This weekend we pressed the last lots of Pinot Noir off the skins and put them into barrel. In other words, we're done!!! As it has been the past few years, harvest came fast and furious with one estate, and we are done with time to spare in September, which is a bit unusual for us.
All in all, we're very happy with 2016. Quality looks to be great, and quantity was surprisingly good. I wrote earlier about the smaller cluster sizes and our expectation that the crop would be down for the Pinot Noir. As we neared harvest, we did more counts and weights, and, although some blocks were slightly down, some picked out slightly heavier than expected. Looking back, we seem to be pretty close to our long-term average on tonnage -- a fact we're happy about after a few down years.
The Sauvignon Blanc was our big winner this year, finally cropping a decent amount and filling several tanks in the winery (in 2015 it was down more than 50% due to inclement spring weather). We hope we'll finally be able to meet demand for this bottling when we release it next year.
Harvest was more challenging this year in some ways -- I spent more time playing mommy to our toddler and less time helping at the winery. This leaves Joe with more work on his own, but as luck would have it, we were connected with an amazing intern who was able to help us get everything done.
The winery was scrubbed, organized, and sanitized before any grapes came in, and then we started the process of picking, sorting, destemming or adding whole clusters to the fermentation bins (or pressing the whites off the skins), punchdowns, pressing the Pinots off the skins, and barreling down.
Evan, our son, LOVED harvest. The trucks, the tractors, the forklifts, the people, and most important, the grapes! They were all exciting, loud, and/or delicious. He took it upon himself to sample most of the bins that came in, just to make sure everything was "yummy."
Here are a few images from harvest 2016 at Foursight Wines: