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Blogs  :  2009 Harvest Winemakers' Blog

The Heat Is On

Temperatures are approaching freezing in Santa Barbara County, so the heaters are on as malolactic fermentations proceed

Posted: December 1, 2009  By Peter Cargasacchi

California grapegrower Peter Cargasacchi is overseeing the malolactic fermentations of his Santa Barbara County Pinot Noirs and more as the temperatures drop.

Nov. 30, 2009 Issue  :  News

Blogging Winemakers Share Harvesttime in Real Time

Posted: November 30, 2009  

Blogs  :  2009 Harvest Winemakers' Blog

Anticipating Winter's Dormancy

As the temperatures in Santa Barbara County get closer and closer to freezing, the vines prepare to go dormant

Posted: November 23, 2009  By Peter Cargasacchi

California grapegrower Peter Cargasacchi reports on his Wine Spectator blog that the vines in his Santa Barabara County vineyard are nearing dormancy as winter approaches.

Blogs  :  2009 Harvest Winemakers' Blog

Fermentations and First Impressions

The 2009 vintage in Bordeaux at Châteaus Giscours, du Tertre and Haut-Bailly is one to get excited about

Posted: November 16, 2009  By Alexander Van Beek

Wine Spectator guest blogger Alexander Van Beek says that after watching the fermentations at Châteaus Giscours, du Tertre and Haut-Bailly, the 2009 vintage in Bordeaux could be a great one.

Blogs  :  2009 Harvest Winemakers' Blog

The Sweet End of Harvest

The late-harvest Pinot Grigio has finally been picked

Posted: November 13, 2009  By Peter Cargasacchi

California grapegrower Peter Cargasacchi reports on his Wine Spectator blog that his late-harvest Pinot Grigio has been harvested and his last three barrels of Pinot Noir have been pressed.

Blogs  :  2009 Harvest Winemakers' Blog

Harvest Slows Down, But the Work Isn't Over Yet

Coping with coffee withdrawal while harvesting Mourvèdre and waiting for late-harvest Pinot Grigio

Posted: November 9, 2009  By Peter Cargasacchi

California grapegrower Peter Cargasacchi reports that the late-ripening Mourvèdre grapes in Paso Robles have been harvested while he waits for the perfect moment to pick his late-harvest Pinot Grigio.

Blogs  :  2009 Harvest Winemakers' Blog

Of Halloween and Harvest

Food-and-wine pairing, a lesson in terroir and vampires as night-time picking crew

Posted: October 30, 2009  By Peter Cargasacchi

I escaped the vineyards and winery and spent the last two days visiting retail and restaurant accounts in Sacramento, the capital of California and a beautiful city. Great food transforms wine, and winemakers make every effort to put their wines into the best restaurants, so I had some great dining experiences there. I left Sacramento late last night and got home early this morning. The nocturnal business of night picking makes unusual schedules and night travel a little easier at this time of year. But maybe it's just that the habits of the vampires on our nighttime picking crew are rubbing off on me?

Blogs  :  2009 Harvest Winemakers' Blog

The End of Harvest in Montalcino

At Pieve Santa Restituta, the 2009 Montalcino harvest is over

Posted: October 26, 2009  By Gaia Gaja

Gaia Gaja says that the harvest at Pieve Santa Restituta, in Tuscany's Montalcino district, began Sept. 20 and ended Oct. 12--all in all a very fast harvest that resulted in optimal-quality grapes despite some weather concerns leading up to harvest.

Blogs  :  2009 Harvest Winemakers' Blog

Which Santa Barbara Pinot Vintner Is the Last to Blink?

Brian Loring waits until the last moment to harvest his 2009 Pinot Noir crop

Posted: October 23, 2009  By Peter Cargasacchi

Wine Spectator guest blogger and California winegrower Peter Cargasacchi says that Brian Loring waits until the last moment to harvest his 2009 Pinot Noir crop.

Blogs  :  2009 Harvest Winemakers' Blog

Night Picking

Harvesting grapes under cover of darkness creates both difficulties and worthwhile advantages

Posted: October 20, 2009  By Peter Cargasacchi

Why pick at night? Fruit that is undamaged and cold has a much lower potential for the growth of unwanted microorganisms and for oxidation. Simply put, fruit picked at night or in the cool of the morning makes better wine by giving the winemaker control of the fermentation.

Blogs  :  2009 Harvest Winemakers' Blog

Assessing 2009 Now That the Bordeaux Harvest Is Complete

Most of the Bordeaux properties finished the harvest this week, with just a few grapes left to pick here and there

Posted: October 19, 2009  By Alexander Van Beek, Véronique Sanders

Châteaus du Tertre and Giscours finished harvesting this past Tuesday, and Château Haut-Bailly on Wednesday. Now it's time for the end of harvest parties and some early assessments of the vintage, which looks to be fantastic.

