With early bud break, early flowering & fruit set, and early veraison, is it any surprise that the grapes are ready for harvest? In fact, this is the earliest harvest this region has ever seen!
On August 26th we brought in a little over four tons of hand-picked Pinot Noir grapes for our sparkling program (Blanc de Noir & Brut Rosé). The Blanc de Noir grapes are hand-sorted, destemmed and then immediately pressed to eliminate drawing out colors and flavors from extended skin contact. The Brut Rosé is also hand-sorted, but we allow it to spend a little time on the skins to draw out some fresh strawberry and cherry components from the skins. This year, we allowed the juice to be in contact with the skins for 20 hours before pressing.
Both styles of bubbles will ferment until dryness and then we will allow the wine to rest over the winter before bottling in the spring. If the fermentation esters are any indicator of the flavors in the finished wine, these bottlings will be quite exciting - everything from candied strawberries to bananas, and fresh bowls of cherries. I'm sure Susan is salivating as she passes by the tanks, so I'm quick to remind her that winemaking is about patience.