Andy Robinson | Winemaker
“You say Goodbye, and I say Hello” – Words written by Lennon and McCartney come to my mind at this time of year, as the summer following harvest brings about the bottling season. We have been busy for 11 months ushering the 2020 vintage wines to become the best version of themselves, deciding on racking times, aging vessels, and final blends, and we’re excited to prepare the winery for what 2021 has to offer. Much as an artist may never feel as though a painting is done if it remains on the easel, it’s fulfilling to “put a cork in it” and declare a wine complete.
The 2021 growing season has provided a new, yet familiar, set of challenges as promised in any industry reliant on Mother Nature. The weather in Sonoma County has been pleasant, with some brief, tolerable stretches of heat tempered by the ever-present marine layer in the evenings. The biggest wrinkle has been the lack of winter rainfall, which has led to unprecedented water restrictions for irrigation. We managed to convert a large percentage of our vineyards to utilize reclaimed water and implemented systems to ensure that we do not suffer any long-term effects of drought on the health of the vines. At the winery, we have converted our landscaping to reclaimed water to further our efforts.
As we are bottling our 2020 Sonoma Zinfandel, we are simultaneously preparing the cellar for the upcoming harvest, which we anticipate will arrive slightly earlier than normal and will once again be a very compact period. As we approach September, our team is excited to say “Goodbye” to the 2020 vintage and “Hello” to 2021!