Tag archives for “Chardonnay”
From The Vine
Harvest 2018 Wrap Up
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes - Rutherford Estate
Around mid-summer we saw the first sign that harvest season was near: veraison! Veraison is when the red grape varietals start to change color from green to purple. We started seeing veraison in our vineyards towards the end of July.
Veraison of Pinot Noir grapes - Anderson Valley Estate
Night harvest of Sauvignon Blanc in early September - Rutherford Estate
Harvest began at our Rutherford Estate with a late night pick of Sauvignon Blanc on August 26th. We pick Sauvignon Blanc at night because the cooler temperatures keep the grapes firmer and more stable, which is optimal for processing and fermentation. Our Sauvignon Blanc vineyards were picked over period of about one month.
Our team was on the move with a lot of ground to cover as our Anderson Valley Estate harvest of Chardonnay started on September 6th.
Anderson Valley Estate Winemaker, Stephane Vivier checks the quality of the Chardonnay grapes in the harvest bin after they have been picked .
Stephane does a daily tank walk to quality check each tank of Rosé of Pinot Noir as it ferments.
Next up: all of our Napa Valley reds!
Early morning Merlot harvest - Rutherford Estate
Peter’s Vineyard Sangiovese with leaves removed for an easy pick of the fruit zone.
In early October, it was time to harvest our Merlot and Sangiovese. We have Merlot planted at both our estates, and the Sangiovese is all in Peter's Vineyard, located on our Mayacamas Estate, at 1000ft.
Prior to harvesting the grapes, our crew goes through the vineyard and removes all leaves in the fruit zone. They do this so that no leaves mix with the fruit in the large bins, allowing for a cleaner pick of the fruit.
Cabernet Sauvignon is always last to be harvested, as this grape varietal takes the longest to ripen. We harvested our Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards up until the 1st of November, with the Cabernet Sauvignon at our Rutherford Estate being the final pick.
Arturo, crew lead, keeping bins clear of leaves during a morning pick of Cabernet Sauvignon - Mayacamas Estate
Cabernet Sauvignon, Mayacamas Estate
Cellar Master, Isaac loading grapes into the crusher/destemmer.
Crushpad - Mayacamas Estate Winery
Winemaker, Justin Carr, and intern, Ben Buckingham, on the crushpad, crushing Sangiovese, harvested from the Mayacamas Estate vineyard. Grape clusters are loaded into the crusher destemmer, to separate the grapes from their stems.
Post destemming, the berries and juice are headed into fermentation bins.
Small batch fermentation begins.
November 1st, the last day of harvest.
Our 2018 Harvest Crew
From The Vineyard
“We have always been intrigued by the dramatic climate and geography of the Anderson Valley, as well as the region’s potential to make pure expressions of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay...we jumped at the opportunity to plant a stake in this incredible place.” -Chris Hall
Our Anderson Valley tasting room is now open at The Madrones, a boutique resort in Philo, California. The tasting room is a great spot to start exploring Anderson Valley, which offers plenty to discover. (Hint: See our interview with Anderson Valley local and Tasting Room Manager, Mark Mendenhall, below!)
Since we acquired the estate back in 2015, we have been looking forward to providing visitors to the Anderson Valley with an opportunity to taste wines close to where the grapes are grown, bringing the experience full circle.
Our Anderson Valley Estate is located just a few miles away from the tasting room, in the west, or “deep end". The Estate is 145 acres, with 69 acres planted with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris. It is an idyllic property, with the Navarro River forming the southwest border, and the Pacific Ocean nearby bringing in cool sea breezes. The marine layer blankets the vineyard, creating the ideal terroir for estate-grown Burgundian varieties.
This vineyard is named Tanbark Mill Vineyard, named to honor the past where a tanbark mill was in operation in the late 1800's. The Tanbark Mill Vineyard showcases diverse terrain and soil types, producing some exciting wines. There are three primary soil types across the vineyard. Feliz loam, which is the primary soil for our chardonnay vines, and the deep Pinole loam and the more compact Perrygulch loam for the Pinot Noir. All three of these are the namesake for our designated Tanbark Mill Vineyard wines.
Burgundy native, Stéphane Vivier was brought on to the Long Meadow Ranch winemaking team to produce our Anderson Valley wines. Stéphane’s goal is to put the best expression of the region into the glass and create wines that represent the story of Long Meadow Ranch and the Anderson Valley in a way people can connect with.
When you join us at our Anderson Valley tasting room, you will experience flights of our Anderson and Napa Valley wines, which can be paired with house-made products and local cheese. Guests can also taste and purchase our estate grown organic olive oils from Napa Valley and Long Meadow Ranch provisions.
Later this year, we look forward to offering an exclusive Anderson Valley Estate Experience. The guided journey will take you through our estate’s Tanbark Mill Vineyard to explore the rolling hills and diverse soil types. The experience will conclude at the tasting room to taste our Tanbark Mill Vineyard wines and enjoy small bites.
The Long Meadow Ranch Anderson Valley tasting room is open Thursday-Monday, with Tuesdays and Wednesdays by appointment. For details and reservations, please visit our Anderson Valley page.
FROM THE FARM
Full Circle Farming
With five properties consisting of vineyards, olive groves, fruits and vegetables, cattle, horses, chickens, and bees, we take an approach called Full Circle Farming; an organic, sustainable, integrated farming system that relies on each part of the ranch to contribute to the health of the whole. Nearly every ingredient—from the grapes that go into our wines, to the beef used in our burger at the restaurant at Farmstead—is harvested at our farm.
