20121018-125049.jpgBeautiful morning and beautiful fruit.



On Thursday morning…












Getting close…

Brix °




TA g/100mL


500L oak puncheon - We will ferment and age the Merlot in this special barrel

A famous quote from the movie Sideways has a character warning that his date better not order any $!&## Merlot.  Funny.  But misguided.  Merlot when done well is a joy to drink and world class wine.  Three of the ninety rows at Butterdragon Hill are Merlot.  Every other vintage, we have blended in the small amount of Merlot fruit into the Cabernet Sauvignon.  This vintage, though, we’re going to try and keep them separate and see how it turns out.

Pretty Merlot fruit

Of the 90 rows at Butterdragon Hill, 3 are Merlot


20120222-182745.jpgThe vines at Butterdragon are ready for spring, which judging by the downright balmy temperatures today, is already here.

I also had a great vertical tasting today of our 05’s – 07’s. All the wines were nice but the 2005 Baconbrook and the 2007 Butterdragon are in a really special place right now.




20110930-181929.jpgIf it was easy, everyone would do it.  Farming can be a real test of nerves.  The fruit looks good at Baconbrook but the brix is still a tad low and the flavors are not there yet.  The vines also look to be starting to shut down.  What to do?  The next 5-7 days promise unsettled weather with two storms coming through.  However, long rang forecast shows clearing and warming.  Good!  We’ll need that weather to dry things out and finish ripening both of our vineyards.

My prediction right now is we’ll harvest Baconbrook the week of October 10th with Butterdragon following 5-7 days later.

Winemaker Cary Gott walked Baconbrook this morning:

“I took a small sample this am from the east vineyard blk.

Hard to believe but 21.4 brix. Grapes in great shape. With this heat they should get a bit of water.

The fruit tastes very immature.

Brix checked with two refractometers.”

20110914-043129.jpgWe dodged a bullet today.  I got a call from a neighbor that there was a fire at Baconbrook.  Fortunately the temperature was only about 80, there was virtually no wind, and Cal Fire was able to hit it and hit it hard with a tanker, two helicopters, and numerous trucks and personnel.  They got it out with less than an acre of wild land burned and no damage to the house, vineyard, or the neighbors (in whose direction it was headed).

The suspicion is the fire started after some teenagers snuck on the property and were partying.

20110905-011914.jpgVeraison is complete at Baconbrook with very even color. Fruit load is light through much of the vineyard but what we have looks good. Cool evenings and foggy mornings are giving way to warm 90 degree days. Perfect September weather.

website securityContact Us
3060 White Sulphur Springs Rd
St Helena, CA 94574
t: (707) 200-3510
  • RSS
  • Mailing List
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • NetworkedBlogs
  • YouTube