Early July, just after our National Holiday, we finished bottling the 2008 red wines and bottled the first of our 2009 wines. The three wines (2008 Salon and Solari and 2009 Sauvignon Blanc) are classic Larkmead wines that truly represent a sense of place. If any of you have visited Larkmead and sat on the tasting room porch in the middle of our vineyards; you will understand what we mean when we say sense of place – a quiet, elegant experience that caters to the desire to relax and take another sip of wine. I promise that the 08 reds and our 09 white wine will keep you coming back for more. However, as any farmer will tell you, each year, each harvest we are under the influence of Mother Nature. In 2008 Mother Nature provided us with a wonderful harvest, the saddening part is that we just don’t have very much of the wine to go around. We’ll save those details for when we begin to release the wines later this year and next. Right now, the wine team is proud to have put our best wine in bottle.
On the subject of Mother Nature, let’s talk briefly about the pending 2010 harvest. Late winter 2009 and early 2010 has provided us with a regeneration of rain. Earlier this year we surpassed the Napa Valley average of rainfall (a number that we hadn’t come close to reaching since October 2006). The long, cool winter rolled into a late, wet Spring and delayed vine growth a few weeks. Bloom at Larkmead took place the first week of June; historically it would have happened in the middle of May. The next major vineyard event will be verasion that happens on average, at Larkmead, 75 days after bloom. Historically that would land us in the last week of July / first week of August but this year we are closer to the middle of August. We are not trying to rush the moderate weather as it is reminiscent to some of our favorite vintages – 2006, 2005, 2001. We’ll keep you posted as we get into the dog days of August and if you are planning any last minute travel to Northern California, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line and stop on by.
Dan Petroski, Associate Winemaker