Recently in Crush Category

Wrapping Up Harvest & Crush Season Around Wine Country

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Benziger Family Winery - Sonoma County, CA
Mark it on your calendar, 2012 was a phenomenal growing season...and you know what that means? Phenomenal wines. We promise you, although you won't have to wait too long for the whites, the reds will be well worth the wait.



Rutherford Hill Winery - Napa Valley, CA

Harvest Updates Around Wine Country: The Reds

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Peju Winery - Napa Valley, CA
On September 27th, Peju Winery located in Napa Valley harvested their first red of the season - Syrah. Grown at their Persephone vineyard, the grape is typically picked on the earlier side and this year was no different. "We are always excited about crushing Syrah since it gives us two wines--a traditional red Syrah as well as a Rose." CLICK HERE tor read full post.


Chateau Julien Wine Estate
First grapes of the season for Chate Julien Wine Estate in Carmel, CA (Monterey Wine Country region) were delivered Friday night (Sept. 28th) with a lot of guests watching. Watch a small clip below.




Harvest Update: Picking & Sorting Grapes

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Wineries around Napa Valley and Sonoma are watching their vineyards and grapes closely and will start harvesting any day now. Some have begun harvesting already. See the round-up of updates from across the blogosphere.

St. Francis Winery - Sonoma County, CA
"Our fourth consecutive "September Harvest" began with this morning's arrival of 8 tons of hand-picked Sonoma Valley Chardonnay grapes at our inspection platform. To our specifications, the sweet (24° Brix), plump golden grapes were hand-picked and cold to the touch--a good start for crushing. Once again, the sights and smells on our bustling Crush Pad are unmistakable: it is Harvest in Sonoma.- Christopher Silva, President & CEO
~ Click Here to read full post or Watch the video below!



Cuvaison - Napa Valley, CA
Report: At 10 pm on September 11, 2012, several crews began harvesting Pinot Noir and Chardonnay  grapes from our estate vineyards in Carneros. Crews worked tirelessly until 4 am, bringing in 31 tons of Pinot Noir and 32 tons of Chardonnay! The grapes look fantastic and we are all very excited about this year's crop! Watch the video to get a first hand look.

Learn about the harvest season and what crush is like in Napa Valley from St. Supery's Assistant Winemaker Brooke Langelius and Winemaker Micheal Scholz.


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Wine Harvest Twitter Feed 2012

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Keep up to date with all of the news around the country about the wine harvest for 2012. See the latest tweets below!

Interested in Napa Valley Harvest (#NVHarvest) specifically? No worries - CLICK HERE!

More of a Sonoma wine fan? We have you covered - CLICK HERE!

Harvest Season: What's Happening in Sonoma?

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EVENTS:
Check out upcoming harvest season and crush events happening in Sonoma in the months of September and October. CLICK HERE!

MORE ARTICLES ON HARVEST:
Kendall Jackson Winery - 2012 Harvest Predictions

Get the Scoop on Napa Valley Harvest Season

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EVENTS:
Check out upcoming harvest season and crush events happening in Napa Valley in the months of August, September and October. CLICK HERE!


VIDEOS:
St. Supery - Learning about Harvest Season & Crush
Harvest Season in Napa Valley Kicks Off!

Harvest Season in Napa Valley Kicks Off!

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EVENTS:
Check out upcoming harvest season and crush events happening in Napa Valley in the months of August, September and October. CLICK HERE!

2012 #NVHarvest
Read tweets from folks all over Napa Valley involved with this year's Harvest. CLICK HERE!

Monterey Wine Harvest - 2011 Update

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Monterey County Wraps Up A Positive - If Unusual - Vintage

crush2008_01.jpgOctober 28, 2011 (Monterey, CA)--"This is my ninth harvest in the area and it has been unlike any that I can recall," says Executive Director for the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association, Rhonda Motil of Monterey County's 2011 growing season. "The growers have all handled Mother Nature's curve balls with the patience and expertise indicative of our winegrowing region."

While growers and vintners throughout Monterey County admit that this has been an out-of-the-ordinary year, lovers of the area's elegant and well-balanced wines will be pleased to learn that the strange growing season has yielded overwhelmingly good quality across its nine AVAs.

"Climactic events like a wet spring, late rain in June, a milder-than-usual summer, and a big rain storm in early October presented us with many challenges, but the fruit coming into the winery is superb," said Matt Shea, Vineyard Manager of Bernardus Winery in the Carmel Valley. "The long summer coupled with adequate soil moisture created the perfect conditions for Pinot Noir on the Central Coast. The loose clusters, small berries, low yields, and long hang time will equate to concentrated wine with lots of depth and flavor."


Watch the Napa Valley Harvest Firsthand!

