The 2013 harvest began in Sierra Madre vineyard with the picking of Pinot Noir Clone 667 on September 4. Woohoo! As usual, Lane Tanner (winemaker and co-owner) was the first to pick in the area - it's her style, and what you get is a wine that is naturally lower in alcohol but beautiful, graceful, and downright delicious! Nonetheless, harvest came very early this year.
Clone 777 quickly followed the 667, and both are now fermenting along smoothly at the winery. Chardonnay just came in this week - on September 9 - with the Robert Young clone. It is already showing such beautiful fruit flavor - this will make extraordinary wine.
The Chardonnay is now fermenting in oak barrels, and the Pinot Noir in open-top fermenters. Will Henry (co-owner, pictured below) is managing the punch downs in the shortest shorts he can find - ostensibly to scare away VA bugs.
When Pinot Noir ferments, the CO2 rising from the liquid pushes the skins to the surface and forms a cap of grapes and skins. Punch downs are where you break the cap on the open top fermenters, and mix the skins in with the fermenting juice.
More news later as harvest progresses!