Harvest 2016: Thoughts from the crushpad

We started harvest on August 11th with Sauvignon Blanc from Block 9 at our Turnbull Vineyard. By the beginning of September we had brought all of our Sauvignon Blanc grapes in.  Across the board we see nice balanced flavors and flavor density. Fermentations are largely in stainless steel, but we have also fermented in French oak barrels and are experimenting this vintage with acacia barrels and amphorae – primarily to add interest and expression to our Josephine program.

The cool weather in early September resulted in flavor development leading sugar accumulation in our red wine grapes, which is extremely rare and good.  Our first red wine grapes hit the crushpad on September 15 with Merlot, and since then we’ve harvested Cabernet Franc, Syrah and some Cabernet Sauvignon from our Amoenus Vineyard. We’ll be harvesting our estate Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from Oakville for the next few weeks.

Peter and his team are knee deep, so it’s still too early on to make any predictions about the vintage or the wines to come.  But we happened to catch him after a long day walking the vineyards, tasting fruit and on the crushpad, and he shared his reflection on this craft we’re all crazy and obsessed about. He shares:

“I’m always asked whether winemaking is more art or science,” Peter says. “I say neither. It’s religion. If you believe you know how to make good wine, if you believe in your team, and if you believe you can make the right choices and they add up to mean something in the end, then you can guide the process to a place and make something magical. I believe in having confidence in all of those small, sometimes logistical, decisions that accumulate over time.” –