Tag Archive for 'Harvest'

Harvest is almost over at Lafond Winery & Vineyards

We are getting near the end. All the whites have been picked and what is left of the reds, Syrah, will be picked next week.

Winemaker, Bruce McGuire, goes through the field and marks off what is ripe and ready and what is not. This may mean going back into the same block and same row several times during harvest. Ancient river beds, which is what most of the Santa Rita Hills Appelation comprises, have very uneven soil profiles which makes for uneven ripening. The low fertile areas are generally picked first and the more fertile, sometimes weeks later.

Photo shows the change in color in the Pinot Noir as the vines begin to close down. The other photo shows the last of the Pinot Noir being barrelled. In the background you can see part of the more than 325 Pinot Noir barrels from this harvest. Photos were taken today.

New Release Santa Barbara Winery 2008 Late Harvest Riesling Lafond Vineyards

Lafond Vineyard’s Riesling vines were originally planted in 1972. Our long, cool growing season enables firm acids to develop which highlight the flavor intensity that makes this a wonderful full-bodied example of a noble grape we feel is underappreciated in the world.

Extended hang time on the vines helped to produce a wonderfully rich, yet elegant and clean dessert wine with an extraordinary balance of acids and sugars.

Riesling is a popular late harvest dessert wine when grown in the right conditions that will allow sugars to develop, while also maintaining the necessary acidity, very low pH, to keep the resulting wine fresh. Alcohol is kept low to showcase the purity of fruit courtesy of the Sta. Rita Hills’ long growing season.

In its youth, the 08 Late Harvest Riesling showcases aromas of orange blossom, honeyed pear, and burnt sugar. On the palate, stone fruits intermingle and rich viscosity is balanced by crisp acidity. The finish is long and mouth coating, leaving behind a clean feeling that is far from cloying. Serve slightly chilled in small glasses with a Rustic Peach or Pear Tart.

Suggested Retail: 28.00/375ml
To order: Santa Barbara Winery

Netting the Pinot Noir at Lafond Vineyards

The Pinot Noir has reached 50% veraison, that is, half have turned from green to purple and will begin to sweeten. This will, of course, attract ravenous birds who can very quickly decimate your crop and Pinot Noir attracts them more than any other variety.

Vineyards have tried all sorts of things to discourage or frighten away birds. Canons, propelled by natural gas that make loud noises, not particularly appreciated by neighbors. Bright metal strips, tied to the vines, that flutter in the wind and more recently falcons. The first two, canons and metal strips, are an insult to the birds intelligence, they soon become accustomed and after initially staying away return with a vengeance.

The falcons will scare the birds away but require a handler 24/7 which makes ti very expensive and justifiable only in larger vineyards. The method we use is to cover the vineyard with nets, this is the gold standard, but it requires a lot of man-hours to install and remove.

Santa Barbara Winery New Release

2007 Dry Riesling

Riesling’s allure over that of other white wines is the necessary precision and attention to detail that goes into making this wonderfully versatile noble grape maintain its racy acidity and interestingly complex flavor profile.

In Alsace and Austria, Riesling is traditionally made into a very dry wine. Winemaker Bruce McGuire has experimented over the years with different levels of sweetness, measured by residual sugar from dry to late harvest style Rieslings. This, our dry style, shows off the body and complex flavors highlighting peach and nectarine backed by a firm, mineral finish to make for a very food friendly wine.

Aging in two neutral French barrels sur lie adds to the fleshy and full weight of the wine. Bright and aromatic, this wine should age beautifully. Often described as a “sipping wine” we recommend trying this Riesling with Asian Cuisine or white meats such as glazed Pork and roasted Turkey. It is also in good company with a greater variety of cheeses than most wines are comfortable with.
Suggested retail: 20.00
To order:

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: