Archive for the ‘Winery’ Category

This Crush Is Almost Done

This crush is nearly over for me. In my last post I talked about leaving Westwood and starting something new. Thanks to all who have contacted me expressing support. I assure everyone that leaving Westwood has not been especially traumatic. Some of you know that 5 years ago (nearly to the day) I started treatment […]

Thoughts On The Napa Earthquake

Early Sunday morning the earth ruptured about 15 miles from my home. I was awake when the quake hit. It was twenty seconds of increasingly violent shaking that had me racing to the back of the house to get everyone under the doorways. Then it was over. I was in the lab at UC Davis […]

Catching Our Breath …

The title is meant to be slightly ironic. Walking into the winery right now it is actually difficult to catch one’s breath, as the CO2 being thrown off by all the fermenters in the picture above is nearly asphyxiating. But we are getting a little break in harvest, and metaphorically catching our breath from the […]

Calling Budbreak — Finally

Everything has broken bud at the Estate vineyard, at last–even the late-breaking Counoise. That’s young, cane-pruned Pinot 96 in the image above, where shoots are already out about two inches. We finally managed to get a little rainfall accumulation last week, nearly an inch last Thursday. You can also see in the image above that […]

Finishing Our 2012 Harvest

We are picking our last grapes of the season this morning: Grenache and Counoise. It is supposed to start raining this afternoon—probably about an inch, locally. For those that need to wait it out, the grapes can probably handle it. But our stuff is ready and ripe. I take a certain satisfaction in picking our […]

End Of The “Perfect” 2012 Harvest

The next couple of days are the last time this season that the fruit at our Estate will look this good. Monday it will start raining, with another rainy front forecast for Wednesday and another for Friday (thought the latest forecast update suggests these later two storms may slide to the north of us). A […]

2012 Harvest: Halftime

Welcome to the 2012 Harvest Halftime Show… Yes, that’s right—it’s the second week of October and I think we are about halfway through the harvest. So far I have brought in 32 tons of Pinot Noir from our Estate vineyard, and drips and dabs of a few other varieties, mostly for customers. By comparison, this […]

Necessary Pre-Harvest Shopping

My industry friends will recognize these! The other day my vineyard manager asked “so are you going to buy more Macros for harvest?” Yes. Yes, I am. And more T-bins, too. I find it a little amazing that I have been doing this long enough that the price of a Macro-bin has more than doubled […]

2011 Vintage—Not That Bad!

“I have never seen anything like this…” I heard this sentiment expressed by more growers and winemakers during the 2011 harvest than ever before in my 25 years of doing this. I said it myself any number of times. It’s not that any one thing about this vintage stood out on its own as unusual […]

Harvest 2010 — Initial Debrief

I’ve gone on and on here about how this was such a tough vintage. I saw some really awful vineyard problems (luckily, few in our vineyard), heard some unprecedented horror stories from growers and winemakers, and tasted some pretty sketchy wines (thankfully, none of them in our winery). When the 2010 Grape Crush Report comes […]