For the late-ripening grape varieties in Anderson Valley, the September rains in 2022 created favorable conditions for rot. By the time our Chardonnay and Riesling grapes were ripe, a significant number of clusters were affected by botrytis, but because of thick skins, the Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains grapes were harvested rot-free. Muscat clusters are long, jam-packed with berries and typically weigh more than double what a Riesling or Pinot Noir cluster weighs. Since pickers are paid by the ton, at the same rate for all varieties, there are a lot of happy faces after harvesting Muscat.
Jim standing in front of a small oval. We have ovals in various sizes from 250 to 1,500 gallons so that we can ferment and age each picking as a separate lot.
Wine grapes' sizes vary considerably by variety as you can see comparing tiny Gewürztraminer to hefty Muscat. Jose Luis is a valued employee and has been part of our vineyard team for 12 years.
There's less enthusiasm at the winery however as the juice is difficult to separate from the gummy pulp; pressing takes substantially more time and Muscat's floral scents fill the air attracting scores of yellowjackets that have a mean sting. Although most Muscat wines are sweet, ours is the Alsatian model of a dry, oval fermented dinner wine. The wine was aged seven months on the yeast and the savory overtones added by sur lie aging complement Muscat's fruit. Heady aromas of jasmine and orange blossom introduce a palate of citrus and tropical fruit with a dry finale. Gold Medal winner. Best of Class.