Tag Archives: Vintage Notes

Vintage notes – June 2013

This month had been ideal for wine growing until early last week when the wine country was hit with a late rainstorm which dropped over an inch of rain in some areas. While I enjoyed the change of weather personally, I worried about the increased disease pressure which comes with the increased humidity. After that the freak weather spun another direction when in the span of a few days we went from rainy and below 60 to high humidity and close to 100! I’ve been able to get out in the vineyard quite a bit the last few days.

The namesake Carmelite Monastery looking down on Monastery Block.

So far the season has been very good for happy grapevines. There seems to be an average to slightly above average crop and I am thrilled to see what the rest of the season brings. We’re hoping to get through the rest of the heat wave with no sunburn to the fruit.

In the winery we completed an amazing tasting today of every Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from 2000 through the new 2011 vintage that we just finished blending.


It was a delicious walk through the last 13 years at the winery complete with vintage reminiscing by Genevieve, Rich, and the rest of our team. It was super educational to me and one of those moments in life that I won’t forget anytime soon.

Vintage 2013: Budbreak

The air is warm now and the slightly tangy smell of sulfur dusting is beginning to permeate the valley.
My weather update says it is 84 degrees today. After a super dry January and February we’ve seen a little bit of rain at the end of March and beginning of April. It was much needed and the vines are soaking it and the sunshine now right up. The Cabernet in front of the winery on the Tokalon vineyard are almost 4″ out already! It will be harvest before we know it. In the meantime, we’re watching for frost over the next few weeks although the forecast is currently not calling for any over the next few days. My husband and I are being brave and have put a few tomatoes out already. The winds have been very gusty but so far the tender little shoots seem to have escaped damage. If the weather stays like this it is on track to be a beautiful spring and a promising vintage.


Springtime in Napa and To Kalon

I’ve been having such great time with my new job I’ve been pretty terrible at updating my blog recently however now that my life is calming down a bit my plan is to update once per week.

Right now things are super busy in the winery. We’re finalizing the blends for 2011 and working on the 2012 Pinot Noir blends. I spend the majority of my time tasting which is so much fun. In the vineyard things have been quiet but are starting to stir. In talking with our vineyard manager for To Kalon, he expects budbreak to happen eminently. He and the crew have been working on getting things ready for the frost season and cultivating some of the blocks. He doesn’t want to the vines in these blocks to have to compete for water with the ground cover. In other blocks, he’s keeping the ground cover in order to remove some of the vigor of the blocks. I’m so in awe of this terroir! It’s so exciting to see this vintage begin. Budbreak should be starting in one of the Monastary blocks of Cabernet Franc. Vintage 2013 is kicking off!!!