After we started harvesting grapes in 2021, we began to realize how optimistic our harvest projections were and that we would be woefully short of several 2021 white wines. After an extensive search of Mendocino and Sonoma counties we couldn't find any interesting white grapes available so we decided to revisit Grenache Blanc in 2021. This time, with one Grenache Blanc vintage under our belts, in addition to the grapes from Chumash Vineyards and Mesa Verde Vineyards in Santa Ynez—that we purchased in 2020 and again in 2021—we also contracted for grapes from Windfall Farm in Paso Robles. Each of the three vineyards was harvested cold into bins and since there was enough mass in bins, the grapes remained cold until their arrival in Philo. Each grower arranged for a truck that would arrive early to pick up grapes as soon as they were harvested. The bins were loaded onto the trucks and arrived at our winery in the early afternoon.
Alfredo moving a puncheon onto a rack for cleaning. Once he has the puncheon with the bunghole down, a barrel washer is attached to spray inside with jets of hot water.
Dan unloading bins of grapes from an outside grower. We trucked in 55 bins of Grenache Blanc from Central and Southern California to produce this bottling.
The truckers got a nap in the cab while the grapes were unloaded and destemmed before empty, clean bins were stacked back on the truck for the return trip back to the vineyards. Coordinating with vineyards hundreds of miles away was a logistical challenge; it's a lot easier to purchase grapes from our next-door neighbor! Each load of grapes was pressed immediately after destemming and the juice transferred to stainless steel tanks for slow, cool fermentations followed by seven months of aging in seasoned French oak puncheons. We enjoy the wine's brightness with suggestions of white peach, lemon and pear and a rich mid-palate. Gold Medal winner.