For the second straight year we are very excited about the hand Mother Nature has dealt us. We were fortunate enough with our higher elevation to avoid many of the extreme temperatures that other areas experienced this growing season, but still have a little sun damage and heat stress. Good sets and diligent pruning remedy this issue without sacrificing yield for harvest.
Harvest began on Sept. 18, slightly behind last year but ahead of normal, with a first pick of Sauvignon Blanc clone 27 and Chardonnay clones 76, 95 and 96. The balance and complexity in these two varieties was superb. If this is any indication of what’s to come this year, it will be a truly remarkable vintage. We began harvesting Riesling for Chateau Ste. Michelle on Sept. 22, the earliest Riesling harvest to date for the vineyard, but the flavors are excellent and the numbers on point. Ste. Michelle will likely use this in their Eroica wines and our elevation will help add the necessary acid that some of their other sites could be lacking this hot year. We’ll continue the Ste. Michelle harvest with Chardonnay on Sept. 25, barring any major rains. Last year all of the crop went to their high-end Chardonnay, Ethos, and we’re hoping for repeat success this year. The next grapes for harvest will be for the Gård label.
Harvest for Gård Pinot Gris will likely begin in the next few days and we’ll continue to work through other varieties for the next three weeks. We’re particularly excited about this vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon. Although all the varieties taste nice, the Cab may be the shining star this year. I’m also looking forward to this vintage of rosé. We’ve improved upon our program each year and have received some nice acclaim because of it. We look forward to showing off the first of these 2014 wines this spring.
This will be the first harvest processed at our new production facility in Walla Walla. The new facility is a partnership with Aryn Morell, our winemaker. Aryn has set up this state-of-the-art winery to fully compliment the grapes grown at our vineyard. With a combination of stainless and concrete tanks for fermentation, and the best processing technology, the wines will continue to vastly improve. I believe our vine-to-wine formula is now solidly in place to take Gård Vintners to the next level and remain there for years to come.
Thanks for all of your support,