Fall Harvest – 2019
Summer is winding down, but our Fall Harvest season is just starting to kick into gear! Our growers in the Central Valley of California are seeing veraison (part of the ripening process where the ‘green’ grapes become red or white) and expect picking to begin around Labor Day. This means that the first shipment of grapes, usually whites, are expected by the second week of September. Red grapes and the first shipment of ‘Juice Only’ varieties are expected by the third week of September. Northern and Specialty Regions will prepare their shipments around the beginning of October. Our premium ‘Mosti Fresco’ Juices are expected around Columbus Day. Keep in mind that we are dealing with fresh fruit, so these timeframes are subject to change.
MORE INFORMATION TO CONSIDER FOR YOUR SELECTIONS
We are winemakers and take great pride in providing you with the best grapes and fresh juice available. Spoilage is easy with fresh fruit especially when it is not handled properly. You can be assured that all of our offerings have been kept refrigerated from packaging to when you receive it. We never ‘repack’ any of our fresh fruit, as this invites contamination.
Fall Grapes come in 36 lb containers called ‘Lugs’. As a rule of thumb, it takes around 75 lbs, or two lugs to make 5-6 gallons of finished wine. It is important to keep in mind that this is a guideline, the amount of juice produced is not only the result of the grapes – but the size of the ‘batch’ and your fermentation procedure. For this reason, we recommend five lugs when making double batches. The grapes are carefully packed, sprayed with a light solution of Metabisulfite and kept refrigerated to ensure freshness.
Fall Juices come in six gallon pails and are available in two packing styles. The ‘Juice Only’ style comes from grapes that are simply crushed, destemmed and pressed. Metabisulfites are added to prevent spoilage. The premium ‘Mosti Fresco’ style is initially processed like the ‘Juice Only’ style. The juice is then tested and ‘balanced’, ensuring that the sugar, acid and pH levels are correct – then it is inoculated (pitched) with the proper yeast.
The ‘Mosti Fresco’ style is the most popular as it produces exceptional wines with minimal effort – we definitely recommend this style for new winemakers. The ‘Juice Only’ style also produces exceptional wines, but additional testing and balancing is required. Our seasoned winemakers who make larger batches like this style, especially when they are blending grape varieties and want to pitch a specific yeast strain. It is important to note that even though the juice has been refrigerated, some fermentation during the shipping is likely to occur.
REGION BY REGION
LODI All of our growers are governed by the new ‘Lodi Rules Sustainability’ program. Exceptional varieties this harvest are the Old Vine Zinfandel, Pinotage and Viognier.
CENTRAL VALLEY The King’s River region offerings are expected to be as great as they were last year, with the Tempranillo being the standout. We are pleased to offer the Black Muscat variety this year for the first time in over 25 years!
LANZA/SUISUN Certified once again by ‘California Sustainability’ program, this region will produce the finest offerings. This year’s standout is the Petite Syrah.
WASHINGTON STATE This year’s standouts are the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
PASO ROBLES / CONTRA COSTA All of these specialty varieties look fantastic this harvest season!
SPECIAL OFFERINGS The Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley is a one-time offering and not to be missed. The Sonoma Attwood Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon and Chaulk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon will make the finest of all wines.