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Harvest In Wine Country Report

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by Courtney Cochran

istock_harvest.jpgHarvest is always a nail-biting time for winegrowers, but never more so than in a cool, late year like this one. Why? Early autumn rains can wreak havoc on fruit left on the vine to ripen long into the season, but low sugar levels in cooler years necessitate doing just that.  As a result, this year brought fretting throughout wine country over when to pick versus when to roll the dice and hope for the best.  

In some instances, grapes - especially whites and lighter reds - were harvested a bit behind schedule with little incident, while in others, rain fell on crops that were awaiting that extra bit of sunshine that never came. Here are insights from the harvest trenches on the peculiarity of the 2011 season. 

Behind the Scenes in Sonoma County

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Napa Valley Grape Harvest Begins!

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Napa Vintners


Harvest Season is a wonderful time of year to visit Napa Valley! Looking to get an inside look into "crush"? Check out our list of upcoming harvest events around Napa Valley

CLICK HERE for list of activities!

2010 Mendocino Harvest Report

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By Courtney Cochran

With smoke-tainted 2008 vintage wines in circulation now, Mendocino winegrowers no doubt are keen on a strong harvest this season. Still, this hardy group from one of Nor Cal's most northerly wine regions is all too familiar with the vagaries of inclement weather - not to mention so-called acts of god (hello, fires!) - which means they're used to holding their breaths come near-harvest-time.  

I caught up with standout Mendo vintner Paul Dolan of Paul Dolan Vineyards to get his take on what's in store for Mendo wines in 2010.


Harvest Report 2010: Cold Times

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grapes.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Looking at the weather forecast for Napa and Sonoma, one might think we're approaching winter.  In fact, with crisp, overcast days the norm in Wine Country these past weeks, industry pundits are speculating as to whether 2010 will be the best or the worst harvest in years. Best because cool weather usually leads to slow, even ripening (which occurs in many "fringe" vineyards in Europe and Oregon), and worst because of the potential for early autumn rains that could ruin a crop left on the vine longer than usual to achieve ripeness. 

Crush 2009: Harvest of Love

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crush.JPGBy Courtney Cochran

The mood at the Napa Valley Vintners 2009 annual harvest report Monday, October 12 at San Francisco's Waterbar Restaurant was decidedly upbeat.  Almost giddy with the news, Honig Vineyards Winemaker Kristin Belair announced that she had actually had time to watch the Giants beat the Dodgers during harvest time this year - in person. Equally thrilled with the unusually mild year and mellow harvest, Judd's Hill's Judd Finkelstein announced proudly - if a little incredulously - that he'd even had time to take his daughter to the circus last Saturday.

Watch the Harvest in Napa Valley

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Want a first hand glimpse of crush season in Napa Valley already underway? Of course you do, which is why you're here!

See what Hall Wines and Goosecross have been up to . .  .

Hall Wines




Goosecross Cellars

Pre-harvest Grape Sampling from David Topper on Vimeo.



twitter_grapes.jpegBy Courtney Cochran

Just a few weeks ago I spent a half hour on the phone "tweducating" a long time wine industry veteran on how to use Twitter, the microblogging site that allows anyone to post 140-character-or-less updates on everything from food and wine to software and current events (the Iran political protests gained worldwide notoriety nearly instantaneously thanks to Twitter). After we'd noodled the nuances of hash tags, handles and what's appropriate to post (hint: don't tweet the details of your latest root canal; we REALLY don't need to know you just got the novacaine), the subject of harvest came up.

Grape Crush Begins

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It's early, but for some vineyards crush has already begun. On August 10th, in the dead of the night (3 am to be exact), Hunter Farms of Sonoma Valley began harvesting this season's first pinot noir.

Although the unusually cool weather has many Californians crying "what happened to summer?", it is actually perfect weather for growing grapes. More surprising for Hunter Vineyards is the seemingly increased quantity of grapes being harvested. According to the Press Democrat "Instead of the 15.3 tons delivered last year (to Gloria Ferrer Winery in Sonoma), the same 5.5 acre vineyard produced 21.5 tons, a stunning 40% percent increase"Click here for full article.

Watch the Video!

Picking through harvest season Pt 2

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By Robert Farmer
As I hopefully illustrated in my previous post, in addition to espousing my love for harvest season, it is at this time of year that winemaker's earn their wings. But in addition to bringing together the culmination of a full year's work in the vineyard, winemakers are also, alas, forced to play the hand they are dealt. That is, not everything is within their control. And in California this year, vintners have been harvesting in the aftermath of a particularly challenging growing season. Beginning with unexpected and untimely late frosts at the beginning of the year, moving through a hellish season of wildfires, and finally enduring another drought year, the grapes in this season's haul have been through it all.

