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To pick or not to pick, that is the question.  Who decides and how do they do it?  At CC it is a detailed, group decision combining art and science.  First there is the general visiual.  Is verasion, or the coloring of the fruit, finished.  Are the leaves in the fruiting zone, where the clusters hang, beginning to turn yellow.  What direction are the upper leaves directed?  Has plant growth stopped? Then the evaluation becomes more specific.  Are the berries firm, but not hard, are the seeds dark brown and nutty does the juice give off a bit of color?  The data below is the next info considered.

These readings, plus quite a few more, are taken once a week as harvest gets close and every other day as it gets closer.  Yet, the final decision after all the science is done, comes down to the art of taste.  Not a single grape will be picked until the flavors are just right.

QUESTIONS?

2012 Harvest Data
11-Sep-12
Date Veriatal Vineyard Berry Weight Berry Diameter % Brown Seeds Brix pH TA
11-Sep CF-BLK 3 CCV 1.11 11.691 10 19.7 3.5 5.5
11-Sep PV BLK 2 CCV 1.16 12.326 25 23.9 3.4
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Categories: 2012 Cabernet Vintage, Educate, Harvest 2012, Recent Postings
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With the warm weather; 80 degrees on Friday, 2012 bud break isn’t far off.  The vineyard is pre-pruned with detailed purning planned for next month.  Nitrogen fixing legumes are bright green and lush between the rows; soon to be disked into the soil.  The reservoir is almost full and the bird houses are cleaned and ready for their Spring residents.  Who knows what stories the 2012 season will tell.

In the winery, our master winemakers, Jean Hoefliger and Fred Delivert, have completed the first round of 2010 Cab blends while monitoring the beautiful 2011 baby vintage.  For all the concern; both the 2k10 and 2k11 vintages will be all about location, location, location.  Again, our terrior and viticultural practices made such a positive difference.

Fred and Jean are thinking the CC Traditional Cab and Eternity Reserve Cab are both hitting all the right notes.  Everyone who tasted CC at Premiere Napa Valley agreed.  I can’t wait to be in on the next blending session!  From season to season so many possibilities.

 

 … Read more

Categories: Engage, Recent Postings
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Since harvest is at least three weeks late this year, I have a bit of time to enjoy the hints of Fall and wonder about other aspects of our business…

What has surprised me, is the lower than expected interest in our Cabernet for Care Program.  We have offered our 2005 Estate Cab, a Parker 94pt wine, for half price with the other half going to the non-profit of your choice!  In other words, the customer gets the wine and the write off.  I thought this would be a brilliant way to raise charitable funds while also giving our customers an amazing deal.

With the needs so great, we allocated 200 cases to this program.  Its not like our wine isn’t selling.  The 2007 sold out in 3 months and the 2008 is perched to break that record. I really don’t get it.  Do you?

Alternatively, recession driven on-line “deals” continue.  It is always frustrating when the deal is unknowingly on our wine.  Oh well, people are doing what they can to attract business and make a little on each sale. But, if deals are what you are after, how about pairing one with a donation? I promise, both will … Read more

Categories: Engage, Recent Postings
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In preparation for our new Bordeaux blend; Eternity, we decided to chip bud one acre of Cabernet over to Petit Verdot and one acre to Cab Franc. The Petit Verdot is in full production. We budded the Cab Franc this last spring. A typical vineyard planting requires 5 years before the vineyard is in full production. Chip budding gives us an incredible jump on that number.   

The “budders” are true artisans.  First they cut the vine from the trunk leaving about 2 feet of trunk in the ground.  Then a “chip” is taken from a vine of the desired variety.  The “chip” is the size of the tip of your thumb nail.   Next a tiny wedge is cut into the remaining trunk and the chip is fit in.  Then the trunk with its new chip is wrapped at the budded juncture in a white plastic tape.  From there a whole new vine will grow using the established root system of the previous vine.  It is truely amazing!

Our newly chip budded Cabernet Franc is reaching for the sky.  We will have a bit of fruit this year which will be dropped.  If Mother Nature is kind, by 2012 we expect … Read more

Categories: Educate, Engage, Recent Postings
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Our CC Wine Club is growing!  Members are not only receiving a guaranteed allocation, but also special pricing on all wine orders, unique invitations and little perks along the way. 

I love to share special places in the Napa Valley.  Consequently, each club member recently received a gift from the Napa Soap Company, one of my favorite shops in St. Helena.  Using just the right combimation of essential oils and natural ingrediants, owner Sheila Rockwood’s most important ingrediant is cold pressed grape seed oil.  Her products are luxurious and very limited!  For example, only 50 hand made bars of soap are produced each day.  Not surprising, Cabernet is my favorite!

You can plan to stop by Napa Soap Company the next time you are in St. Helena or visit them at; www.napasoap.com.… Read more

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Photos by Briana Marie Photography