting well he will dump it over the top on the grape solids in the tank and then the other 4 boxes he previously drew out. This will provide thorough contact with the yeast and fermentation will begin rapidly.


All boxes have to be weighed, in this case 2 boxes at one time. This is net weight of 2240 lbs. – just a little over one ton. Boxes of Pinot Noir weigh a little heavier than many other varieties – the grapes are very small and they pack closer together.
Click on image to enlarge:

Barrel Maintenance

Each year we add new barrels. We use some barrels up to ten years but after a few years, although they continue to do the job of ageing wine well, they no longer contribute the subtle wood flavors that add to the complexity of the wine.

Innerstave, a company that specializes in this, added just that- inner staves, oak wood staves from aged French Burgundy oak. These are charred, as the barrels themselves are and come from light to strong.

They work extremely quickly and I am lucky as I was there when they arrived. There is an image of the new staves inside the barrel and of old staves that have been removed. These are covered with wine tartrates which accumulate on the sides of the barrels and on the staves as well.2013-harvest-82013-harvest-112013-harvest-92013-harvest-10

Harvest 2013 – Pinot Noir at Lafond Winery







New Release – Santa Barbara Winery 2012 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

Most of the fruit comes from our Burning Creek vineyard. The remainder from our Lafond Vineyard and Arita Hills Vineyard. All three vineyards are located in the heart of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, an appellation known internationally for exceptional Pinot Noir

2012-pinot-noir-santa-barbara-b-cs-gThe Santa Rita Hills valley runs east-west leading to the Pacific Ocean. In early afternoon, cool breezes blow up the valley followed by evening fog which lingers until mid-morning.

This creates the southernmost Region 1 climate zone in the northern hemisphere, which has one of the longest growing seasons in the world, conditions that are ideal for producing quality, fruit-driven Pinot Noir.

Exhibiting flavors and aromas of black cherry, strawberry, violets and black tea, this wine is the perfect red for light lunches on the patio, lazy afternoons picnicking in the shade or an evening of hors d’oeuvres and aperitiffs at the bistro.

Winemaker’s comments: Burning Creek is our new vineyard producing its first full crop. The wine is fruit forward and very accessible. A mix of 7 clones adds to its complexity.

Retail: 17.00/750ml
To order:
Click image to enlarge: