Saturday, November 24, 2007

Peter Work ,Vineyard owner, Ampelos Cellars writes about 2007 Harvest

It’s almost over – but it was great! On Sept 17 we started picking the first grape: Viognier from Cuatro Vientos. And then the race began! We have now been going for about two months with no days off but the results are impressive. In general the harvest was late with low crop but very intense. A nice summer without any heat spells gave us the long hang time that works so well in Sta. Rita Hills. We started picking Pinot Noir on Sept 29 and finished Oct 19. Crop levels were at 1.6 ton/acre – well below 2005 and 2006. Good intense fruit for the winemaker but low crop for the grape grower – bottom line is that the vintage looks very promising. All is now fermented, drained, pressed and resting in barrels where the malo-lactic fermentation in going. Colors are the darkest and most intense we have seen so far and flavors are big and bold – another vintage of real Sta Rita Hills Pinot is on its way.

But as soon as we were getting the Pinots to rest in the barrels it started all over: Rhone time! Syrah and Grenache is always about a month behind, so on Oct 29 we got back to the cold mornings with clippers and buckets and started again. It was a great year for the Rhones as well – best crop load with 2.3 ton/acre, which is not much for a Syrah or a Grenache but we are very happy with the outcome. As we are writing this we still have 20 fermenters going with the Rhones but we expect to have everything in barrels around Dec 1.

As usual we have a had a lots of friends: “filos” (our wine club members) stopping by to help us out. Early, cold mornings, running around with buckets of grapes, punch-downs and barrel filling doesn’t seem to scare them as long as there is a good lunch and dinner with wine, stories and laughter. Thanks to all of your that joined us and shared the magic of picking grapes in a yellow/green ocean of the vineyard when the sun is rising – life is good!
Peter Work, Ampelos Vineyards, Lompoc Ca

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Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott