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Harvest 2018 is Just Around the Corner

Chateau Margene vineyard right before harvest 2018

With Summer winding down and harvest approaching, we are busy in the vineyard and preparing the winery.  The grapes on our estate vineyard look exceptional with Stella’s Vineyard (back blocks) in its 4th leaf.  Next year will see Michael’s Vineyard (front blocks) in full production.

This week we are doing our final cluster thinning and putting up nets to keep the birds from eating the fruits of our labor.  Extended high temperatures in August had us push back our morning side leaf thinning until August 17th to protect against sunburn.  Yesterday we had the crew drop fruit where bunches were too tightly grouped and also where there was not sufficient leaf canopy to properly ripen the clusters.

cluster thinning harvest 2018 Chateau Margene

This morning, we are installing netting.  The grapes will now be more exposed to the sunlight to aid in the ripening process and we are 95% through veraison (color change from green to purple).  We are absolutely stoked with how the vineyard is progressing and are looking to the last week in September for our harvest dates on the estate vineyard.  The Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noirs for the Mooney Family and El Pistolero labels will be harvested the week of  the 17th.