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With 2012 coming to a quick conclusion, we sat down with Winemaker Darice Spinelli for a year-end wrap-up. As you will see, harvest 2012 is still a vivid memory.
What stands out for you about 2012?
Definitely the abundance of this vintage—that was phenomenal. We were up 31% from what I was expecting, and we were up by 73% over last year’s yields. And the quality appears to be exceptional.
Were there any changes or enhancements brought to the winemaking process this year?
For the last two harvests, we have used the optical sorter. This machine allows us to identify color as a tool to remove anything that is undesirable. In our case, we were removing things that were green and brown (stems, leaves, shot berries) and keeping anything purple. We had a team hand sorting, too, but the optical sorter almost doubled our ability to process the grapes. Our ability to work faster is exactly what we needed given the tonnage from the 2012 harvest . That’s how we were able to keep our quality high.
View our optical sorter in action in this recent harvest video.
What characteristics are you seeing in the 2012 wines?
The wines are very well balanced. They’re still going through fermentation and still changing at this point, but they have really nice structure, great fruit flavors, incredible color and nice aromas, so it’s looking like it will be a great year. The vineyard characteristics are really showing through.
Is there anything else that stands out for you about 2012? Anything you’re looking forward to in 2013?
I’ve been thinking about harvest for the last few months, but earlier in the year we bottled our 2010 Cabernets. [Mark your calendars for the official release on August 10, 2013.] Again, these are good, solid wines. We just tasted through our spring releases—also really balanced wines. These Chardonnays, Merlots and Syrahs taste wonderful at this early age, so it will be exciting to show everybody these wines in 2013. We also have a new Chardonnay coming out next year from Stiling Vineyard that we bottled this last year. It has a beautiful minerality that can’t be beat.
Our annual Futures event is something we always look forward to. This year we’ll taste the 2012 Cabernets, and you’ll have the opportunity to purchase these wines at current release prices. It’s a fun, popular event and I guarantee that you will enjoy this vintage.
Wishing you and yours a very happy New Year! See you in 2013.