Friday, September 18, 2009

Quintessa Harvests First Red Grapes

Thursday, September 17th marked the start of the red grape harvest at Quintessa with about four tons of Silverdale South Merlot.

A multi-national crew, including our picking and crush crews, many of whom have been with us since we started harvesting in 1994 and crushing at the winery in 2002, assembled to kick off the 2009 harvest. With the experience of our team, including Crush Forman Hugo Hernandez, who has been at Quintessa since the Huneeus family purchased the property in 1989, and Assistant Winemaker/Cellarmaster Benjamin Ochoa, the first few tons came in without a hitch.

The eastern half of the Silverdale South block, just in front of Quintessa along the Silverado Trail, is typically one of the first blocks harvested each year. Saturday, we will move to the interior of the property and pick Lake Terrace Merlot. Our usual 10-14 days between the start of Merlot harvest and Cabernet Sauvignon harvest will be more compressed this year because of the late start and the next few days of high temperatures we're expecting. We'll start Cabernet Sauvignon harvest begin by the end of next week.

At around 9 a.m., we stopped to take a moment to recognize the ritual of the Napa Valley Harvest. Father Brenkle from the St. Helena Catholic Church blessed the grapes and we raised a toast with the entire Quintessa family. As they say, it takes a village...

To get a picture of what harvest around here is really like, take a look at our Harvest Film on for a look at picking, crushing, winemaking that features the people and passion behind every harvest season at the winery. Or better yet, come for a visit and see it up close and live. Off we go!

Charles Thomas, Winemaker

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