Update from the Vineyard: Planting and Suckering

In with the new, and trimming the old.  The past couple weeks we’ve gotten to plant some new Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, and Pinot Noir vines.  We’ve also been keeping up with existing vines in the vineyard – trimming or suckering them to help promote the growth where we want it – premium grapes – and tying new growth to their supportive stakes.

Rainy Day Reading

After a few dry days, we’re back to winter rains with a forecast for an “atmospheric river” next week.

Yesterday, Eric Asimov of the New York Times published his review of some Sonoma Coast Pinot Noirs he was able to purchase on the East Coast.

We enjoy working with a number of Pinot Noir vineyards and vineyard owners in Sonoma County.  Asimov reviews some great wines and wineries in the area.  Happy reading and sipping. Our family favorite pairing is Pinot Noir with Mexican food.  What’s yours?

Time to prune

As the rains start to slow (though we’ve got another storm rolling in the end of this week), we’re back in the vineyard and starting to prune the vines and get ready for the growing season.  Here are some photos from this week from a Pinot Noir vineyard in Sonoma County:

img_20170213_114840286 img_20170213_114855155 img_20170213_115011488


We’ve finished pruning in the vineyards. After a couple weeks of warm sunshine and then rains, we have bud break.  The first signs of the 2016 vintage.  Spring is here. It’s a beautiful and green time to be in wine country.  Cheers!

Here are a few photos, taken this week, from a vineyard in Sonoma County:

Hannah budbreak 2016_01

budbreak 2016_04

For more about bud break in the region, check out the article from The North Bay Business Journal: Winegrape vines sprout in Sonoma, Napa, Lake counties.

New Wire

This vineyard is due for new trellis wire.  So we’re removing the old


And then we’re installing the new wires while the plants are dormant and pruned.

Here’s what the vineyard looks like without its trellis wires.  Naked vineyard?


Harvest on the Horizon

The grapes are turning color! Which means that harvest is in sight.  And we’re rounding the home stretch of another vintage.  These are Pinot Noir grapes.  Once the grapes have gone through veraison (changing color) they’ll start to develop sugars.  It’s these sugars that will later be turned into alcohol/wine.  Salut!




Picking Pinot

leepin harvest2014

It’s a great feeling when you get to see a project through. That’s how we felt last week when we had the opportunity to pick a Pinot Noir vineyard in the Russian River Valley that we had started working in January of this year.

When you work with grapes, the job is to nurture each vine individually and manage the vineyard as a whole. When to pick the finished product – ripe grapes – is actually up to the winemaker. Whoever is purchasing the grapes is using them as the raw materials for a beautiful wine. The growing season, elements, geographical features of the vineyard, and vineyard management techniques will all have effects on flavor. But the style of wine (bursting fruit flavors, bigger wines with higher alcohol contents vs. more traditional lighter alcohol wines with more restrained characteristics that might develop more over time, etc) starts with when to pick – at what levels the acidity and sugar exist in the grape.

Pinot Noir is a thinner skinned grape that ripens before thicker skinned grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah.

Here’s to the 2014 vintage, cheers!