Ruth's Vinyard Chardonnay, Lodi California

Ruth’s Vinyard Chardonnay, Lodi California

It appears seamless to most, but we have been preparing for the 2015 harvest last November. Our grape contracts were signed in early February.

Weeks prior to harvest, we are previewing vineyards, and speaking with vineyard managers. Sugar levels will be checked and the decision about when to harvest are discussed. This measurement of sugar is called, a Brix Level. This is performed by using an instrument called a refractometer. Typically it’s done by taking grapes or bunches from various areas in the vineyard. The grapes are smashed and the sugar level of the juice is measured. These numbers are communicated to us first by week, then finally days before prior to harvest. Grapes are also tasted and inspected to ensure they’re fully mature.

Once our harvest date has been determined, pickers are reserved, harvest bins are distributed to the specific vineyard, and fruit is harvested. Fruit is then taken to a winery we work with where the fruit is sorted, de-stemmed, and the grapes are put back into our harvest bins. Within 4-24 hours our transportation decisions have been made and a refrigerated truck is on site to haul the fruit to Cantara Cellars. And the winemaking begins once again.

We celebrate our 11th harvest at Cantara Cellars in 2015.

Just a little bit of what’s been going on…….

Chris Brown

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