Field Reports

Archive for August, 2015

Headlong into Harvest

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

The harvest season in the Jarhead Nation always begins with Chardonnay, which is the earliest-ripening grape variety in our family of wines. And this year, the harvest is happening even earlier than usual…

In a so-called “normal” year, we would expect to begin harvesting Chardonnay in early to mid September. This year, however, we will begin picking before the month of August is over.

Indeed, we expect to start harvesting fruit for the 2015 Jarhead Chard within a few days at the Firestone family’s Curtis and Kingsley estate vineyards in Santa Barbara County’s Santa Ynez Valley.

We are not alone. Across the Central Coast, the 2015 harvest is notably early.

So why is that? There are several factors. A mild winter brought a slightly early bud break, which got the growing season going sooner rather than later. Also, after abundant yields over the past several years, the crop loads are smaller this year. And the less grapes the vine has to ripen, the more quickly things go.

The word from the vineyard is that the fruit is nevertheless looking and tasting great. The grapes seem balanced in terms of physiological ripeness, and smaller yields typically translate to rich, concentrated flavors.

So off we go, headlong into the harvest a bit early this year. We look forward to sharing the fruits of our labors with you.