With a great growing season nearly behind us and the first day of harvest closing in, we are truly excited for harvest to begin. In the vineyards, we have completed “green dropping.” This is when we go through the vineyard row by row and thin the vines cutting off green clusters. This allows the vine to concentrate its effort to develop just a few rich, complex clusters rather than many low quality clusters. Thanks to our ideal growing conditions here; our vines are very vigorous and healthy. Now is also the time when we start walking the vineyards on a daily basis to keep a careful eye on the vines’ development. One of Winemaker Greg Stach’s favorite thing about harvest is getting to sample the berries in the vineyard.
To prepare at the winery, we have made room in the cellar. We bottled our 2013 Overlook Chardonnay and 2013 Overlook Pinot Noir freeing up quite a bit of barrel space in our cellar. We sanitized all of those barrels and also received a number of new French oak barrels. Now we are ready to welcome the 2014 vintage. We have also pulled out all our harvest equipment testing it to ensure that it’s in proper working order. We did get a new harvest toy! It’s a new punchdown system for our pinot noir fermentations. We’ll share more on that once it’s in action!
Harvest is hands down the winemaking team’s busiest time of year. Thus, we hire on Harvest Interns to help manage the increased work load. The majority of interns are international Viticulture and Enology students. We love welcoming them to Landmark, teaching them our winemaking techniques, and also learning from them . On August 18, we’ll welcome a Canadian, Frenchman, and an Italian for harvest. We can’t wait to meet them!