“We beat the rains,” said J Winemaker George Bursick. “The irony is that for all the anguish about a late season, we managed to end four days earlier than last year.”
A final load of grapes from Jewell Vineyard in Sebastopol, destined for J’s Russian River Valley Chardonnay, made its way into the winery just as the skies let loose.
“Although harvest started late, the long hang time during a mostly cool summer played an important role in building great acidity and delicious flavors,” said Bursick. “We had to pick around some ripening issues in the vineyard, and crop tonnage is lower than average, but 2010 is going to be another superb year for Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producers.”
With J’s varietal Chardonnay settling into a slow winter-long “bâtonnage,” (a sur-lie barrel aging technique), and Pinot Noir wines still moving through barrel fermentation, a quick survey of pulled samples reveals a vintage packed with rich color, ripe flavors, and balanced acidity.
Martin Guzman, J Production Director, is happy about the pinot noir wine quality.
The grape harvest for J’s sparkling wines was completed three weeks ago as those grapes are picked at lower sugar and higher acidity levels.
J Vineyards & Winery, located on Old Redwood Highway south of Healdsburg, focuses on Brut and Brut Rosé sparkling wines, as well as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris varietal wines, produced from grapes farmed primarily within Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley appellation.
Founded by Judy Jordan in 1986, J Vineyards & Winery is an independently-owned Sonoma County winery. J will begin celebrating its 25th Anniversary next year. To learn more, or to join the J Wine Club, please call (707) 431-3646, or go to www.jwine.com.