Deep and sincere congratulations to our vineyard team for staying so strong through one of the most challenging growing seasons we’ve ever seen. As of about mid-day today, the last grape came in off of Monte Bello, rendering the 2010 Harvest officially over! Great, great job gang, you’re the very best!
Posts Tagged ‘Harvest 2010’
Soon, Mr. Beard, so very, very soon …
What a season! Hard to believe the ups, the downs, the twists, the turns, the surprises, the doubts, the challenges, the triumphs; hard to believe it’s all happened THIS year! Seems like it’s been enough excitement to span several seasons …
And speaking of seasons, all our drama has been playing out against the orange & black backdrop of the Giants mad and improbable run for the pennant …
Anyhow, I’m very happy to report that we’re finally nearing the finish line; zinfandel is pretty much picked out, almost all the chardonnay is in, even the bulk of the merlot and petit verdot has come in off the mountain; what this means is the focus is now squarely on the Monte Bello Cab, as the holy halo of harvest’s heavy coda rings its heaven-sent-down rim around the autumn, and the vineyard hums a simple Neal Young melody …
Will I see you give
more than I can take?
Will I only harvest some?
As the days fly past
will we lose our grasp
Or fuse it in the sun?
As a digression of sorts, we’ve regularly been the grateful hosts to wonderful harvest interns year after year after year, and this vintage has been no exception. I’m particularly grateful to one Jean-Marie Pratt, who has not only been a great harvest intern , he’s also been a steady supplier of harvest documentation, particularly in the form of photographs.
Here’s a great shot he took of our new sorting table in action (one more addition to our already preposterously high-maintenance harvest MO), and I tell you what; a special treat in the Monte Bello tasting room for anyone who can name all four of the folks in this pic!
Have you been checking out our videos lately? If not, now is a great time to have a look, as we’ve added some outstanding Harvest 2010 images, including a great new video of crush tasking place at the Monte Bello winery:
For more access to Ridge Vineyards video, please visit our channel on YouTube, found here.
As many of you know, this year’s growing season has been an exceptionally challenging one, and vineyards all across California have been running precariously late along the rails of their harvest schedules. The same has been true up here on the mountain. It’s been a long, slow season plagued by rain, wind, cool temperatures, fog, and a wicked lack of heat and sun. We’re going to make it, but it’s been a nail-biting time for all.
So in an act of supreme committment and devotion, I am making a harvest pledge.
Not unlike a ballplayer standing up for team unity through the incomparable stress and drama of a fall pennant race, I am making a harvest pledge.
Not unlike pirates bonded by blood atop the hallucinogenic loneliness and danger of the high seas, I am making a harvest pledge.
In an act of supreme committment and devotion, I am making a harvest pledge.
I pledge to grow and maintain a beard, until the last perfectly ripe grape has come off the vines of our VineWatch2010 Cabernet Sauvignon vine here on Monte Bello.
I am making a harvest pledge. And I call upon all wine lovers: men, women, children alike, all across the land, to join me. Grow beards, drink wine, believe.
* Harvest Pledge Disclaimer: Should pledge beard become too “scratchy,” or should wife start to complain about suspicious rashes in the vicinity of noted tickle zones on 21-month-old daughter’s tummy, pledge beard may be shaved.
As I noted in a previous post, Harvest 2010 is picking up steam here at Monte Bello, with the first arrival of fruit from the Dusi Ranch in Paso Robles coming in just late last week. The fruit from this property is always a joy to sample; it’s quite an unusual vineyard, both in general, and in our specific portfolio. For one thing, it’s planted entirely to zinfandel, which is extremely unusual for a Californian vineyard with 80+ year-old vines. It’s also the only vineyard we work with that is located south of the Monte Bello vineyards.
Anyhow, since we’re talking Paso, I thought I’d share some recent pics that our Marketing Manager Heidi Nigen took; she was down in Paso with our VP of Vineyard Operations David Gates last week, taking a preliminary look at the Dusi fruit in expectation of its imminent arrival.
First RIDGE Zinfandel Paso Robles: 1967
Location: 3 miles south of Paso Robles, east of 101.
Soils: Rocky and gravelly with some areas of light soil
Age of vines: Zinfandel, planted 1923. (40 acres).
Training: Head trained (no trellis), spur pruned. Dry farmed.
Yields: 1.5 – 2.0 tons/acre
Climate: Hot days, cool nights.
Exposure: Full exposure in all directions
Owner: Benito Dusi
Dusi Ranch is the only Ridge vineyard south of the San Francisco Bay area. It is planted entirely to zinfandel, unusual in a vineyard more than eighty years old. Purchased by Sylvester and Catarina Dusi in 1924, the property has been farmed for many years by their son Benito, the present owner.
I am very happy to report that, as of last week, Harvest 2010 has begun!
I’ve got updates from activity here at Monte Bello still to come, but for this week’s edition of our Light on Lytton series we’ll have a look at the beginning of Harvest 2010 up at Lytton Springs!
And this is how it all began:
With this transfer of fruit from gondola to augur, harvest began, and not at all too soon! Here are some brief observations from Vice-President of Vineyard Operations David Gates, on what has proved to be an unprecedentedly singular and oft-challenging growing season:
2010 has been wet and cool overall, with most of our vineyards approximately 3 weeks behind ‘normal.’ This year’s zinfandel harvest from our Lytton Springs and Geyserville vineyards has already begun, and yields are significantly less than normal. Paso Robles zinfandel is also being harvested, with average quantity and very good quality. Our Monte Bello chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon grapes still have a ways to go before we begin picking, and so far everything looks good.
Things are continuing to roll along up at Lytton Springs; with Zinfandel from the Lytton West parcel coming in just this very morning:
Stay tuned for more!