Halter Ranch joins the herd

Cowvée Alice

Cowvée Alice outside the Halter Ranch Tasting Room

 

The vibrant CowParade has arrived in San Luis Obispo County. CowParade is an international moo-ving public art exhibit made up of life-sized, 120-pound fiberglass cows decorated by artists and displayed at prominent locations, before they are auctioned off for charity.

We are lucky enough here at Halter Ranch to add our own cow to the Halter herd, Cowvée Alice. Named after our Cuvée Alice reserve wine, a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Tannat, and decorated by artist Jack Foster. Foster is the co-founder of Progressive Auto Art, a high quality refinishing, restoration and auto repair company. Foster color matched the paint to our metallic wine capsules and gave Cowvée Alice a high gloss auto finish.

Cowvée Alice was unveiled at the Madonna Inn Meadows on Saturday, September 17, 2016. She arrived at her new home, Halter Ranch on Wednesday, September 21, 2016. She is now situated outside our tasting room and will be with us until May 2017, make sure you stop by for a visit and a photo #CowvéeAlice.

CowParade SLO is the county’s largest public art display with proceeds benefiting local charities. Since the initial launch in Chicago in 1999, CowParade has been featured in 79 cities worldwide, including Tokyo, Paris, New York City and London. For more information on CowParade™ visit CowParadeSLO.com


2016 Harvest Update

Halter Ranch Grenache

Grenache was the first varietal harvested this year

 

The 2016 growing season has progressed well; harvest officially started at Halter Ranch on Monday, August 29, which puts this year earlier than average. We watched with a sense of anticipation and excitement during the start of August as grapes went through veraison; shifting from green to purple signaling the accumulation of sugars, a telltale sign of fruit approaching ripeness. Over 281,000 vines will be harvested at Halter Ranch over the next two months totaling 600 tons of grapes.

Halter Ranch Grenache

Grenache being sorted after being destemmed

 

Our first varietal harvested was Grenache, Alban Clone, from Blocks 1 to 3 followed by Block 66, VNS3 Clone. Vineyard crews picked between 2am and 6am on Monday morning.

Halter Ranch Grenache Harvest

Production team removing berries which didn’t make the cut

 

Picpoul Blanc Blocks 38 and 76 were our second varietal picked and processed on Tuesday, August 30, and pressing was complete by 9am. Followed by Syrah Blocks 17 and 74 and more Grenache from Blocks 41 and 72 on Thursday, September 1.

Halter Ranch Picpoul Blanc

Picpoul Blanc was harvested on Tuesday morning

 

If we continue to see these consistently warm days and cool nights, we are looking at a compact harvest. Our yield projections are on target for an average crop of two to three tons of grapes per acre. Our improved irrigation technologies have proven again this year; we do not need to water nearly as much as we did in the past.

Halter Ranch Picpoul Blanc

Picpoul Blanc being dumped into the bladder press

 

This growing season has been a contrast to last year, even as the drought continues. Last year we had the coolest May on record causing poor fruit set and lower crops across the region. That, paired with very low rainfall early in the spring, lead to less overall growth for the vines. This year, rain came late in spring and filled the soils as the growing season started, driving vigorous growth in the vineyard. The temperatures have also been above normal with more than two consecutive weeks above 100 and daily average highs in the 95 plus range most of June and July. All the signs point to an outstanding vintage in the fields and winery.

LUCAS POPE, Vineyard Manager

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