Blogs  :  2009 Harvest Winemakers' Blog

Bidding Farewell to the Harvest Moon

After some midweek rains, we were back in the vineyard picking Pinot Noir last night

Posted: October 16, 2009  By Peter Cargasacchi

On Monday, with the remnants of a typhoon in the Pacific heading straight toward us, I picked the slightly more than 1-acre parcel of Pinot Noir I grow for Ken Byron Brown. The rainfall total for Tuesday and Wednesday was 2.75 inches. It was a soaker, with no runoff. A little early and poorly timed for both the Pinot Noir and pastures. However, the rain gave me a little more time to spend with my fermenting wines and develop the calluses on my hands doing punch-downs.

Blogs  :  2009 Harvest Winemakers' Blog

Bolgheri Bounty

Harvesting the red varieties, waiting out the rain and picking Mr. Harvest

Posted: October 15, 2009  By Gaia Gaja

The harvest at Ca'Marcanda, in the Bolgheri area of Tuscany, occurred between Sept. 7 and Oct. 6, starting with our experimental white varieties. On Sept. 18, we finished picking the last of the Syrah but still had all of the Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese left to harvest. However, it started to rain in Bolgheri and continued for five days, dropping a total of 200 mm (8 inches). The rain worried us and, after the fifth day, we thought we faced real trouble. Yet on the sixth day, as if by plan, the rains stopped, good weather resumed and providential northern winds dried the grapes off, preventing mold and preserving the quality of the crop.

Blogs  :  2009 Harvest Winemakers' Blog

The Treasure of Château Haut-Bailly

A video of harvesting the estate's 100-year-old Cabernet

Posted: October 14, 2009  By Véronique Sanders

At Château Haut-Bailly, we have 70 acres of planted vines on one piece of land, and 15 percent of the vines are more than 100 years old! They are a mix of six different grape varieties-seven-twelfths Cabernet Sauvignon. You can see us harvesting them in this video.

Blogs  :  2009 Harvest Winemakers' Blog

2009 Should Be Exceptional Throughout Bordeaux

Cabernets show great balance and richness

Posted: October 12, 2009  By Véronique Sanders, Alexander Van Beek

The excitement here in Bordeaux is growing day by day as the Cabernets being brought in also show tremendous potential, like the Merlots, thereby confirming the quality of the vintage. The weather continues to be amazing: Record fall temperatures beat down on Bordeaux! It was 30°C (86°F) on Oct. 6 ... just like in 1929!

Blogs  :  2009 Harvest Winemakers' Blog

Skipping Sleep to Pick Pinot for Loring and Siduri

Got to pick in the early hours to keep the fruit cool for my friends

Posted: October 9, 2009  By Peter Cargasacchi

There's a big change in the weather coming next week, with rain forecast to arrive late Monday night. It looks like a potentially significant first storm of the season. Hopefully the only thing left on the vines by then will be a 2.5-acre block of clone 115 Pinot Noir that goes to the Loring Wine Company and myself.

It's been a very busy week harvesting Pinot Noir, during the night into morning, to keep the grapes cool.

Blogs  :  2009 Harvest Winemakers' Blog

A Rapid Pace for the Piedmont Harvest

Picking is nearly done in Gaja's Barbaresco and Barolo vineyards

Posted: October 9, 2009  By Gaia Gaja

The 2009 harvest is proceeding very well and progressing quickly. The harvest of Nebbiolo grapes began on Monday, Sept. 21, starting with our vineyards in the Barbaresco district. Since then, picking has been going on every day, with Sundays being the only rest days. If we continue at this pace, weather permitting, we will likely finish this week, one week earlier than last year.

During the first two weeks of September, we enjoyed moderate temperatures, a welcome relief after the heat of August. The afternoon of Sept. 19 brought clouds and a few drops of rain. However, since we started the Nebbiolo harvest, the days have all been sunny and warm, with average temperatures of 25º C (77º F), allowing the grapes in all of our vineyards to fully ripen.

Blogs  :  2009 Harvest Winemakers' Blog

Bringing in Brewer-Clifton and Bonaccorsi

Two more blocks of 2009 Pinot Noir are in the bins and off to the wineries

Posted: October 7, 2009  By Peter Cargasacchi

Peter Cargasacchi pulls in two more blocks of Pinot Noir for the 2009 harvest, this time for Brewer-Clifton and Bonaccorsi.

Blogs  :  2009 Harvest Winemakers' Blog

Harvesting Pinot Noir (and Telling Ghost Stories)

The Dragonette Pinot Noir is in the fermentors; how it was crushed may still be a mystery

Posted: October 5, 2009  By Peter Cargasacchi

Peter Cargasacchi harvests Dragonette winemaker Brandon Sparks-Gillis Pinot Noir and talks about unorthodox crushing methods and who first brought today's popular Pinot Noir clones to California.

Blogs  :  2009 Harvest Winemakers' Blog

The Bird Watching Is Good During Harvest

Richard Sanford and UC Santa Cruz are re-introducing peregrine falcons to California wine country

Posted: October 2, 2009  By Peter Cargasacchi

Richard Sanford of Alma Rosa has been releasing Peregrine falcons, which help to protect vineyards from grape guzzling birds such as European starlings. The UC Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group organizes and oversees the releases utilizing a university student workforce.

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