Napa Valley is abuzz with harvsest season! As we entered our third week of harvest at Peju Province Winery and the first week of September, we began picking our Oak Knoll Chardonnay. The fruit was a beautiful golden color and was at optimum ripeness, showcasing amazing flavors that are sure to make 2015 a spectacular vintage.
Aided by headlamps and a full moon, our crew of six started at 2 a.m. and finished at 8 a.m., just as the sun was coming over the Vaca Mountains. While it may seem strange to pick grapes without sunlight to guide you, there is good science behind the reason we choose to pick grapes long before the sun comes up.
When we pick our grapes at night we are able to deliver them (especially our white grapes) to the winery as cold as possible. By pressing the clusters while they are cold, we capture more of the delicate, bright and aromatic qualities of Chardonnay.
As the sun came up on September 1, we had picked five tons and completed picking of our 2015 Chardonnay. We are ready and excited to move on to picking red grapes next week!