Harvest 2017 Wrap-Up
After the last of the fruit came in, the harvest team took a well-deserved moment to celebrate.
Harvest 2017 is complete, and another one for the books. As we transition from picking and crushing fruit, to fermentation and barreling down, this is the perfect opportunity to share our reflections on the vintage with you.
Unlike the 2016 vintage, where harvest started August 18th, this year we started picking for our sparkling program on September 5th. On September 15th we started bringing in pinot noir grapes from our Concert Block for our still Rosé, our “official” start to harvest, and we were off!
Our 40th vintage (and 46th harvest) tied with 2015 as our largest harvest to date! We brought in 750 tons of grapes, despite dropping 20-40% of our fruit back in August to help concentrate flavors in the grapes left on the vine. A harvest of this magnitude meant many late nights for our harvest crew, lots of dinners ordered in, and lots of baked goods from our colleagues consumed!
Despite the high volume of fruit that came in, what started as a “normal” vintage ultimately ended that way as well. The quality of the grapes are high this year, and our two rain events during harvest didn’t pose any issues – the fruit came in very clean. It reminds our team a lot of the 2012 vintage.
This year we’re excited to expand our work with ambient fermentations, trials in our concrete egg, and a few new techniques we have up our sleeve, including a 10-day cold juice settling for our Rosé of Pinot Noir.
We look forward to introducing you to the 2017 vintage.
Harvest Update: October 6, 2017
We are officially a month in to Harvest 2017 and a busy month it has been!
Vineyard Report for October 6, 2017
- Our team kicked off harvest on Tuesday, September 5 with Early Muscat for our Evolution Sparkling. It was a smoky, sooty, hot day to kick off the season.
- After two of the earliest harvests in Sokol Blosser history (2015 and 2016) we are somewhat back to normal this year.
- Our team sent a salute to the official start of Harvest 2017 with a yearly ritual: sabering a bottle of sparkling rosé.
- A week into harvest we started picking Concert Middle Pinot Noir for our new Evolution Sparkling Rosé program.
- We wrapped up picking for our 2017 Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir just before the rain started in mid-September. The grapes are looking good!
- After six days off due to rain we were ready to start up again by bringing in the first of the pinot noir for our Single Block program.
- Harvest 2017 is shaping up to be our largest harvest ever! Stay tuned for more information on that subject.
Harvest Update: The Countdown Begins
Each summer, our vineyard crew carefully checks the vines looking for that first sign of bloom. Once we have bloom we can expect harvest to begin in approximately 100 days. Let the countdown begin!
Alex Sokol Blossers Pre-Harvest Vineyard Update:
- Bloom started for our warm site in the Dundee Hills around June 20th, which puts the start of harvest out to around September 20th.
- We are expecting more of a normal harvest start date unlike 2013-2016.
- After one of the wettest winters on record, summer has finally come and it fortunately has not been too hot.
Check back soon for our Harvest Updates!
Harvest Update: September 15, 2016
Alex Sokol Blosser’s Vineyard Report for September 15, 2016:
- We are finishing picking pinot noir, the first fermentations are done and we started pressing last weekend. We began barreling the first of our pinot noir on September 13th from the grapes we brought in on August 21st. Primary fermentation should be complete by the end of September.
- Our white wines are hanging out on lees at the moment and we are filtering our rosé to get it ready to be bottled in November.
- The acid levels are still looking great! With this nice weather we were able to get the grapes as ripe as we wanted them and the fruit is very clean.
- We have a brand new concrete egg for this harvest that we are excited to experiment with. It’s too early to tell how it will shape the wine but Fir Island Pinot Gris is currently going through its secondary fermentation in the egg.
- We anticipate harvest being wrapped-up possibly as soon as this Sunday, September 18th or early next week.
Harvest Update: September 8, 2016
Harvest is in full swing in the Willamette Valley! The Sokol Blosser winemaking team is hard at work in the vineyards and in the winery with 2016 harvest activities.
Alex Sokol Blosser’s Vineyard Report for September 8, 2016:
- We are more than half way done with picking, so the vineyards are starting to look a little bare. We are about to put down our annual cover crop.
- The grapes that have come in are nice and clean. The grapes still left to pick look great and aren’t tasting ripe yet but will be ready soon.
- The weather has started to cool slightly with partly cloudy days and some light showers. The rain is not affecting the grapes yet, but we did have to stop picking because of it and haven’t picked for a week.
- A couple of Estate Pinot Noir blocks including Old Vineyard, Watershed and Blackberry, are still left to be picked along with a little bit of Pinot Gris and Riesling. We plan to have picking completed within the next two weeks.