Tag Archive for 'Chardonnay'

Weed Abatement Lafond Vineyards

Weeds miraculously grow even when there is no rain. You can disc the rows but in between the vines it is more difficult. There are three ways to control the weeds. You can hoe by hand, which is incredibly expensive, and we sometimes have to resort to this if the weeds are large and out of control. The second is herbicide, similar to what many people use on their lawns, but you can only do it when plants are dormant, and it is not in keeping with our goal of sustainable farming.

The third is mechanical. The photo shows a new machine, we are testing, which consists of blades on both sides which shear the weeds just below ground and retract when passing a vine. Many of the machines we have tried and used in the past took out the weeds but they also took out the vine. This machine looks very promising and we plan on using it next spring.

The driver is working a Chardonnay block we planted last year. Weeds are always more difficult the first two years because of the need to water more frequently, as the plant matures and develops its root system there is much less need to irrigate.

New Release Lafond Winery

Lafond Winery 2007 SRH Chardonnay

Located in the western Santa Ynez Valley, the Santa Rita Hills AVA is an ideal environment for growing intensely flavored full-bodied Chardonnay. This AVA is distinguished by a very cool and long growing season created by a convergence of unusual geography in this part of California.

During the summer, heat rising from the Mojave Desert 90 miles inland and the eastern boundary of our unique east-west system of mountains and valleys draws in cold air from the Pacific Ocean 15 miles to our West. This guarantees cool days and chilly nights during the long growing season of the nine-mile length of the Santa Rita Hills AVA.

A blend of three neighboring vineyards, the 2007 Chardonnay SRH is winemaker Bruce McGuire’s selection to showcase the ripe, concentrated Chardonnay for which the Santa Rita Hills is known.

2007 was one of those years that Winemaker Bruce McGuire had an embarassment of riches as a smaller than normal crop yielded excellent fruit quality (small clusters and berries) through most of the Chardonnay blocks from our Lafond Vineyard, our neighbor Hill Top Ranch, and the old Sanford and Benedict Vineyard just down Santa Rosa Road.

This wine is a good choice to pair with many cows’ milk cheeses such as Brie or Camembert, and as a nice surprise, the fantastic washed-rind triple-creme Cow Girl Creamery Red Hawk. Richer foods such as roast chicken or whole farm raised striped bass are also ideal pairings. This bottling will reward aging through 2013 and promises to be quite showy through 2016.

Suggested retail: 22.00/750ml
To order:

March in the Vineyard

These are photos taken last Saturday March 7. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are beginning to bud – just barely. The cover crop has grown, in spite of the very low rainfall, and needs to be cut. In some areas, where it is very sandy, it is cut and left to keep the soil in place, in others it will be cut and disked and turned into the soil so that it does not harbor harmful insects. The rows are narrow – 6 feet,  the tractor 4 feet and the ground is uneven. The driver in the photo is Enrique, our foreman. The last photo is a view form our upper vineyard looking south. The Lafond Winery is accross the river at the foot of the mountains.

Santa Barbara Winery New Release

2007 Santa Rita Hills Reserve Chardonnay

The Santa Rita Hills of the western Santa Ynez Valley is an area were local geography influences the climate to create conditions unusually well suited for growing world class Chardonnay.

We give this wine a “reserve” designation because these grapes are harvested from distinct soil types and Chardonnay clones that yield the greatest flavor concentration and fruit intensity.

The resulting wine is full-bodied and richly textured with complexity of flavor further enhanced by barrel fermentation. Three to five years of bottle aging allows the wine to open up and show off well-integrated flavors.

2007 was one of those years that Winemaker Bruce McGuire had an embarassment of riches as a smaller than normal crop yielded excellent fruit quality (small clusters and berries) through most of the Chardonnay blocks from our Lafond Vineyard, our neighbor Hill Top Ranch, and the old Sanford and Benedict Vineyard just down Santa Rosa Road. Over half of the fruit used was from vines aged 30 years and older.

The fruit intensity and depth of flavor makes this full-bodied style an ideal match with hearty, rich foods like salmon, pork roast, and of course, lobster.

Suggested Retail: 22.00/750ml
To Order:

Open House at Lafond Winery & Vineyards

New Releases
Saturday January 24, 2009
10:00am to 5:00pm

 2007 SRH Pinot Noir
2006 Arita Hills Vineyard Pinot Noir
2007 SRH Syrah
2006 Lafond Vineyard Chardonnay

With Cheese and Bread to pair with the wines