Current Grape Availability

8-21-19

Varietal Amount Still Available for Sale (tons) Expected Optimal Harvest Time Price ($)
Barbera 2.5 Mid-Late Sept 1.05/lb
Primitivo WAIT LIST*** Mid Sept 1.05/lb
Tempranillo* SOLD OUT Mid Sept 1.05/lb
Quinta** WAIT LIST Late Sept-Early Oct $300/share
 Touriga* SOLD OUT Early-Mid Oct 1.05/lb
       

*Non-Quinta=Iberian varietals not part of Quinta field.

**The Quinta = A field of touriga nacional, tempranillo, tinta cao, souzao, tinta amarela planted in 2005.  One share entitles holder to 250 lb of a field blend of Quinta grapes in the proportions that they are harvested this year.  For example, if 40% of the total Quinta production is touriga, then 40% of each shareholder’s 250 lb allotment will be touriga.  Harvest will be on a Saturday to accommodate home winemakers, with date optimized around ripeness of the touriga nacional.  The Quinta has historically provided superb grapes for a port-style blend as well as dry red blend.

***Wait list requests on a first-come, first-served basis.  Wait list does not commit to purchase, but should grapes become available, persons/entities on wait list will have 24 hr to commit or not, at which point the next person/entity will be contacted, and so on, until grapes are sold.  

 

Current Grape Availability

7-28-19

Varietal Amount Still Available for Sale (tons) Expected Optimal Harvest Time Price ($)
Barbera 2.75 Mid-Late Sept 1.05/lb
Primitivo WAIT LIST*** Mid Sept 1.05/lb
Tempranillo* SOLD OUT Mid Sept 1.05/lb
Quinta** WAIT LIST Late Sept-Early Oct $300/share
 Touriga* SOLD OUT Early-Mid Oct 1.05/lb
       

*Non-Quinta=Iberian varietals not part of Quinta field.

**The Quinta = A field of touriga nacional, tempranillo, tinta cao, souzao, tinta amarela planted in 2005.  One share entitles holder to 250 lb of a field blend of Quinta grapes in the proportions that they are harvested this year.  For example, if 40% of the total Quinta production is touriga, then 40% of each shareholder’s 250 lb allotment will be touriga.  Harvest will be on a Saturday to accommodate home winemakers, with date optimized around ripeness of the touriga nacional.  The Quinta has historically provided superb grapes for a port-style blend as well as dry red blend.

***Wait list requests on a first-come, first-served basis.  Wait list does not commit to purchase, but should grapes become available, persons/entities on wait list will have 24 hr to commit or not, at which point the next person/entity will be contacted, and so on, until grapes are sold.  

 

Vineyard Diary 7-25-19

We’ve now passed the mid-point of the season and are looking ahead to harvest, as marked in our vineyard by the start of veraison in our tempranillo grapes, which was evident by July 20.  Until this week, it has been a mild summer, with temperatures rarely above the low 90’s and often in the 80’s.  We’ve even seen the occasional cloud.  This weekend temperatures in the low 100’s are predicted, finally some sort of payback for the high heat and humidity seen across most of the country.  The long lead time to these high temperatures should have allowed the grapes to build up their natural sunscreen and avoid damaging sunburn.

We just wrapped up the umpteenth spray of the year to prevent powdery mildew, and there is some chance it will be the last of the year.  However, this will depend on how fast the balance of the vineyard goes into veraison, and how hot it gets.  Meanwhile, we are taking a hard look at crop load, particularly in the Primitivo, and starting some fruit dropping.  Crop load is looking about average–certainly not heavy–though we do see a lot of “seconds”, which are smaller bunches of grapes that form a few weeks after the main clusters.  These can add up to a significant burden of fruit for the vine that we’re never going to harvest, so in a perfect world, we would remove them all.  However, because there are many of them, it is quite labor intensive to remove them, and that labor comes at the hottest time of the year.  So, it is an annual dilemma to decide what to do with these seconds, but this may be a season when they are particularly heavy, probably a result of the abundant, late rain in May.

As we speak, we are deploying overhead netting over our Quinta vineyard, which in a little more than 2 months should produce a crop of Portugese varietals for distribution to our Quinta shareholders.  So far, the crop looks solid, and the challenge will be keeping the critters off of them until they’re good and ripe.  These will likely include our annual bear visitor(s)–who seem to particularly favor this field–and several extended families of wild turkeys who have made our vineyard their daytime home.

We have had–since 2004–a couple rows of Muscat Canelli (White Muscat or Muscat Blanc) that we have used for a variety of purposes, but little for homemade wine.  We have used them as eating grapes, as juice, as sorbet, as raisins, and they have been delightful for all of these uses.  We have not made the grapes available to home winemakers because they are actually somewhat tricky to grow to our standards, with variable ripeness, sunburn, and susceptibility to mildew.  Last year, with a little extra intention, we managed to get a decent crop and made some homemade wine both in a traditional off-dry style for Muscat and in a less traditional dry, ML-fermented style.  The latter turned out delightful–somewhat like a Chardonnay but with the more delicate and exotic fruit notes of Muscat–and entered this in the Amador County Fair, where it earned a gold medal.  This was our first entry of a white wine from Shaker Ridge, and a gratifying result after some less than stellar efforts with roses and whites in the past that never made it to competitions.  After maybe another year of experience under our belt, perhaps we will make this limited crop of Muscat available for sale to home winemakers.

