The harvest season has come to a glorious end. Each and every block of grapes have been harvested, juiced, fermented and put into barrels so they can age into delicious wine. As the last of the juice is barrelled, it is now time to clean up the equipment and start packing it away for the season. All of the tanks will be sparkling clean, the pumps flushed and put away, ready for service next year. Harvest 2013 is officially over!
We asked our winemaker, Dean Sylvester, to give us a little insight into 2013 and the what he expects to see in the bottle. “Our warm and dry spring got the grapes off to a great start, the weather was cooperative and harvest went smoothly. This will be another great vintage of Whitehall Lane wines.” 2013 was a great year at Whitehall with our new vineyards at Rassi and the fifth year of our Millenium replanting. It takes at least five years for a vineyard to start producing great fruit, and this vineyard is at full speed. Good weather through harvest meant that the grapes had plenty of hang time to ripen just right.
Due to a great season weather wise the harvest started, and ended, a little sooner than normal. Spring arrived full of sunshine so the vineyards got a quick start and stayed ahead. One little rainfall during harvest wasn’t enough to worry about as it warmed and dried quickly. As winemaking is heavily dependent on great farming and weather, we are always happy to have a season without surprises.
When asked which grape stood out, Dean told us that “the Cabernet Sauvignon is particularly good with lots of color and great fruit intensity.” Great news as our Cab is one of our customers’ favorite wines! Those grapes from our newest “Rassi Vineyard” will add a wonderful touch to our vintage this year. We mainly use those grapes for blending in our Cabernet as they have superior color and intensity. He also noted that the quality across the board was quite high, and he’s looking forward to many great wines from this vintage.
Dean is happy with the grapes for Whitehall’s first ever Rosé as well, made from Syrah grapes, for the tasting room and wine club. This release will be a chance for him to make something fun and different. As an artist of wine, he needs a muse to keep the creative juices flowing and you’ll be lucky enough to enjoy his years of experience in this release.
With 38 years of winemaking experience, Dean offers our customers and guests a memorable wine in every bottle. From the soil to the bottling, he oversees every step with passion and dedication to his artistry that simply can’t be beat. With so many minute variables along the course of making wine, his expert hands are key to our success.
The crew was happy to enjoy this last weekend home with family after a long season. Though it’s a labor of love, farming isn’t easy work! With 12-15 hour days throughout, harvest puts our staff through the paces to ensure we stay at the top of your list when you think of great Napa Valley wines. We’re looking forward to sharing this vintage with you!