Kim and Lise with Friends at the Vineyard

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Planting a new Grenache Block

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A Grenache Clone, selected by Winemaker Bruce McGuire, is grafted onto a root stock, grown one year in a nursey before being planted in the Vineyard.
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Scenes from a Wedding June 28, 2014

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The Patio

Santa Rita Hills is often very windy – it cools the grapes. The Patio surrounded by the winery and high walls is ideal for those days.6.28.14-patio-1

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The State of the Pinot Noir June 28, 2014

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Hedging – June 28, 2014

This year we are fortunate to have a strong canopy. Last year the canopy was weak and we had to drop a lot of the fruit to balance the vine. This year we have a strong crop and, despite the lack of rain a strong canopy. The bottom shows the hedger hidden behind the canopy.
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6.28.14-hedging-2Click images to enlarge:

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A Great Investment Opportunity!

Leafing the Pinot Noir

Several times a year during the growing season we go through the vineyard with a large vacuum machine that pulls the leaves covering the grapes. The images show the machine at work, the result and a lone worker adjusting the retaining wires after the leafing machine has passed.

We open the vines this way to improve air circulation and reduce the danger of mildew. The canopy is left intact and may be hedged later to prevent the canes from falling over the retaining wire and covering the fruit.
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New Release from Lafond Winery – 2010 Lafond Vineyard Pinot Noir

2010-lv-pinot-noir-b-g-webWinemaker’s Comments: We selected barrels with wine from 3 different clones. Each clone, 667, 777 and Pommard supplied 1/3 of the total. This, I believe, is our flagship Pinot Noir for the 2010 vintage.

Each vintage is different, what clones will make the top wine varies from year to year. We are fortunate to have 8 clones to select from as well as from multiple blocks with different soil conditions.

Suggested Retail: 55.00
To Order: www.lafond winery.com

New Release 2013 Santa Barbara Winery Rosé of Syrah

2013-rose-of-syrah-bottle-glass-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 permitting the late afternoon ocean fog to roll into the Santa Rita Hills, where it lingers until early morning. The surrounding hills trap the fog before it is dissipated in the wider Santa Ynez Valley.

In the summer the fog moderates the normally warm days of the valley, cooling the grapes at night. Warm days and cool nights are essential to the developement of Pinot Noir providing the necessary acid/sugar balance.

In the spring when frost is our biggest concern a layer of fog over the vineyard can provide protection.

Winemaker’s Comments: The grapes were destemmed and hand sorted, followed by an overnight cold soak on the skins prior to pressing for proper color intensity. A cool fermentation took place entirely in stainless steel tanks. Plum aromas and flavors with some cool climate spice.

Suggested retail: 17.00/750ml
To Order: www.sbwinery.com

New Release Santa Barbara Winery 2012 Sata Rita Hills Pinot Noir

2012-pinot-noir-glass-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 permitting the late afternoon ocean fog to roll into the Santa Rita Hills, where it lingers until early morning. The surrounding hills trap the fog before it is dissipated in the wider Santa Ynez Valley.

In the summer the fog moderates the normally warm days of the valley, cooling the grapes at night. Warm days and cool nights are essential to the developement of Pinot Noir providing the necessary acid/sugar balance.

In the spring when frost is our biggest concern a layer of fog over the vineyard can provide protection.

Winemaker’s Comments: This Pinot Noir includes 9 clones fermented in 19 separate tanks. The grapes are from our 3 vineyards with varying terrain. This is truly an expression of Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir.
To Order: www.sbwinery.com

Spring Images from the Vineyard by David

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More Images of Spring

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Santa Barbara Winery Releases 2011 McGinley Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

2011-cabernet-sauvignon-b-gl-webAfter over a quarter century of making Cabernet Sauvignon from our Lafond Vineyard, Winemaker Bruce McGuire is now sourcing this grape from the warmer, eastern side of the Santa Ynez Valley.

This 2011 vintage is from a low vigor block in the warmer Happy Canyon appellation, on the Los Padres side of Hwy 154. Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara is the newest of five Santa Barbara County AVAs as of 2009, located in the north-east Santa Ynez Valley.

It is described as a bucolic canyon of hillside vineyards. Differentiated from the rest of Santa Barbara County, it has decidedly hotter temperatures and a high-magnesium mineral terroir.

These unique factors and micro- climate make this area suitable for producing Bordeaux varietals with concentrated flavors and a ripe fruit quality that has been difficult to achieve in the cooler areas of Santa Barbara County.

Winemaker’s comments: Our Block, on an elevated Mesa, has small low vigor vines that produce rich concentrated fruit. A 53 days maceration on the skins provides textural length to the persistent finish.

(Extended maceration is the process of keeping a wine, which has fermented dry, in contact with the skins instead of pressing it. The cap in this process has a tendency to rise to the top and the winemaker must push it down, two or three times a day, to maintain contact.)

Suggested retail 32.00/750ml
To order: www.sbwinery.com

Valentine’s Celebration at Lafond Winery

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Drain Installation Lafond Vineyard

2.12.14.installing-drainThe image is of our contractor installing a 4′ diametere drain pipe under the ‘bench’ so that in rainy years, you remember, the vines are not washed away.

On our ‘bench’, an area of about 2.5 acres we formerly had Riesling, which we just pulled out. We will be re-planting with Grenache using clones that Winemaker Bruce McGuire has carefully selected. From our own experience and that of others, the Santa Rita Hills Appelation, can produce some very exciting wines from Grenache.

The 2013 vintage was the last for the ‘bench’. The vines were not producing and many had died but in a final effort gave us some excellent botrytis infected late harvest Riesling which we will bottle later this Spring.

Lafond Winery, Saturday, February 15th from 11:00am to 4:00pm

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Come Join us

We will be pouring all Red Wine paired with wonderful local Stawberries, fresh from the fields, dipped in Chocolate. The usual Decadent Brownies will also be present. The Barrel Room, which is filled with barrels and very pictureque, will be open.
No reservations are needed. There is a 10.00 Tasting Fee for four Wines. And as usual there is no charge for Wine Club Members.

Rain

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But not much.

Winter Images

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