“2014 Miracles Do Happen” Grower Report by Lee Hudson
2014 provided us with generous, well-proportioned wines and our third consecutive glorious harvest. The growing season started with impending drought but in February seven weeks of rain filled both our soils and our ponds. Warm soils and a frost free spring contributed to the earliest bud break in memory. Bloom past with mild, near perfect conditions producing a nicely balanced crop. Early bud break and a mild summer prompted the earliest harvest of the last 30 years. We were well underway with harvest when on August 24th when we were shook up like a rattle snake bone by the West Napa earthquake. Despite its destructive force we harvested and crushed the following day, finishing up harvest one month ahead of 2013. A near disastrous drought, a calamitous shaking, and three beautiful harvests in a row; sounds like a miracle to me.
Winemaker Comments by Christopher Vandendriessche
2014 was another early harvest, with pick dates between Sept 3rd and 8th. The fruit was ripe and without sunburn, leading to an incredible freshness and balance of flavors. The “Shot Wente” Heritage selection Chardonnay fruit whole cluster pressing went longer than usual to extract full fl avors. The juice went directly to 85% new French Oak barrels for natural “Wild” yeast fermentation. Fermentation started quickly but still took an average of 12 months to finish. During this time we stirred the barrels weekly until the following November. Bottling was in mid May 2016. The 2014 is a rich and complex vintage.