Despite a downpour of rain and even a glimpse of snow in the Stags…
Vineyard Update from Viticulturist Ryan Decker
“The 2023 growing season is finally underway at our Stags Leap District estate! Thanks to the cold and wet weather this winter, our vines slept in like college kids. Budbreak was several weeks later than recent years, sprouting in mid-April, and a late harvest can be expected this year as well. This will allow our grapes to slowly ripen to perfection in the cooler days of October, as opposed to quickly ripening in the traditionally warmer days of September.
One of our top priorities in the vineyard moving forward is to increase biodiversity. We recently installed our first pollinator garden in front of the winery that will provide habitat for Monarch butterflies and other beneficial insects. We also planted wildflowers down every 10th vineyard row, and we are leaving many blocks in a natural state without mowing to encourage as much biodiversity as possible.
You might also see a different type of monarch in our vineyards – a Monarch tractor! The Monarch MK-V is a fully electric farm tractor that produces zero emissions and collects important data from the vineyard. It also comes with a host of cameras and sensors, allowing it to detect people or objects in its path and shut down immediately – it can even operate autonomously without a driver. They don’t have any plans to make a robot winemaker yet, so at least Carmel’s job is safe!“
Cellar Update from Winemaker Carmel Greenberg
“This Spring, we are thrilled to release our new 2022 Sauvignon Blanc – one of my favorite wines to make! Blended with a touch of Sémillon, the wine is aged in stainless steel tanks as well as new and neutral French oak barrels to add body and depth.
To add complexity, we use several cigar barrels that are larger than standard barrels and have a longer shape, like a cigar. This provides a higher surface area of the oak to wine and maximizes lees contact. The finished wine is vibrant, elegant, and expressive with crisp minerality and lingering flavors of elderflower, apricot, and mandarin.“