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Winter Newsletter 2018

18th Dec 2018 @ 16:14 by Kristen


Nebbiolo is an Italian red grape associated with the Piedmonte region in Northern Italy and is the varietal component of Barolo and Barbaresco wines. It makes a wine that is often lighter in color, high in acidity and tannin, with signature notes of cherry and rose. The high acidity and tannin make it a difficult variety to work with in order to craft a balanced wine. However, it is these exact factors which make it a wine with a definitive potential for aging. For example, Barolo requires a minimum of 3 years aging before release, and almost 5 years for ‘riserva.’ 2015 is the first year we made Nebbiolo and there is only a handful of acres planted in Sonoma County. It is an exciting grape to work with because it is so unique. It is a late ripening grape and is always the last vineyard we pick. It needs extensive aging to soften the structure and acidity. Nebbiolo is not for the impatient but it’s worth the wait!


The 2018 vintage started with a sprint but turned into a marathon. Warm temperatures all summer long promised a hasty harvest, but calm, cool weather in late August pushed our first pick until September 7th! The sun shone bright in September and we expected everything to ripen at the same time, but nature had other plans. In early October we were hit with a few days of cool temperatures and unexpected rain. The vines soaked up the water and the grape sugar levels dropped. It took another two weeks for the grapes to reach sugar maturity again, but this extra time allowed for flavors to develop. We picked our last fruit (Cab, Zin and Nebbiolo) on October 27th. We have been very happy with the quality and balance in all the wines we made this year.