Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bill Easton, Amador Winegrower, is Positive about Harvest – Refutes Recent Publicity

Bill Easton is winemaker and  winegrower at DOMAINE DE LA TERRE ROUGE, and TERRE ROUGE and EASTON Wines, Fiddletown/Amador County.  Bill is an experienced and acknowledged expert in high elevation grapegrowing,  and he took exception to the information posted on KTXL/Fox 40 News in a story headlined “Wet Weather Hurts Wine” with a simple “It is best not to generalize” comment.  He then provided this updated Harvest Report, which is very positive for Sierra Foothill/Amador County wineries:
The rain has been bad and crop size, mainly with Zinfandel, have been down. Overall other crops have been very good looking. There has been little, if any, bunch rot or sour rot, in the Zinfandel we have harvested this year.
Certain varieties like Roussanne, that do not like moisture at all are struggling against all kinds of disease pressure.
If you were "on" your sprays,  the grapes with high acid and low pH seem to be holding up well. We have some vineyards that have been showing botrytis pressure and we are spraying them with Seranade (organic). Powdery mildew can be controlled with oils (organic) and Kaligreen (organic).
Wines could have beautiful balance this year and not be "over-the-top". Syrah has been stunning. Sauvignon Blanc is perfect.
We need no more wet weather and warmer days and nights. Indian summer please.
It is best not to generalize.

More About  DOMAINE DE LA TERRE ROUGE, and TERRE ROUGE and EASTON Wines, from their website:

Syrah at over
3000 feet elevation
"TERRE ROUGE and EASTON Wines is located in California on the West Slope of the Sierra Nevada in Amador County's Shenandoah Valley. Our wines are made from vineyards in four Sierra Foothill counties: Placer, El Dorado, Amador, Calaveras, and the Clements Hills appellation. We farm our vineyards sustainably and our winery derives most of its electrical power from solar panels located on the roof of the main winery building.

TERRE ROUGE means "Red Earth". This vermillion-colored soil is one of the hallmarks of our region. Our vineyards are in soils that are largely granite and volcanic-based. The TERRE ROUGE portfolio is composed of wines made from Rhône varietals grown in the rugged and varying terroirs of this region: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne. High elevation sites up to 3200’ contribute to the complexity of our wines.

Our winemaker, Bill Easton puts his family name, EASTON, on our non-Rhône varietals wines. The wines are crafted from varietals that have traditionally worked the best in Amador County and the Sierra Foothills: ancient and old-vine Zinfandel, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon Blanc. Under the Easton label we also bottle small selections of varietals new to the Sierra Foothills: Grenache Blanc, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc.

The style of our red wines emphasizes deep color, balanced flavors, full middle palate, and a long finish, with power and finesse. They gain complexity with age. Our whites are aromatic, flavorful with nice texture, and balanced with good acidity. They also show an amazing mineral sense that is derived from our stony mountain soils.

We make over twenty different wines, many of which are very small production (300-500 cases). Each is unique and site-specific with a sense of place (terroir) all of their own. Our goal for the last 20 years has always been to make the finest wines possible that can be placed on a table with the best wines of the world."

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