In this months BEET, we’ll introduce you to the Long Meadow Ranch artisans that make it all possible.
Kipp Ramsey, our Farm to Table Manager and Sous Chef, said it best, “we are one team working every single day towards the same goal.” Long Meadow Ranch artisans share an unwavering passion for agriculture, wine, food, and service. The success of the whole relies heavily on each and every artisan excelling at their particular craft.
MEET OUR FARM TEAM
JOSEPH HARDIN, Director of Agricultural Operations
Joseph Hardin oversees all the farming operations for the vineyards, olive groves, fruit and vegetables, cattle, horses, chickens and bees at our five properties. In addition, Hardin also manages our agricultural land trust and conservation efforts.
JEFF RUSSELL, Culinary Farm Manager
Inspired by a love of nature and all things plant related since the age of 14, Jeff Russell never considered an occupation other than organic farming. Russell joined Long Meadow Ranch as culinary farm manager.
SEAN MCENTIRE, Mill Master
Sean McEntire oversees all things olive for Long Meadow Ranch, including maintaining the health of both our ancient and young groves, meticulous lot selection, careful blending, and the milling of our organic liquid gold.
ROB KELLER, Beekeeper
Rob Keller is known around Napa Valley as “THE beekeeper”. Our colony of honeybees is hard at work pollinating our fruit trees, vegetable gardens and vineyards, as well as producing our delectable organic honey.
MEET OUR CULINARY TEAM
STEPHEN BARBER, Executive Chef
Award-winning chef Stephen Barber leans on his Southern roots in his ingredient-driven approach to our restaurant at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch. Barber brings over 20 years of experience from all over the US.
KIPP RAMSEY, Farm to Table Manager and Sous Chef
Chef Kipp Ramsey plays an integral role between our farm and the table. Learn more about our Artisan of the Month below!
MICHAEL MARKOFF, Executive Sous Chef
Executive sous chef Michael Markoff was born in Vienna and raised throughout Europe where he was exposed to a wide variety of cuisines that expanded his palate and fueled his passion for cooking.
AARON MARTHALER, Estate Chef
As estate chef at Long Meadow Ranch, Aaron Marthaler creates an elegant menu designed to showcase our collection of estate-grown wines and ingredients fresh from the farm at our Chef’s Table experience.
Get to know the team more, here.
At any given time, you’ll find our artisans and their teams walking our properties in order to make sure that every part, is working for the whole. While the culinary team excels at seeing the farm from a culinary perspective, the agricultural team understands the harvest and helps shape what ultimately ends up on your plate. It truly takes a village to carry out our motto: “Excellence through Responsible Farming” and it’s a difference you can truly taste.
FROM THE VINEYARD
Harvest kicked off at our Anderson Valley Estate at the end of August and was completed by September 18th (save for the late harvest Chardonnay which will be picked in the next few weeks). Cool nights in early summer, heatwaves (especially the one over labor day weekend), and hillside vineyards all played a part in making the 2017 harvest unique. We caught up with our director of agriculture and our Anderson Valley winemaker to get a peek into how this vintage is going.
We harvest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir at night because it’s cooler and the grape quality is better when they’re cool and crisp.
Winemaking starts with farming. How do our farming practices set up up for success?
Joseph Hardin, director of agriculture (JH): Our organic, sustainable, integrated farming system relies on each part of the ranch to contribute to the health of the whole. Timing also plays a large role in harvesting the highest quality fruit.
When the heat wave came through Anderson Valley in the middle of August, how did that affect our fruit?
Stéphane Vivier, Anderson Valley winemaker (SV): Through the heatwave, the vineyards held up very well; our fruit looked really good. We knew the pick date was going to change, we just had to watch and check often to determine by how much. The biggest impact was that we had to speed up picking from a two to three-week stretch to picking everything within ten days. That was intense!
JH: Basically, we’re dancing with mother nature and she’s always in the lead.
How will this translate to wine?
SV: From the extremely cold spring and early summer nights (temps dropping to 40 degrees) to the heat waves at the end of summer, the weather this year led us to a longer bloom time and smaller clusters and berries which resulted in a lower yield with fantastic quality of fruit. The wines will be a little more powerful this year but with the same vibrancy and freshness as prior vintages.
So once you’ve determined the fruit is ripe and ready for picking, how do you decide where to start?
JH: We pick on a lot by lot basis and keep each lot separate throughout crush and fermentation until blending takes place. We want to make sure the juice is good before we blend certain blocks together because you can’t ever un-blend.
Can you tell us a little bit about where we are in the winemaking process for a few of our Anderson Valley wines?
SV: Sure, we harvested our Chardonnay the first week of September. After spending 3-6 days in stainless steel tanks for primary fermentation, we moved it to 25% new French oak barrels for secondary fermentation where it will stay for 12-18 months. We harvested the Pinot Noir during the first week of September. It is finishing right now in tanks and heading to secondary fermentation in 25% new French oak to age for 12-18 months.
The Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir Blanc was also harvested during the first week of September. The Pinot Gris had 6 days fermentation in stainless steel tanks and is now finishing fermentation in oak (no new oak) for 7 months. The Pinot Noir Blanc had started fermentation in stainless steel and is currently aging for 7 months in 5% new oak.
What are your overall feelings about this vintage?
SV: The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are showing great freshness compared to 2016. The Chardonnay is showing a lot of floral character and elegance. It will be accessible and balanced at an earlier age compared to the last two vintages which needed more time in the bottle. The 2017 vintage will be more old world/old school wine, which is really great. The wines are going to be mind-boggling!