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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