In 2012 we removed Gewürztraminer vines from a one-and-a-half-acre parcel close to the winery; their production had declined making the field unprofitable to farm. The field is a steep, contoured, terraced hillside, triangular in shape, and faces the South Hill, out of the wind. The field can get quite warm so we decided to replant with Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains which is better suited for a warm site. We reshaped the terraces, incorporated limestone and compost into the soil, then let the field lay fallow for two years. We replanted in 2014 with one-year-old benchgrafts and although the vines are still a couple of years away from full production, the quality of wine already produced from this field is exciting. It seemed like the weather spirits in 2021 couldn't make up their minds; the daily high temperature on one day was 100°F followed the next day by a cool 68°F high, with this cycle of wild swings repeating throughout harvest.
Navarro's 2021 winery crush crew in front of our water truck. It was retired from service at the Anderson Valley Volunteer Fire Department then acquired by Navarro several years ago. The engine already has been used by Navarro's quick-acting staff to help save a neighbor's property and prevent the fire from spreading.
Marino, vineyard foreman, holding a one-year-old benchgraft; his uppermost finger is on the graft union between the rootstock and the scion wood.
We night harvested after a cool day—to minimize grape sugars and the resulting alcohol—and since the nighttime temperatures were in the 40s, the fruit had retained good acidity. The grapes were destemmed, then pressed slowly as Muscat juice is hard to separate from the slippery pulp—and the juice was cool-fermented then aged sur lie in a French oak oval. Although the floral aromatics would suggest otherwise, the wine is dry with the orange and tropical fruit flavors framed in a savory texture from seven months of aging on the yeast. Double Gold Medal winner. 96 points.