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 — our 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 more 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 post this letter. Veraison is that beautiful transition from hard green berries to soft, ripe green (for white wine) and red (for red wine) berries. Each of our 10 grape varieties mature at different times, so we take samples from each vineyard block to test 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 picking the grapes at night. They hand pick the grapes 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. Second, it preserves the quality of the grapes as they arrive at 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 2020 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 will be delivered to our winery crushpad directly from the vineyard, usually between 8am-10am. We will process anywhere from one ton to 20 tons per day, depending on how much our vineyard crew picked the night before. Stay tuned to learn more about our winemaking philosophy and processes during the Quarter 4 release!
Visit Our Working Winery Estate
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 walk right next to 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 here or call us at 805−688−8664 ext. 200. We are open for wine tastings and gazebo reservations daily, and look forward to seeing you soon!
Wines in This Release
Select a wine below for more details
One of our favorite vintages ever for this wine, the 2020 is fantastic and everything we expect out of our Viognier. Outgoing aromas of apricot, honeysuckle, jasmine, white flowers, and a touch of white pepper show the full array of Viognier aromatics. The mouth balances richness and elegance, creaminess with a touch of acid, showing how truly great our Viognier can be. The flavors glide over the palate with stone fruits, apricot, white flower, and a mineral note that finishes incredibly long.
We cannot express how excited we are to release the 2020 PMV Viognier! It should continue to drink beautifully for the next 5-7 years or more. Crafted from 100% certified biodynamic viognier.
There is always an exotic side to the Block 8 Grenache that separates it from our other bottlings. It is one of our most intense Grenache wines we produce, which is not surprising based on the smaller berries and clusters that this old, head trained, own rooted vineyard delivers. Complex aromas of candied orange, violets, white pepper, and red fruits are lifted and expressive. The mouth shows its usual richness and structure with red and black fruits, dried flowers, and spices that are deep and concentrated. A terrific vintage of Block 8 Grenache that should age for the next 12-15 years or more.
It is always tough to follow a great vintage, but the 2019 SYV Cabernet Sauvignon is a great follow up to the outstanding 2018 vintage. More focused on our estate fruit from the Thomas and Judith Beckmen Vineyard, the 2019 shows classic aromas and flavors of cherry, black currant, vanilla, tobacco, and earth. The mouthfeel is smooth, round, and elegant, with great acidity from the cooler vintage in 2019 that carries the fruit on the very long finish. Approachable and ready to drink now, the wine will age wonderfully over the next 12-15 years.
Rich and intense, the 2019 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon displays lifted aromas of red and blue fruits, chocolate, sage, and earth. The lift carries through on the palate with more intense red and blue fruits, chocolate, bay leaf, and dried herb flavors that are framed nicely by the tannins and acidity, creating a deliciously long finish. Definitely young and in need of some short-term cellaring, the 2019 will drink beautifully from 2023-2040.