Navarro's Muscat vines are in their twenties but this is only the third time we've been able to make a cluster select Muscat; the last was five years ago. When berries are infected with the noble rot they shrivel, concentrating the juice but also weakening the skins. Wasps smell Muscat's strong aromas and poke a hole in the frail skins to suck out the juice. Navarro's Muscat has botrytis most years but we are usually unable to beat the wasps to the nectar; in 2010, an early October chill meant there weren't many wasps when the berries were rotting. Orange blossom and passion fruit aromas chase flavors of Satsuma orange, apricot, peach and honey. Luxuriously silky and exotic; the high acidity promises a decade or two of pleasure. We produced only 200 bottles in 750 ml and 3,756 bottles in 375 ml.
Babydoll sheep in the Muscat Blanc field. We don't use herbicides and to avoid tractors and diesel fuel, we use babydolls to sucker and weed under the vines during the summer. Babydolls' shoulder height is less than 24 inches, so they can't reach the leaves and grapes and they are too stocky to climb. Standard sheep are much larger and would munch everything.