Picking through harvest season Pt 1

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By Robert Farmer
I love harvest for so many reasons. Most have to do with the time of year--I'm a big fan of fall; the crisp air, the changing colors, the shortening days, the whole thing. But with particular regard to wine itself, harvest is an obviously interesting time of year.  It's the time of year at which everything that happened in the preceding months comes to bear in the vineyards.  From weather to soil quality, to farming techniques, this is more like "crunch" time than it is "crush" time.

STATE of HARVEST in CALIFORNIA

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harvest.jpgCALIFORNIA - It's harvest time around wine country regions all over the country! If you haven't had a chance to experience Crush Season first hand, take a look at one staff member's journey at several wineries in Napa Valley over the past couple of days. Check back often fro updates!

However, many wine drinkers are concerned about whether it will even be a good harvest this year. Weather seemed to bounce all over the place between extreme high temperatures and then very cool days resulting in mixed reviews from wine growers, vintners, and reviewers alike. Read buzz from all over California Wine Country:

Round Pond in the Napa Valley, CA - Part 2

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In the previous Part 1, we showed the consumer facing side of the Round Pond estate which is breath taking. Now we'd like to show you some of the backend things that go on during crush to produce their wines. The equipment used by Round Pond is amazingly clean and shined in the sun light the day we were there. See some of that equipment below.


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The crush pad is very clean and the operation is very orderly. In some of the following images you can see that the grapes are sitting at the south end of the pad, they get processed on the pad, then move north into the tanks which are just inside the doors leading to the pad.

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The tanks used by Round Pond to ferment their wines are large and stainless steel. You can see them and how they are arranged in the images below.

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The following images show where the wine is stored. Whites are in the stainless steel barrels and the reds are in the wooden barrels. The room is temperature controlled and in the anti room where the whites are stored there is a special CO2 system that monitors the amount of the gas in the room, which is given off by the wine as it matures, and will alert those in the room when the level is too high and automatically kick on a fan to move the gas out of the room.

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The Round Pond estate is large and beautiful and was a great place to visit during crush. You can reach their website by clicking here.

Round Pond in the Napa Valley, CA - Part 1

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Located off HWY 29 in Rutherford, the Round Pond estate is tucked away off the main path in a beautiful area of the valley. When you turn into the estate you are presented with a long road that is lined with palm trees and vineyard vines on either side of you. The road ends at the Round Pond tasting room. When you walk in the front doors you are greeted with a large window that allows you to see where the wine barrels are being stored. In a temperature controlled room that acts as the caves for Round Pond, all the wine they produce is kept here. You can walk up the stairs or use the elevator to reach the tasting room and terrace on the second floor. From there you are able to see amazing views of the Napa Valley with the mountain ranges on either side as the backdrop. The Round Pond owners Ryan and Miles MacDonnell took a large amount of time going over every detail of the design and layout of the new tasting room. One amazing feature is the circular window at the north end of the room. From there you can see directly down the entry path, lined with those palm trees, that leads to the building.

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The wines are available there in the tasting room and can be purchased in the special wooden Round Pond boxes.


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The second part of this entry will show you the Round Pond crush pad along with some of the new equipment they are using to produce their wines. Please check out Part 2 which will feature a lot more images and show you a bit of how they do crush just a bit different than other wineries in the Napa Valley.

See Part 2 by clicking here.



Robert Biale Vineyards

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This week during Crush in the Napa Valley the Robert Biale Vineyards began their harvest. They had some help with some family and friends pitching in to get all tasks done. The pictures below are all of the Biale crew crushing Zin grapes.

This first image is of Steve opening one of the large stainless steel tanks they are going to use to put the crushed grapes into. While in the tanks, the grapes and their juice will ferment. He is opening the door to put on a rubber seal that will make sure the door stays shut and no liquid gets out.

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From the hopper, the grapes travel up the rig and the guys standing on next to the conveyor belt look for bad grapes, raisins, or other debris to take out before the de-stemer removes the grapes from the stems.

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Once the grapes are seperated, they are put in the press at the Biale Vineyards where they get a very soft press to help some of the juice leave the grapes without fully breaking the skin.

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The grapes come through the de-stemer quickly so they must be racked away into the rest of the bin so that they don't pile up and cause a problem.

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Here you can see some of the Zin grape vines on just part of the Biale Vineyard lot. There are more where they came from and that is one reason why they are able to produce some 9 different versions of Zin (And yes you Black Chicken fans - they are making that special blend as we speak).

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Crush 2008 Begins in Napa Valley, CA

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Napa Valley has begun its Crush. Crush is the time of year when wineries begin to pick the grapes off the vines and start the process of turning those grapes into the wines we enjoy. This blog will be devoted to covering Crush as it happens in the Napa Valley. The pictures below were taken this morning at Robert Biale Vineyards. They have picked the Zinfandel grapes and are in the process of removing the stems and other debris and then putting them in the proper bins. I'll be posting more from Robert Biale Vineyards and other places in the Napa Valley shortly. Enjoy these photos till the next post.




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