We’re at the peak of harvest now—this year’s been especially fun with the cool spring and summer, followed by some late rains. In challenges, we find opportunities—this harvest is an opportunity for the team to overcome Mother Nature’s challenges and make great wines. Weekly, I take an early-morning trip down to our family’s Arroyo Seco Vineyard in Monterey County to check on the status of our grapes. We are more than halfway through Chardonnay in Arroyo Seco and Pinot Noir finishes this week. In Livermore, we are through Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and Chardonnay—all that remains is Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This is the time of year that I love—complete and utter immersion in winemaking; the choices that we make right now will shape the outlook of the 2011 vintage.
Check out this video of me in the “war room.”