Gloria Ferrer first to harvest
As is often the case, Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards brought in its first 2017 Carneros Pinot Noir grapes on Monday, to the excitement of Mike Crumly, vice president of production, and Steven Urberg, director of winemaking at Gloria.
Basically, the combination of heavier rains than normal last winter and much hotter temperatures this summer altered the growing cycle of the grapes.
Urberg said in a statement on Monday, “As we reach the end of our sparkling bottling season we had been hoping for our harvest to begin around the middle of August which has been the normal start time for us (outside of the early harvests of the last few years). However, the recent warm weather pushed some of the vineyard blocks carrying a lighter crop to ripen more quickly and we found ourselves beginning the 2017 harvest this morning –more than a week earlier that we were planning on. But, our entire team is excited. We love this time of year.”
According to Crumly, “One of the defining features of this year’s growing season was the highest seasonal rainfall ever recorded on the North Coast. Rain that seemed relentless in the winter and spring followed several years of drought. When the vines woke up and pushed out the new spring growth, the roots remained inundated with water in the saturated soils. Roots starved for oxygen failed to grow for weeks; some roots below the water table didn’t survive.
“This wet spring period caused the vines to stop growing while the root system regenerated. Short little shoots with stunted growth showed pale color, and everyone was very concerned.”
But the warm dry weather eventually arrived.
“As the vines pulled the excess water from the soil, roots became healthy once again allowing shoot growth to take off,” said Crumly. “Vines grew many inches per day. Dark green healthy leaves replaced the small pale leaves of early spring.”
To celebrate National Pinot Noir Day on Aug. 18 Gloria Ferrer’s Pinot Weekend from Friday through Sunday will celebrate pinots with lots of tastes, light bites, tastes of their olive oils and live music. $45, less for wine club members. Friday and Sunday noon to 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 23555 Highway 12 (Arnold Drive), Sonoma. Gloriaferrer.com.
Stone Edge Farm tasting Aug. 12
Winemaker Jeff Baker will lead a vertical tasting of his Stone Edge Farm cabernet sauvignon from the Moon Mountain District. Immediately after the tasting guests will attend an exclusive reception with passed hors d’oeuvres and new wine releases. $125. 2 to 5 p.m. Reservations, and location from email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stone Edge also serves exclusive three-course tasting dinners at Edge, prepared by Culinary Director John McReynolds, much of which comes from Stone Edge’s 16-acre organic farm, all paired with their cabernets. $150. 130 East Napa Street, Sonoma. For reservations contact Larry Nadeau at email@example.com.
Cocoa Planet’s new café hours
Due to more time needed to produce its low-sugar chocolates, Cocoa Planet is changing its café hours for the season.
According to owner Anne McKibben, “We are gearing up for a busy chocolate manufacturing season with lots of wholesale orders and need to focus more days to make more chocolate and do wholesale activities.” Now Cocoa Planet will be open to the public Fridays and Saturdays, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.