September 24th , 2013Whitehall Lane Harvest Update September 2013 Our vineyard harvest crews work morning, noon and night to pull the grapes from the vines at their peak. We’ve had a big crop this year, which is great for filling the cellar. But, it makes it more of a challenge to get the grapes into crushing before those clouds bring in rain and make our work harder! Each and every bunch of grapes that goes into our wines are picked by hand. Our winemaker, Dean Sylvester, oversees the process from start to finish. After careful hand sorting to gather the best fruit, the destemmer pulls the berries from the vines so we can crush them into sweet juice. Our Millenium vineyards were full of fruit this year. These Cabernet grapes are part of our newest planting on this property in Northwest Rutherford. The clusters of Cabernet Sauvignon are a rich blue/purple color on the overcast day. The dark skins help us get the solid tannin structure and deep color in our wines. Even with the conveniences afforded to us with the latest technology and equipment, traditional farming and hard work are still a very big part of the winemaking process. During harvest, the crews work 12-15 hour days without a break through November! You can see the leaves already changing, signaling a change to cooler temperatures. Dean’s palate determines when we pull the fruit from the vineyard, and his 38 years of experience pay off to determine the perfect day to harvest a block of grapes. Row 3 of one of our prized blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon. The Millenium Vineyard has produced many crops of Reserve Style Cab. This block was replanted in 2008 to match specific grapes to the soil profile of each plot.