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Patchwork Ground

August 21, 2009

In chronicling the harvest of 2009 I have the distinct pleasure of speaking to our many growers and winemakers on a daily basis, checking in on what’s happening and learning more about each vineyard within our varied appellation. From the restrained cabs of Dominus Estate to the bold flair of Gemstone one of the unique things about Yountville as an appellation is the wide range of wines we produce, both varietally-speaking and from a stylistic perspective. Our appellation offers many different soil types and micro climates within a small geographic space, and these elements, combined with equally diverse winemaking styles are one reason why so many interesting and different wines can be produced from the Yountville AVA.

So each afternoon as I call around I learn something new. And these details, these differences will all be reflected in the wines that are produced from this vintage – which is one of the primary reasons for launching this blog at this time. Gamble Family winemaker Jim Close picked their first block of Sauvignon Blanc yesterday at about 21.5 brix. Joseph George reports that they will likely pick their SB on September 10, and when we know what their brix readings are we’ll report that, too.

So what’s my point here? The choices being made now in the vineyards will be directly reflected in the 2009 vintage wines of  Yountville. Date of pick, brix levels, heat spikes, cool weather — it all leaves a fingerprint on the wine. And tying the wine in the bottle back to the vineyards and people that produced it is the very point of terroir, and a big piece of why Appellation status exists. So I hope you’ll bear with us as we document the season, and if there’s something you’re particularly interested in hearing about please leave a comment and we’ll do our best to track it down.

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