Our First Harvest

            Coming into our first harvest as a licensed winery has been a very interesting experience. The biggest hurtle to jump over was not having all the equipment, and by this I mean everything except the physical winery itself. Since we are a startup, there are only a few routes to take, and custom crush was the only way for our needs to be met.

            Since it is a huge investment to start a full on winery, custom crush allowed us to be able to have access to all the heavy equipment needed to crush fruit. Walla Walla is perfect for this because there are so many wineries who take on clients like ourselves. There are also facilities that only do custom crush, so there were a lot of potential places for us to make our wine. It came down to finding the winery/ facility that met our needs. In the grand scheme of things, we are a very small producer with our 250+ cases, and we wanted to optimize our spending on things we absolutely needed. After talking with many wineries, and custom crush facilities we landed on Dusted Valley, who has been amazing to work with, and when we hit a wall with another location they were happy to have us crush at their facility right before harvest started for us. We greatly appreciate what you all do at Dusted Valley!

            This year was a challenging one due to the excessive heat of over one hundred degrees for long periods of time. Most of the grapes will shut down photosynthesis around 95 degrees, so this caused everything to be at a holding point. The sugar levels (Brix) were at the point of harvesting, but with the heat the acid in the grapes could not mature in some areas, so this caused a slight panic in many winemakers around the valley, causing many early picks. The yields this year were much lower all throughout the region, with some wineries dealing with heat damage to their crop which also impacted quality. The cooler fall weather though allowed the grapes to get back on track and although yields were down it allowed for more concentration of flavors in the berries.

            Overall it was a smooth harvest with clean ferments, great people, and some good fun (even if it was a little stressful having our first harvest in a pandemic/heat crisis). We are very humbled by the embrace and support shown to us by the industry here in Walla Walla, and look forward to being a part of this united wine industry here in Washington state. #wallawallawine

%d bloggers like this: