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Opportunity Within Challenge

During the last year or two, we have all probably had to re-think our vision of the present and future: Re-assessing priorities, expectations and coming to terms of what is and what can be, what we can affect, what we cannot, and what we value most. At the winery, we cut back the quantity of wine we produce while being more self-critical and selective about what vineyard blocks perform best for the wines we make. We were successful starting this venture in 1991 because of your support and have not forgotten that why we are still here. While none of us chose the current economic situation, like the weather, we can make the best of it. Sometimes – quite often in fact – within challenge there may also be opportunity.

One thing I enjoy about most vintages is the challenge of what weather brings and the opportunity it presents to seize any positive aspects that might exist. In one recent example from 2004, by deciding to only modestly expose the fruit to sunlight and promptly harvesting, cooked flavors and overripeness were avoided while achieving good structure, acidity and age-worthiness. By contrast, in 1998 the opposite approach was called for along with more vigilant thinning at coloring to minimize variation in ripeness of remaining grapes. That cool vintage gave very fresh, perfumed wines to those who avoided the pitfalls. Then there’s 2006 where heavier, tighter clusters favored botrytis growth and potentially excessive yields. Proper fruit thinning and vigilant sorting assured that flavors were not dilute and that botrytis-produced oxidative enzymes did not ‘shred’ the positive aspects of the wine during vinification. The best examples from the 2006 vintage have amazing texture and have begun drinking very well of late.

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