Vineyard Updates and Sustainable Thinking

 

Sustainable Farming - Halter Ranch Vineyard

In Row Tilling

 

Spring is upon us!  Oak trees are in bloom, lupins now grace our upper hillsides, and other flowers have begun to peek around the edges of the ranch.  In the vineyard we are through primary pruning with the exception of Block 5 Syrah, Block 26 Sauvignon Blanc, and Block 35 Viognier which we will leave partially pruned with a mind toward mitigating potential damage from late frost.

In preparation for budbreak, which has already started at some of the higher elevation sites throughout the vineyard, we’ve begun mowing and discing under the cover crop to provide a healthy injection of water and nutrients for the awakening vines. Additionally we continue our program of in-row tilling (covered last month on the blog here) to mitigate competitive (weed) growth in the immediate vicinity of the vines where the discs and mower do not reach.  These practices allow for the elimination of applied fertilizers and weed control.  The significance of this minimalist approach cannot be overstated in its effect on the health of the vineyard and the quality of resulting wines.  It is the habit of grapes to exhibit the various unique qualities of the site on which they are grown (see terroir) and it follows that any manipulation of that site has the potential to alter for good or ill, the character of the resulting wine.

For more on sustainability and sustainable farming check out SIPcertified.org


Earth Day, Farms, and Forks

 

Green Horizon - Earth Day

The Green Ranch

 

The horizon looks increasingly green as Earth Day 2013 approaches…

Beyond our participation in the main event, Halter Ranch will be hosting the Farm to Fork tour and dining experience on April 19 from 6-9 pm.  Our own Kevin Sass will be leading guests on an educational journey through our sustainable vineyard and winery.  The idea here will be to convey, to the best of our ability, the combination of beauty, terroir, specificity, history, philosophy, and approach that make Halter Ranch Vineyard so special.  The journey will be capped off, or topped off if you like, with a multi-course meal prepared by Tom Fundaro of Villa Creek.  Expect some stellar pairing interactions betwixt HRV wines and chef Tom’s stupendous cuisine.

Why attend this event, or celebrate Earth Day through this festival you might ask?  Beyond the reasons above, what body in physical space could possibly compete with our planet when it comes to order of importance?  The sun and moon might be high on the list given our little Third Rock’s codependent interaction with them, but it would be difficult to argue they deserve more attention.

As we’ve expressed in a few previous posts, wine may be considered the sensory exemplification of our planet’s interaction with the sun and moon, given it is essentially the result of natural process that would not exist without these relational physics and the interactions of starstuff that drive them.  So, with this in mind, how indeed could we not spend at the very least one day a year paying homage to our vibrant host planet and the natural happenings round which we base our lives.  While we’re at it, why not indulge in a delicious glass of wine (perhaps even a few!) and a plate (or three!) of scrumptious locovore-type eats?  Why not indeed.

For tickets click here.

 


Wining Philosophical

Philosophical tanks, barrels, and bottles - Halter Ranch Vineyard

The Halter Ranch Headspace

 

There is a phenomenon within the tasting room which results from the tendency of particular patrons to wax philosophical across the tasting bar in the interest of fomenting discussion.  This post is a sort of homage to said patrons as the discussions they incite are often profound and quite memorable.  So what is it about fermented grape juice that inspires humans toward the cerebral?

It would be inaccurate to imply the only effect of wine is to inspire the mind toward the cerebral, or to lubricate dormant thought process, more accurately it probably functions to…inspire…a variety of behaviors positive, cerebral, and otherwise. For the sake of this article, we will focus on its talent for extracting deep brooding thoughts and encouraging conversation of the conceptually wandering kind.

On that note, let’s take a brief trek back through time to the underpinnings of modern philosophy.  Plato and Aristotle sit across from one another brooding.  Each holds in hand a clay goblet filled with, what else, vino. In this past era wine is generally stored and served from cool clay vessels and is probably sweeter than the majority of modern vinified offerings.  (more…)


Tasting 2012 Rosé and 2011 Synthesis

2012 Rosé

2012 Rosé preparing to enter the line up

 

Our 2012 Rosé is unique in the history of HRV pink.  It represents one of only 2 wines we’ve produced that come in at less than 14% alcohol (the other being 2009 Cabernet Franc).  The shift toward lower alcohol and higher acid in the rosé is intentional.  We have found it maintains its delicious bright red fruit character quite well while the bracing acidity provided by Picpoul Blanc makes it even more delectable with food.  We cannot wait to share it with you.  In the meantime here are our notes:

2012 Rosé is composed of 68% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 12% Picpoul Blanc, and 5% Syrah.   Immediately the nose is bright and bursting with red fruit in the cranberry, raspberry, and strawberry spectrum.  On the palate the texture is light but mouthfilling with that thirst quenching quality rosé has the potential to achieve so welll.  Acidity is present but not overwhelming.  As the wine opens notes of passionfruit, guava, grapefruit, and sour cherry begin to emerge.  A delightful cranberry grapefruit zip swoops in on the finish leaving the palate fresh and awaiting the next sip.   (more…)

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