Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Social Elements of Harvest

Before skipping to the fun "social" events surrounding Harvest 2012, I’d be remiss if I didn’t touch on the activity happening here in the vineyard first.

MFV Winemaking Team
This year will be our fourth harvest of Sauvignon Blanc for our proprietary white wine, Albion. As with most varietals this year, our rows of Sauvignon Blanc had a great set and are maturing beautifully. The heat from the past few weeks accelerated ripening slightly, and we’ll continue to monitor the grapes more closely as we approach harvest. Whereas 2010 and 2011 were more concerned with ripening and fruit profile due to the cooler temperatures, this year we will focus on acid development to maintain an elegant balance for Albion. A few neighbors have begun harvesting Sauvignon Blanc, but we’re likely 10 days away from bringing in the first lots for crush. On the flipside, our Cabernet Sauvignon continues to soak up the sun and enjoy this beautiful weather. We walked the vineyard on Wednesday and were pleased with the progress. There are a few minor adjustments we’ll make in select blocks to maximize uniformity, but at the moment we’re content and optimistic! (A rarity).

2012 NVV Harvest Party
On to the harvest celebrations. This week was especially exciting as the Napa Valley Vintners hosted their annual harvest party at Bale Grist Mill in Saint Helena. Personally, I’d never been to the mill, only passing it en route to visit the McCrea’s at Stony Hill, and was looking forward to something new. Roughly 300 of our fellow vintners gathered to celebrate the growing season, and imbibe in the fruits of our collective labor. Long banquet tables were arranged under the backdrop of the mill, and Silverado Brewing Company prepared a fantastic meal. I always enjoy these events because of the people, and this year was no exception.

America's Cup Trophy
The perfect complement to our harvest party was a brief trip to San Francisco to celebrate the 161st Anniversary of America’s Cup. The Napa Valley is the official wine region of the 34th America’s Cup, and fellow vintners put on quite a party at Club 45 to welcome the AC World Series to the San Francisco Bay. Team members mingled with vintners and exchanged sailing adventures for winemaking tips. Although this doesn't necessarily qualify as an official harvest party per se, the setting was superb and the wines of the Napa Valley helped set the stage for a great week of racing, complete with a slice of anniversary cake!


Next Week: Harvest STOMP! and Preparations for White Wines

No comments: