Wine, a work in progress
"Vineyard Office Manager Barb Peterson reported that we've recorded over 42.6" of rain from October 2023 to February 22nd. Luckily, the storms have been spread out for us, giving all that water time to soak in.
Our vineyard crews are continuing to prune and tie canes on vines. They've completed about 80% of the vines and should have the remaining vines finished in a month. Then, we'll watch for signs of budbreak in the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards."
- The Alexander Valley Vineyards Team, 3/1/24
"In the vineyards, a crisp spring ushered in an unusually prolonged growing season that left us biting our nails in the winery and crossing our fingers for a delayed rain season as the grapes grew plump and juicy on the vines. Well our wishes came true, resulting in a harvest that was genuinely one for the books."
- The Bella Crew, Bella Vineyards 1/1/24
"The fifty-eight days of harvest seemed longer than normal, but that was primarily because it began and ended later than many of our recent harvests. In fact, in many years harvest spanned over 60 days. Winemaker Kevin Hall noted, 'that due to the short amount of time, this was a more compact harvest.'
He went on to say that overall 2023 is a really good year. Mother Nature provided us with bountiful late winter rainfall, a long and cool growing season, and no heat events during the summer or fall. This added up to a long hang time for the grapes.
In short, this extended maturation allowed the fruit to develop slowly, achieving rich, complex flavors and intense color, while the cool even temperatures contributed to brighter acidity and lower sugar levels. Kevin says, 'The 2023s have beautiful, concentrated flavors and ripeness.'
- Alexander Valley Vineyards, December 2023 Newsletter
The grapes have all been picked!
"While the final fruit of the year is always a (welcome) milestone, much work remains in the cellar – bins to punch-down, fermentations to monitor, reds to press, wine to barrel-down, and tasting, continuous tasting of every barrel we produce. It is truly a labor of love; fortunately, an incredibly delicious labor we love and are thankful for the opportunity to pursue! "
- L'Ecole Wine Club Team, 10/21/23