In the world of winemaking, every year brings its own set of challenges and surprises. It’s a dance with Mother Nature, where she leads, and we must follow. This year, we’d like to take you on a journey through our vineyards, sharing the story of triumph over adversity, loss, and the promise of what’s to come.
Unfortunately, our Estate Chardonnay fell victim to mildew this year. The vines, aging and compromised, struggled to mount a defense against the relentless humidity and mildew pressure. It was a tough loss, but we found solace in our Sage Chardonnay, which stepped up to fill the void left by its Estate sibling. Our Syrah made up for it, looking bold & juicy as ever! Looking ahead, we’ve decided to remove the old Chardonnay vines and replace them with robust Cabernet Franc, a decision that promises a bright future for our Estate.
San Ignacio surprised us this year with its best crop ever. Thanks to the blessings of rain, our Merlot harvest was a true success story already. We harvested those grapes last week & plan on harvesting the rest this week! The cool ripening season worked its magic, gifting us with grapes boasting balanced acidity and phenological ripeness. It’s all about flavors, aromas, and tannins developed naturally, rather than the sweetness derived from prematurely raisined grapes. This year, the vineyard is adorned with native Doveweed, lending an aromatic herbal note that defines San Ignacio’s unique terroir.
Sage Vineyard also shone brightly this season. Despite some challenges with late rains affecting Petite Sirah in the valley, Sage offered a clean, bountiful harvest of this variety. Our Sangiovese, Barbera, Cab Sauv, and Cab Franc are thriving, promising exciting options for our 2023 Vineyard Designates. Nestled in higher elevation foothills, both Sage and San Ignacio were spared from the unusually high mildew pressure experienced this year.
Early signs indicate a promising year for La Cresta, especially for our Designate Cabs. Cab Sauv, known for its resilience, weathered the late rains well, unlike thinner-skinned varieties. Although La Cresta had its share of challenges, including misty rains during flowering, which affected pollination, the silver lining is the production of looser clusters with improved airflow and sunlight exposure. Thicker skins on these berries will translate into fuller-bodied, robust Cabs from La Cresta. What we might lose in quantity, we’ll undoubtedly gain in quality.
As winemakers, every year teaches us valuable lessons. It reminds us of the delicate balance we must maintain with nature, as well as the resilience and potential of our vineyards. This year, from loss to triumph, our vineyards have shown their character and resilience. We eagerly anticipate the promise that these grapes hold for the future, as they embark on their journey from vine to bottle. Cheers to another year of crafting exceptional wines for you to enjoy!
Wiens Production Team