The 2011 growing season at Shaker Ridge is finally over. The season began with some winter
pruning of tempranillo vines on January 20, and ended with a small harvest of touriga nacional on October 30–over 9 months! Weather-wise, it was very similar to 2010–wet spring, late budburst, cool summer, and late harvest– but with a little frost damage thrown in at the front end. In total this year, we served 4 commercial wineries and over 20 home winemakers, we hope providing quality fruit to the lay foundation for some excellent wines. We were glad to see many new faces this year and benefited from our 1500′ elevation which allows us to ripen grapes even in cool, late years like this one.
Quinta touriga nacional on the day before harvest: October 14, 2011
The feature event of the season had to be the harvest and distribution of our half-acre vineyard of Portugese varietals (the Quinta) to 10% shareholders–all home winemakers– on October 15. The total production of the Quinta was 3131 pounds, resulting in shareholders receiving 315 lbs each of a blend of touriga nacional (60%), tempranillo (20%), souzao (10%), tinto cao (6%), and tinta amarella (4%) grapes. This yield was slightly above target, thus
providing an extra dividend to shareholders and resulting in a net cost of only $0.635/lb for a collection of varietals hard to find in one place, cultivated with great care, and suitable for a single quinta vintage port-style wine or for a complex dry red.
We thank all of our clients for their patronage, patience, and cooperation this year. With so many handoffs required, we count on the reliability and timeliness of our clients at harvest time to make things go smoothly, and we were not disappointed.
We expect that we will be back next year, and will post pricing and availability in January. We are contemplating some changes in our price structure, likely rewarding those who commit early, since this helps us do our best work in the vineyard.