Looking ahead to harvest, we still have the option of waitlist status for a share of Quinta fruit, and immediate reservability of about a ton of Primitivo, and over 2 tons of Barbera.  Our touriga is sold out.  Though harvest will be the latest in  a number of years–a situation that can create stress ripening fruit at higher elevations–we think we will be fine on our ~1500′ site.  We hope we can get through the current heatwave and return to the fine summer that we (and our grapes) have been enjoying.

Current Grape Availability

6-20-19

Varietal Amount Still Available for Sale (tons) Expected Optimal Harvest Time Price ($)
Barbera 2.75 Mid-Late Sept 1.05/lb
Primitivo 1.175 Mid Sept 1.05/lb
Tempranillo* SOLD OUT Mid Sept 1.05/lb
Quinta** WAIT LIST Late Sept-Early Oct $300/share
 Touriga* WAIT LIST Early-Mid Oct 1.05/lb
       

*Non-Quinta=Iberian varietals not part of Quinta field.

**The Quinta = A field of touriga nacional, tempranillo, tinta cao, souzao, tinta amarela planted in 2005.  One share entitles holder to 250 lb of a field blend of Quinta grapes in the proportions that they are harvested this year.  For example, if 40% of the total Quinta production is touriga, then 40% of each shareholder’s 250 lb allotment will be touriga.  Harvest will be on a Saturday to accommodate home winemakers, with date optimized around ripeness of the touriga nacional.  The Quinta has historically provided superb grapes for a port-style blend as well as dry red blend.

Current Grape Availability

6-14-19

Varietal Amount Still Available for Sale (tons) Expected Optimal Harvest Time Price ($)
Barbera 2.75 Mid-Late Sept 1.05/lb
Primitivo 1.775 Mid Sept 1.05/lb
Tempranillo* SOLD OUT Mid Sept 1.05/lb
Quinta** WAIT LIST Late Sept-Early Oct $300/share
 Touriga* WAIT LIST Early-Mid Oct 1.05/lb
       

*Non-Quinta=Iberian varietals not part of Quinta field.

**The Quinta = A field of touriga nacional, tempranillo, tinta cao, souzao, tinta amarela planted in 2005.  One share entitles holder to 250 lb of a field blend of Quinta grapes in the proportions that they are harvested this year.  For example, if 40% of the total Quinta production is touriga, then 40% of each shareholder’s 250 lb allotment will be touriga.  Harvest will be on a Saturday to accommodate home winemakers, with date optimized around ripeness of the touriga nacional.  The Quinta has historically provided superb grapes for a port-style blend as well as dry red blend.

Vineyard Diary 6-9-19

The 2018-19 wet season started out quite dry, with rains only arriving right around Thanksgiving.  This was too little, too late for some things in nature (like fall mushrooms), and after a pause to rains in late December and early January, it was beginning to look sparse for winter rain as well.  But the rain began again in earnest–not in crushing amounts–but regular, soaking amounts, and February and March were cool and wet, almost textbook-like in California.  Then, when it started to dry out and warm up in April, and it seemed like we might be through, then came historic rain amounts in May–like more rain than any May since the 1800’s–a remarkable occurrence.

In the end–and we do think this is the end of rain for the season–we have obtained generous winter and spring rainfall to fill the soil profile and provide an above-average snowpack, we have had a cool spring leading to the latest budburst in the vineyard in years, and we are well-positioned for a fine summer growing season.  Irrigation has not been necessary to date and won’t be for awhile, but we have completed much of the work that makes late spring the busiest time in the vineyard: shoot thinning, mowing between rows, and regular spraying to prevent powdery mildew.

The late budburst presages a late harvest, and we’ve reflected that with our best estimates of harvest times in our “grapes available” postings.  If anything, the risk would be to slightly later harvests than shown.  If the summer stays on the cooler side like the spring, we may be looking at our coolest growing season since 2011.  We think that generally works in our favor, particularly for Barbera which doesn’t particular favor super-hot, dry conditions at harvest as our region can often produce.

Right now in the vineyard, bloom is just wrapping up for most of our varietals, with flowers turning into tiny berries, and the vines will soon be shifting gears from shoot growth to berry growth.  It was a challenging spring scheduling the shoot thinning and early spraying around the rains, but the worst is now over, and the vines are looking great.

