Vineyard Diary-Nov 3, 2013

2013 was another very good growing season in the Sierra Foothills and a successful year at Shaker Ridge.  We provided wine grapes to 5 commercial wineries and approximately 30 home winemakers.  The season started earlier and finished earlier than in recent years, but overall was an average year in terms of timing.  It was pretty much a classic Sierra Foothills summer pattern:  hot and dry, with occasional excursions into the 100’s F.  For the most part, the heat backed off nicely and the rain held off (and continues to hold off, unfortunately) for an easy and orderly harvest.

It was also a strong year on the wine judging front, with a barbera made from our grapes (DK Cellars, 2010) taking a double-gold medal at the Amador County Fair and one of our estate touriga nacional’s (2011) taking a double-gold at the Orange County Fair (home winemaker division).

It was also a productive year scientifically for us, as we completed a 3-way trial to compare fruit thinning practices in the our non-Quinta touriga block which we think will be very informative.  We are making wine from the outcome of this and look forward to presenting the results at a future El Dorado Wine Grape Grower meeting.   We also gained some highly significant data from a nutritional trial that we ran in our primitivo and barbera blocks 3 seasons ago–the results of which finally became  apparent this season.  The results provide us great insight into our viticultural practices going forward.

We thank our many clients for meeting their commitments for grape pickup in a timely, enthusiastic, and cheerful fashion.  We hope that you produce some outstanding wines.  As always, we look forward to seeing (tasting is okay too!) the results of your efforts.

Until next year….