As with every year, the 2017 growing and harvest seasons have been unique. The onset of bloom and set were later than normal after the much-needed winter rains. Early summer heat brought the vines up to speed but also used up precious ground water. Instead of triple digits, the majority of August was extremely cool, which resulted in the vines slowing down and giving us more "hang time" (which winemakers LOVE). Extreme heat in late August gave us just enough time to prepare the cellar after bottling. We ran the first fruit across the scale on September 2nd. The heat continued, forcing along most of our Pinots and Zinfandels. Then...RAIN, which we received in torrential downpours for a couple of hours. This made getting our Chardonnay off the vine urgent since it grows in tight clusters and is prone to rot. We didn’t know it at the time, but we received the last of our fruit on October 6th. The Merlot & Petite Sirah came in a mere two days before the devastation from the wildfires began in Sonoma County.
Our hearts are broken for the farmers who have lost their crops, homes, and wineries. We are extremely thankful that our staff and our winery remained safe and most of our fruit had already been picked. You may hear wine experts writing off the 2017 vintage due to smoke taint, but this could not be further from the truth. I think that you will be as pleased with the wines as I am; we just won't have as much inventory. We remain wine country proud!