We have officially picked all of our Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc for the year. We started the Pinot Grigio on August 15th, and finished the Sauvignon Blanc on August 31st.
We then started harvesting the Lavender Hill Chardonnay in Carneros on September 6th. The very next day, we received Merlot from the Estate. This is the earliest date on record for reds.
The last week was pretty crazy…Phoenix-like temperatures in the 115 degree range! On top of that, the valley was blanketed with smoke from a fire burning in Butte County. Fortunately, both have subsided and we are back to average harvest temperatures once again…at least for the time being.
We will be bringing in additional Merlot, as well as Petit Verdot from Oakville, on Monday and Tuesday. Then we will finish up with the last of the white grapes on Wednesday.
The harvest has been pretty fast and furious thus far – keeping things exciting. We were very proactive with our irrigation regimen before and during the heatwave, so the fruit is still in excellent condition. We are extremely pleased with the quality thus far, and expect to make some fantastic wines!
We love hearing what our club members are up to, and no one has his ear to the ground like Wine Club Director Kenny Werle. Recently Kenny tipped us off to one of our Preferred Palates club members, Bob Brinker, who has an invigorating hobby to say the least. Here’s his story.
What do the island of Alcatraz, a San Francisco Giants baseball game and a glass of Flora Springs Trilogy have in common? If you’re Bob Brinker, a Preferred Palates club member from Atlanta, plenty!
It was August 13, 2016 when Bob undertook what very few people will ever do in their lifetimes: he swam across the San Francisco Bay to Alcatraz, the island best known for its historic prison. It was Bob’s third time participating in what is known as the Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim, a 1.5 mile open water event that, as its website says, is NOT for NOVICES.
“The first year I did it the Bay was like a lake; it was calm and gorgeous,” says Bob, who took up open water swimming as an adult. “The second time it was choppier and we had to wait for several cargo ships to go by. This year the temperature was warm, but the currents were so strong that the course ended up being 1.7 instead of 1.5 miles.”
After celebrating his accomplishment with an Irish coffee at the The Buena Vista along with his son, Jarrod, who also swam the course, Bob headed over to AT&T Park for SF Giants Game Day with Flora Springs. “The Game Day happened to coincide with the swim, so I bought tickets with a couple of my friends who are also club members. It was a great way to cap off the day.”
This wasn’t the first time Bob combined swimming and Flora Springs. The first year he did the Alcatraz swim he slipped in a visit to Napa Valley. “I did the swim with a buddy and since both our wives like wine we decided to spend some time in Napa. That’s when I first visited Flora Springs.”
It was Bob’s mother who recommended Flora Springs. She’d been to the winery years before and been impressed with the wines and the beautiful setting. That day, as Bob and his wife sat on the patio tasting wines, their host was talking about the Merlot, and Bob said “I like the Merlot but I really love this Trilogy.” Later, he called his stepfather who told him, “Your mom liked all the Flora Springs wines but she really loved Trilogy.”
As Bob says, “coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”
If you have a story involving Flora Springs that you’d like to share, be sure to let Kenny know!