Thursday, September 10, 2009

Illuminating the 2009 Harvest

Harvest at the Quintessa estate officially started last Friday when we picked our Illumination Bench block of Sauvignon Blanc from the Quintessa property.

This small Sauvignon Blanc vineyard sits right on the famous Rutherford Bench, in a cool spot next to the Napa River. The fruit came in beautifully, with a small crop and really good intensity. After we pressed the grapes, it went into two of our concrete egg fermenters and a few neutral oak barrels for fermentation with aromatic yeasts. Right now it is humming along nicely.

We will see more Sauvignon Blanc tomorrow from a vineyard in South Napa, Semillon from Calistoga in a week or so and some from our own Faust Vineyard the week after next. I plan to use a combination of stainless steel, concrete and barrel fermentations and both native and more aromatic yeasts.

Next week, possibly as early as Tuesday depending on how the next two days of warm weather push flavors along, we expect to see the first Merlot from Quintessa's Silverdale South block. Merlot yields would be a bit below average but it's a bit early to tell with Cabernet. More updates to follow!

Cheers - Charles Thomas, Winemaker

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