April 2011


I noticed budbreak in early April in Northern Sonoma.

Buds started appearing on Westside Rd in the Russian River Valley in early April

Platt Vineyard is out near the Ocean, the true Sonoma Coast. A cool weather site at a higher elevation

Notice the difference between the Platt budbreak and the Williams Selyem. Platt is in a much cooler area. Also, note the gray bird netting at the bottom of the photo. A fairly expensive labor intensive option when you consider acres and acres of vines.

This Russian River Valley vineyard is where I started to think about harvest

Up close from the same RRV vineyard

Healdsburg is Sonoma AVA Central. Depending on which side of town you exit, you will end up in Dry Creek Valley, the Russian River Valley or Alexander Valley within minutes. Chalk Hill and Knights Valley are not much farther out on Hwy 128.  Alexander Valley is a bit warmer than the RRV and Sonoma Coast so there was more leaf expansion on the buds than the above picture.

In the cellar at Ramey Cellars, where I was working for the better part of 2011, many of the 2010 lots had just finished Malolactic Fermentation. We then blended those 2010 wines in tank and sent them back to barrels. We began to prep some of the 2009 Chardonnays for bottling by moving them from barrel to tank to cold-stabilize. The target to bottle is late June.

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