Monthly Archive for October, 2013

Extended Macerarion

2013-harvest-32Winemaker Bruce McGuire is punching down and stirring one of our many macrobins. They hold 1 ton of grapes, regular picking bins 1/2 ton.

Bruce uses extended maceration, which is keeping the fermented wine with its skins for several weeks and sometimes months, until a balance has been reached between evolving tannins and phenols. A determination made by sampling. The bins must be stirred twice a day to maximize contact with skins and sediments all of which increases the complexity of flavors in the wine.

Depending on the outcome, some will be bottled as stand alone wines and others will be used as components in larger blends.

Fascinating?

A Slideshow of the 2013 Harvest

Rain

This has been a picture book harvest. Yields were good , quality high and the weather was moderate with few highs or lows and now that we are done we have rain.

And it is good that we have rain. We left a small block of Riesling hoping that sugars would increase and we could produce a Late Harvest Riesling.

Rain might facilitate that most elusive of growths Botrytis Cinerea, Noble Rot or ‘Pourriture Noble’, found in the Sauterne of France, Tokaj Hungary and Schloss Johanisberg on the Rhine.

10.29.13-botrytis-rieslingThere is no guarantee, the magin between plain rot and Botrytis is very slim. We can hope.

The image, of Botrityzed Riesling, came from Wikipedia

End of October – Leaves Changing

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Last Day of 2013 Harvest

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New Release Lafond Winery 2012 SRH Chardonnay

10.23.13-2012-srh-chardonnay-bottle-glass-corkscrew-webThe Santa Rita Hills is a small appellation at the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley that has gained national recognition for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The Valley runs west to east, opening a gap in the coastal range, allowing the late afternoon ocean fog to roll in where it lingers until early morning. The surrounding hills trap the fog before it is dissipated in the wider Santa Ynez Valley.

The fog cools the vines from the day’s summer heat and it is this combination of warm days and cool nights that gives the wine its complexity as well as providing acidity to give it structure.

Winemaker’s comments: Our new blocks of Chardonnay are now in production. We now have four additional clones along with our original Wente clone, which was first planted over 25 years ago.

The new clones in, addition to adding to the complexity of the wine, introduce subtle flavors which add to its enjoyment and underline the remarkable qualities of the Santa Rita Hills ‘terroir’.

Suggested Retail Price: 23.00
Click image to enlarge:
To Order: www.lafondwinery.com

Cleaning…

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Open House – Lafond Winery – Sat./Sun. Oct. 12-13

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Saturday, October 12 – Open House

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2013-harvest-26This morning we crushed a little under 8 tons of Syrah. This is our first Syrah and will be doing Syrah all next week. They tried to get done before noon so as not to get in the way of our Open House visitors – more on that later.

The images show the picking bins full of grapes that have been stemmed and crushed. Next they stir up the bins and then proceed to load the fermenting tanks. The real work is cleaning up.

Filling Barrels

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First Rainy Day of Fall

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New Release Lafond Winery 2010 Pommard Clone Pinot Noir

10.08.13-2010-pinot-noir-pommard-b-g-cs-webThe Santa Rita Hills is a small appellation at the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley that has gained national recognition for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The Valley runs west to east, opening a gap in the coastal range, allowing the late afternoon ocean fog to roll in where it lingers until early morning. The surrounding hills trap the fog before it is dissipated in the wider Santa Ynez Valley.

The fog cools the vines from the day’s summer heat and it is this combination of warm days and cool nights that gives the wine its complexity as well as providing acidity to give it structure.

Winemaker’s comments: Pommard is an old clone that has been in California for many years. It consistently produces superior wines that have both flavor and intensity.

Suggested Retail: 50.00 750ml
To Order: www.lafondwinery.com

New Release Santa Barbara Winery 2010 Sangiovese

2010-sangiovese-g-csThe Stolpman Vineyard is located in Ballard Canyon about 9.5 miles east of our Lafond Vineyard.

The warmer climate in Ballard Canyon is nicely suited for Sangiovese, historically the primary grape of the Chianti region of Italy.

Known for its dense cherry fruit, Sangiovese’s popularity has been on the increase as winemakers around the world discover the structure and full-bodied nature of the wine along with its affinity for blending with other varietals.

Winemaker Bruce McGuire continues to be pleased with this newer block of Sangiovese; 2010 is the ninth harvest from this section.

Walking the tight rope between the true Tuscan style and a New World flare, Bruce strives to maintain the structure of the acclaimed Chiantis from the Montalcino and Montepulciano regions.

Winemaker’s comments: i first worked with Stolpman Sangiovese in 1997. I was blown away by the intensity of the fruit from the then young vines. It has only gotten better with age.

A very cool summer with a heat spell in September gives the wine a cool climate structure with the flavors from a ripe fruit.

Sangiovese

Today we processed Sangiovese from the Stolpman Vineyard. Sangiovese has a thicker skin than Pinot Noir and in the de-stemming the grapes are not crushed – they come out and stack like marbles. Some will be broken during fermentation, releasing juice, but many will not and the fermentation will occur within the grape.

The wine will not be pressed when fermentation is completed, but will be held for several weeks, juice and skins in contact, until the winemaker determines that the balance he is looking for is reached. The resulting wine is very complex and requires more time in barrel and bottle before release. We are just releasing the 2010 vintage under the Santa Barbara Winery label.
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