The 2009 Harvest is "in the barn" at Long Meadow Ranch.
And, just in time for the seaon's first major rainstorm. As I write this note, we are expecting to receive 3 to 5 inches of rain on the ranch. We are very much looking forward to the rain to help refresh our vines and replenish the water table. (Our pastures could really use the rain, too.)
We have enjoyed a remarkable harvest at Long Meadow Ranch in terms of appropriate yields and grape quality. The 2009 Vintage should be very good - as best Ashley, Frank, and I can tell at this early stage. We had a long cool growing season with no notable problems from frost, rain, mildew, excessive heat or wind.
LMR passed a new milestone this season as we were involved in the harvest of about 350 tons of grapes!
With our new San Mateo Vineyard (located adjacent to LMR Rutherford Gardens in Rutherford) providing about 2/3 of our harvest total, we were a seller of Sauvignon Blanc grapes for the first time to several ultra premium wineries in addition to providing grapes for our own production.
With about 85 tons of red grapes "in the barn" we are looking forward to the next two weeks of fermentation. The first block to be harvested was our Merlot (about three weeks ago) and the last blocks picked were the middle and lower blocks of the historic Church vineyard, which we picked yesterday. Because of the somewhat compressed time period for the red harvest, every tank in the winery is full. And, the work pace will be very busy for the next few weeks as we "punch down" the caps and rack each tank before transferring the new wines to barrels in the cave.
In most of our vineyards we have already spread compost and reseeded our cover crops, so the rain will help us get an early start to refreshing our soils for the next season.
Soon we will be turning our attention to the olive harvest. There is an interesting story to be told about this year's olive harvest. More later.
Posted by Ted Hall