Inside Knights Bridge

Harvest Update - Chardonnay

Harvest Update - Chardonnay

We recently completed the harvesting of our estate Chardonnay fruit in Knights Valley.  We were blown away by the quality of the grapes and also the amazing flavors that showed.  Learn more about this year's harvest, including how we determine when to pick...

Chardonnay fruit

Harvest is always the busiest time of year for wineries. Timing of when we harvest each varietal is critical for ensuring quality. We look for ripe fruit, coupled with ripe seeds. Ultimately we use taste as the decisive predictor, but during the final weeks prior to harvest we also track and evaluate sugars, acids, and pH levels. Using both sensory and laboratory analysis allows us to create balanced wines with proper fruit, structure, and tannins.

Sensory analysis provides us with a clear understanding of the flavor profiles that will appear in the finished wine. However, other flavors will be developed in the wine during fermentation (We'll cover this topic in the winter when the wines are resting in barrel.) But tasting the fruit on the vines does provide a good barometer of both flavors and quality.

A great example of this balance between using scientific data and our natural sense of taste happened during this year's Chardonnay harvest. We monitored our estate Chardonnay fruit to make sure it maintained the right acidity through the whole process. What caught our attention was the different flavors showing each time we sampled the fruit during the last few days prior to harvesting. A day before the final pick we noticed some wonderful flavors of spiced pear with citrus and hint of green apples. These flavors just exploded in our mouths. This experience along with the lab results of balanced pH told us it was time to pick, and we scheduled the pick for the next morning (at 2AM to keep the fruit cool!). In fact, the 2009 harvest reminds us of the 2007 vintage and we all know how much praise and anticipation has been created for the release of those wines. We look forward to sharing our Chardonnay with you in a couple years!

Stay tuned for more updates on harvest, including our Cabernet Sauvignon fruit which is not far away from being ready to pick.

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Harvest Update - Chardonnay