We were excited to offer “shares” in our Quinta vineyard of Portugese varietals for the first time since 2014, which give home winemakers the starting materials for a true Portugese-style port wine without having to shop all over for the constituent varietals.  The grapes will be picked and distributed on a specific Saturday to be determined in late September or early October. Our Quinta vineyard has enjoyed a remarkable record of success for both home winemakers and commerical winemakers in competitions, as documented elsewhere on our website, and our Quinta grapes have made some excellent dry and dessert wines.  The Quinta shares, by their nature, are finite in number and now sold out, but those interested can still get on the 2019 waiting list, as we hold back a certain number of shares for the “house” to buffer yields (over which Mother Nature has primary control), and so another share or 2 might possibly become available.

Still available without waitlist are a couple tons each of Primitivo and Barbera, as shown on our “Grapes Available” listing, reservable on a first-come, first-served basis.  We are looking forward to a great harvest in a few months.

Current Grape Availability 6-9-19

Varietal Amount Still Available for Sale (tons) Expected Optimal Harvest Time Price ($)
Barbera 3.25 Mid-Late Sept 1.05/lb
Primitivo 2.275 Mid Sept 1.05/lb
Tempranillo* SOLD OUT Mid Sept 1.05/lb
Quinta** WAIT LIST Late Sept-Early Oct $300/share
 Touriga* WAIT LIST Early-Mid Oct 1.05/lb

*Non-Quinta=Iberian varietals not part of Quinta field.

**The Quinta = A field of touriga nacional, tempranillo, tinta cao, souzao, tinta amarela planted in 2005.  One share entitles holder to 250 lb of a field blend of Quinta grapes in the proportions that they are harvested this year.  For example, if 40% of the total Quinta production is touriga, then 40% of each shareholder’s 250 lb allotment will be touriga.  Harvest will be on a Saturday to accommodate home winemakers, with date optimized around ripeness of the touriga nacional.  The Quinta has historically provided superb grapes for a port-style blend as well as dry red blend.

Current Grape Availability 4-12-19

Varietal Amount Still Available for Sale (tons) Expected Optimal Harvest Time Price ($)
Barbera 3.375 Mid-Late Sept 1.05/lb
Primitivo 2.4 Mid Sept 1.05/lb
Tempranillo* SOLD OUT Mid Sept 1.05/lb
Quinta** WAIT LIST Late Sept-Early Oct $300/share
 Touriga* WAIT LIST Early-Mid Oct 1.05/lb

*Non-Quinta=Iberian varietals not part of Quinta field.

**The Quinta = A field of touriga nacional, tempranillo, tinta cao, souzao, tinta amarela planted in 2005.  One share entitles holder to 250 lb of a field blend of Quinta grapes in the proportions that they are harvested this year.  For example, if 40% of the total Quinta production is touriga, then 40% of each shareholder’s 250 lb allotment will be touriga.  Harvest will be on a Saturday to accommodate home winemakers, with date optimized around ripeness of the touriga nacional.  The Quinta has historically provided superb grapes for a port-style blend as well as dry red blend.

Current Grape Availability 4-3-19

Varietal Amount Still Available for Sale (tons) Expected Optimal Harvest Time Price ($)
Barbera 3.375 Mid-Late Sept 1.05/lb
Primitivo 2.65 Mid Sept 1.05/lb
Tempranillo* SOLD OUT Mid Sept 1.05/lb
Quinta** WAIT LIST Late Sept-Early Oct $300/share
 Touriga* WAIT LIST Early-Mid Oct 1.05/lb

*Non-Quinta=Iberian varietals not part of Quinta field.

**The Quinta = A field of touriga nacional, tempranillo, tinta cao, souzao, tinta amarela planted in 2005.  One share entitles holder to 250 lb of a field blend of Quinta grapes in the proportions that they are harvested this year.  For example, if 40% of the total Quinta production is touriga, then 40% of each shareholder’s 250 lb allotment will be touriga.  Harvest will be on a Saturday to accommodate home winemakers, with date optimized around ripeness of the touriga nacional.  The Quinta has historically provided superb grapes for a port-style blend as well as dry red blend.

Current Grape Availability 4-2-19

Varietal Amount Still Available for Sale (tons) Expected Optimal Harvest Time Price ($)
Barbera 3.375 Mid-Late Sept 1.05/lb
Primitivo 2.65 Mid Sept 1.05/lb
Tempranillo* SOLD OUT Mid Sept 1.05/lb
Quinta** 3 shares Late Sept-Early Oct $300/share
 Touriga* WAIT LIST Early-Mid Oct 1.05/lb

*Non-Quinta=Iberian varietals not part of Quinta field.

**The Quinta = A field of touriga nacional, tempranillo, tinta cao, souzao, tinta amarela planted in 2005.  One share entitles holder to 250 lb of a field blend of Quinta grapes in the proportions that they are harvested this year.  For example, if 40% of the total Quinta production is touriga, then 40% of each shareholder’s 250 lb allotment will be touriga.  Harvest will be on a Saturday to accommodate home winemakers, with date optimized around ripeness of the touriga nacional.  The Quinta has historically provided superb grapes for a port-style blend as well as dry red blend.