Friday, October 7, 2011

J Harvest News from our Winemaker, Melissa Stackhouse, Friday, October 7, 2011

Melissa Stackhouse, J Winemaker

The J harvest of 2011 continues to roll on.  We are nearly finished with Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.  Early sampling of our 2011 Russian River Valley Estate Pinot Noir shows a vintage across the board that is nothing less than exquisite.  Most of the lots are still in tank, on the skins and fermenting.  A few Russian River Valley Pinot Noir lots are already in barrel, having been drained and pressed last week. These wines will be going through malolactic fermentation in barrel, and will be aged for about nine months. We expect blending to begin in early spring.

Melissa Stackhouse Admiring J Estate Pinot Noir Grapes

And happily, we completed our sparkling wine harvest weeks before the rain began to fall.  The sparkling lots are all tucked away in tanks awaiting assemblage. We will begin blending these wines at the end of October for tirage bottling in early February.  The 2011 sparkling wine vintage can be characterized with one word — spectacular!

 Spectacular Night Harvest in Nonny's Vineyard

Our major challenge this harvest, however, has been with Chardonnay.  Chardonnay is always the variety that takes a hit when the Russian River Valley weather becomes marginal.  The seven-day forecast will hopefully bring us warmer and drier weather.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed and hope to finish this year’s harvest by the end of next week.  

J Vineyards Russian River Valley Chardonnay

We will keep you posted on our progress.

Best Regards,
Melissa Stackhouse, J Winemaker

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