Monday, September 26, 2011

Pilot Peak (Penn Valley/Nevada County) - "Latest Harvest to Date"

Lynn Wilson, winemaker and one of the owners of Pilot Peak Vineyard & Winery (Penn Valley, Nevada County) sends us this note about the Sierra Foothills harvest experience there:

"Until yesterday (September 25), we didn’t have any news to get out – just harvested our first grapes off the estate grown Sauvignon block on the property. Got them off the vines about 10 minutes before the light rain started so we just barely cheated Mother Nature. The fruit was whole cluster pressed and is currently settling in the tall stainless steel tank. The juice will be inoculated tomorrow morning with the fermentation normally taking 10 to 14 days (fermented in the range of 65OF – 68OF). The fruit was harvested at 24 Brix with a pH of 3.3 – the acid/sugar balance developed very nicely in the cool summer we’ve just experienced.

This harvest has been our latest to date and it appears the majority of the fruit will be harvested in October.

Tempranillo or Syrah should be the next in line, but they are at least a week to 10 days off – all dependent on temperature. We’re all keeping our fingers crossed that we don’t get substantial early rain which would have a major impact on the crop yields which are already light this year. Given the cooler weather and longer growing season, the fruit sampled thus far is excellent and should make for a great vintage.

About Pilot Peak Vineyard & Winery (from their website)

"PILOT PEAK Winery is located in Northern California’s Sierra Foothills – An hour north of Sacramento – just a few miles outside Grass Valley and Nevada City in the town of Penn Valley.  We currently produce approx. 2500 cases, using our estate grown Sauvignon Blanc and MourvĂ©dre and other grapes sourced within 20 miles of the winery.  We have worked with the following Sierra Foothill growers: Damiano Vineyards,  S&L Vineyards, Naggiar Vineyards, Leeham Vineyards & Dibble Vineyards. 
We established the winery in early 2004.  The metal shop building was converted from a construction shop to a winery starting on July 6, 2004 and completed on August 29, 2004.  8 short weeks!  --  Luckily -  just in time for the first grapes to arrive (one of the earliest harvests on record).  We made 600 cases of wine that first year - which later sold out in record time (Cabernet Franc sold out in 1 day!  The Viognier lasted about a week!). "

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