Monday, October 31, 2011

"It may be the best Zinfandel year in recent memory!!!" Leon Sobon exults in his Amador County HARVEST REPORT

Leon Sobon sends this harvest report for Shenandoah Vineyards and Sobon Estate.  Both are located near Plymouth, CA, in Amador County.  Leon founded the business in 1977 and is widely recognized as a leader in the Sierra Foothills wine industry.

"The grapes are ripening well, and we should finish Nov. 3 or 4th.  Sugars are not high, but balance and flavors are excellent.

It may be the best Zinfandel year in recent memory!!!

Alcohols will be under or near 14%. The Zin crop is averaging ~40% of normal, with some of our best vineyards 25% of normal.  Because of the small crop and loose bunches, bunch rot did not develop after the rains. 

We just picked Barbera with a normal crop and excellent numbers.  Sangiovese was harvested on the weekend, and is in good condition, and that crop was about 25% above normal.

The weather at bloom time this spring seemed to be the determining factor. 

Cabernet is the only grape still hanging right now, and we are not sure what day we will pick.

More about Shenandoah Vineyards & Sobon Estate Wines (from the website):

Shenandoah Vineyards and Sobon Estate are family-owned wineries with a 32-year reputation for producing the best possible wines using low-yield viticulture and minimum intervention wine making techniques.

Sobon Family Wines emphasize high fruit and low tannins, and are made with our own sustainably-grown grapes. They reflect the unique Shenandoah Valley terroir, resulting in a richness and intensity rarely seen elsewhere. Award-winning Sobon wines are distributed nationally. Both wineries are open daily for wine tasting in the picturesque Amador County near Plymouth, CA.

Shenandoah Vineyards

Leon and Shirley Sobon founded Shenandoah Vineyards in 1977. They were one of the first four wineries in Amador County's now well known Shenandoah Valley appellation.
From the first offering of 1,200 cases, the winery has continued to thrive, adjusting the portfolio of wines over the years. It is now producing about 25,000 cases per year. Demand continues to grow as a result of skilled winemaking, marketing, financial planning, and strong family commitments to quality and service. Today, we continue to use estate grown grapes from our sustainably-farmed vineyards.Sobon Estate

The Sobon Estate winery started in 1989 when Leon and Shirley Sobon bought each other a second winery for their 30th wedding anniversary present. They purchased the historic D'Agostini Winery, one of the oldest in the state. This winery has been designataed as California State Historic Landmark #762.
This site was chosen not only for its historical winery, but also for its vineyards and vineyard land. The old vine Zinfandel was retained, and the other vineyards replanted with the best varieties and clones. The Sobon Estate label launched the estate line of wines for the Sobon Family -- the best wines from their own grapes. These include Rhone varietals, vineyard designated Zinfandels, and tasting room-only dessert wines.

Visit them at 14430 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth, CA  95669.

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