In our Estate Vineyards
The most exciting time of year has arrived… harvest! Quarter 3 is extremely busy for us in both of our vineyards — the certified biodynamic, 125 acre Purisima Mountain Vineyard in Ballard Canyon AVA and our 25 acre Thomas and Judith Beckmen Estate Vineyard in Los Olivos District AVA. In preparation of harvest, we have been focusing on canopy management, trellis positioning, hedging the vines, and leaf pulling to help with disease pressure and to expose the fruit to sunlight. The combination of all these efforts will help improve the ripeness and overall quality of the grapes as we enter the final stage of the year, the ripening phase.
The grapes have nearly all gone through veraison as we write this letter. Veraison is that beautiful transition from hard green berries to soft, ripe green (for white wines) and red (for red wines) berries. Each of our 10 grape varieties mature at different times and at different speeds, but one thing is certain for all of them: birds and ground squirrels know when the grapes are getting ripe. So, in order to protect the grapes we have so carefully cultivated, we put nets over every row of grapevines to keep the pests away. We will then take samples from each block, testing the Brix (sugar levels) of the grapes. Once the grapes reach a certain Brix, it’s time to harvest!
Starting in September and through the duration of harvest, which usually ends in mid-November, our vineyard crew will shift their schedules to pick the grapes at night. They pick the grapes by hand at night for two important reasons. First, it allows our crew to work in cooler temperatures, escaping the intense sun and the 90°F+ heat Santa Barbara County receives this time of year. Secondly, it preserves the quality of the grapes as they arrive to our winery. Temperature has a big effect on the fermentation process, so we want to start the winemaking process with cool, whole berries that haven’t split open.
Inside our Winery
In the winery, we blended and racked the majority of 2019 red wines that are aging in oak barrels, creating our final red wine blends from all of the various lots. Our main focus, however, has been prepping the winery, crushpad, and barrel rooms for the upcoming harvest season. We spent time working through our empty barrels, checking the press and other winemaking equipment, and deep cleaning the 88 one and one-and-a-half ton fermentors the grapes will be put into after they have been destemmed and sorted.
During harvest, the grapes get delivered to our winery crushpad directly from the vineyard, usually between 8am — 10am. We will process anywhere from one ton per day to 20 tons per day, depending on how much our vineyard crew picked the night before. You will learn more about our winemaking philosophy and processes with the Quarter 4 release!
Visit Us & Experience Harvest Season
We are safely open for outdoor wine tastings and gazebo reservations by appointment only. The months of September and October are an incredible time of year to visit our estate in Los Olivos. The vineyard is full of beautiful grape clusters, and you will walk right past our winery crushpad on your way to the tasting room so you’re bound to see our winemaking team in action.
You can book your reservation on our website or call us at 805−688−8664 ext. 200. We are open for wine tastings and gazebo reservations Thursday — Sunday and Wednesdays for Wine Club members only. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Wines in This Release
Select a wine below for more details