When the 2022 Chardonnay grapes were still green, a September storm brought three inches of rain. By the time the grapes were ready for harvest, rot had begun to spread. Because rot spreads rapidly once it reaches a critical level, we instructed the crew to avoid vines with rotted fruit and swiftly harvest the healthy grapes for our "premium" lots. Later on, when we had sufficient time, we carefully picked and sorted the fruit that remained. During the winter, we assessed the quality of each wine lot before starting the blending process for our final cuvées. Following the blending of both the Première Reserve
bottlings, we found ourselves with surplus "premium" wine, which amounted to approximately 1,200 cases—plenty, but only about 85% of what we had hoped to bottle as Chardonnay Table Wine
. We combined all the remaining premium lots in our first Table Wine
tasting and the wine tasted lovely. While we had some other lots from the sorted pickings that were nice on their own, nothing seemed to make the Table Wine
more than it already was, so we chose to produce a bit less. Two-thirds of the grapes were estate-grown and the wine aged in a mixture of seasoned and new French oak barrels.
Harvesting Hammer Olsen Chardonnay at dawn.