Our harvest of the 2013 crop was about as good as we could hope. The weather this year provided ideal ripening. A warm spring, followed by a long hot summer, brought us to the end of the season with nice seasonally moderate temperatures. We achieved terrific sugar levels (Brix 24.4 at harvest) without the threat of rain or excessive heat waves. These conditions allowed lots of “hang time” for our grapes, which they loved. 2013 was truly a great vintage for Petite Sirah in our appellation of Sonoma Valley.
Our winemaker, Alex Beloz came over to participate in the harvest and look at the grapes as they came in. A level-headed man of few words, Alex was nearly giddy with excitement over this year’s crop.
Alex explained that unlike Cabernet or other varietals, a perfect bunch of Petite Sirah grapes at harvest should have some grapes that are full, sweet and juicy mixed in with some that are lightly dimpled. This year, our little two acre vineyard produced row after row of these perfect bunches of grapes.
The perfect growing conditions gave us our earliest harvest ever – September 19. The work began about 8 a.m. on a perfectly clear, cool, sunny morning and was done about two hours later.
After the grapes were harvested, they were trucked over to Highway 12 winery, less than a mile away, where they were de-stemmed and crushed. The grapes and their juice rested in macro bins for about a week before being strained and moved into barrels.
In the end, we had six tons of grapes which translated into 15 barrels and approximately 375 cases of wine. It won’t be released for three years, but the wait will be sweet.
Coincidentally, the annual Plein Air Art Festival took place in Sonoma during the week of our harvest, and we hosted artist Michele Usibelli. She loved watching the harvest and did a beautiful take on the day.
We are still rather amazed that our little boutique family winery is producing such consistently beautiful fruit that makes such well-rated, sought after and delicious wine. We are a small little spot of heaven in a sea of large wineries, but year after year, we are making a name for ourselves and having so much fun along the way.
Thanks for reading.