That’s a wrap, folks! Another season of harvest is in the books and talk has spread around the vineyard of a remarkable vintage. Harvest 2014 was off to a great start with positive news of extremely clean clusters, which bodes well for quality and character. As if this wasn’t exciting enough, the substantial amount of fruit brought in was nearly 600 tons.
With all this fruit, our records were shattered. The previous record holder was last year with 517 tons. It’s not just us either; the entire Willamette Valley is reaping the benefits of the stellar 2014 growing season. The long, hot and dry summer days, along with dropped temperatures at night, helped give structure and balance to the fruit. We were able to retain the acid and obtain the desired sugar level, which is how we determined what blocks to pick when.
We began with some early harvest picking on September 3rd, gathering a portion of our estate Müller-Thurgau and Muscat. These grapes are used in our Evolution Sparkling program, and picked these grapes early to capture higher acid and lower sugar content– what we aim for when producing sparkling wines. Then, we officially kicked off harvest on September 9th. All of our Pinot Noir was picked and fermenting in the winery by September 25th. Following fermentation, most of our Pinot Noir underwent extended maceration for 20-25 days to build complexity and structure, while a select few were pressed earlier to retain a more fruit forward flavor. Now, approximately 520 barrels of Pinot Noir are aging underground in our Barrel Cellar. This year, along with Pinot Noir, we also harvested Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Müller-Thurgau and Riesling.
If you’ve never been to a winery during harvest, we suggest adding it to the list. It’s a time of year that’s full of hustle and bustle during the harvesting, cutting of the clusters, collecting, sorting, de-stemming and pressing. This special season calls for long day and nights, but our winemaking team and its hard work is the sole reason behind our award-winning and world-renowned wines. Yet again, an exceptional job well-done, team!