Thankfully the evacuation warning around our family winery and the surrounding area has been lifted, and our winery and vineyards are out of the path of the Walbridge Fire. However, due to the air quality in the area, our tasting room will remain closed for the time being.
To say that this year has been unpredictable would be an understatement! If you had told me that I would spend the winery’s 48th anniversary moving back into my house after being evacuated in the middle of a global pandemic, I would have said you’d had too many glasses of wine! Yet here we are, right in between celebrating our 48th anniversary yesterday and starting harvest tomorrow with face masks and social distancing.
It’s safe to say that this year will be a harvest we will never forget! Tomorrow begins our 49th harvest, with the arrival of 75 tons of Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Sauvignon Blanc always has a special meaning for me this time of year since my father, David Stare, was the first person to plant the varietal in the Dry Creek Valley in 1972. Our initial lot showcases vibrant flavors, excellent balance, and refreshing acidity.
Here is what Winemaker Tim Bell has to say about this harvest: “As we approach the start of our 2020 harvest at Dry Creek Vineyard, it seems like we can only call this one of the more topsy-turvy vintages we’ve ever experienced, for a number of reasons. We had an early bud break but cool weather—with a little rain—during fruit set. As a result, some Sauvignon Blanc vineyards have a lighter crop this year and they will be picked earlier than usual. Mother Nature is keeping us on our toes, as vineyards are ripening in a different sequence than usual and a recent heat spell did not drive up sugars as rapidly as expected. With all of that at hand, and an overall warmer growing season so far, we are still starting harvest five days later than last year.
“Our winemaking team has bravely dealt with the added stress of the fires in Sonoma County, and we’re finishing up some final bottling as we make our last preparations for harvest. Based on the experience of our growers, we believe that the intensity and duration of any smoke exposure is relatively low. However, we will do pre-harvest testing to verify that fact. We remain optimistic about having high-quality fruit, if perhaps less of it. Here’s to hoping for some easier days ahead!”
We will continue to post more harvest news and winery updates on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages. We hope that you will join us and raise a glass of Dry Creek Vineyard wine to toast the 2020 vintage!
Kim Stare Wallace