As summer draws to its beautiful and bittersweet close in the Livermore Valley of California, we enter one of my favorite times of the year: harvest. This time of the year begins with crisp mornings and is full of warming fall colors. We bid adieu to long warm summer days and begin to relish the more constant crisp breezes that blow in from the coast. Each vintage, I look forward to the creative process that is harvest for 5 months, both at home in Livermore and in the starkly beautiful Arroyo Seco region in Monterey, working with the grapevines and wines to shape the vintage. As I spend a good amount of time traveling for numerous business ventures, the harvest months give me the opportunity to reestablish myself in my work and my home.
Going into each harvest, any winemaker would say it is important to outline a set of goals that one wishes to achieve during the season. For me, these goals remain constant, to use every ounce of my being to make the best decisions that result in the best possible wine. I do this by making a concerted effort to stay in the present, control what I can and to surrender to what is out of my hands. Granted, these goals do not come without their fair share of obstacles and at times can push the limits of my patience, but I put forth my best effort to minimize these distractions and produce the best wine possible.
Each harvest acts as a personal learning experience for me and helps to continue my development as a winemaker. After every vintage, I get an improved grasp on who I am in that role and what I aim to achieve with the production of every bottle of wine. I truly believe that the subtle adjustments one makes during the winemaking process allow for an improved and higher quality wine. Continuous improvement and self-awareness are key for a winemaker. I hope that you will be able to sit down on a lazy August night, drink a glass of wine and enjoy the fruits of every winemaker’s labor.