Words from the Vineyard, Post-Harvest
Rob Harris, our Director of Vineyard Operations, is one our favorite contributors to Three Sticks' wines. It can certainly be a challenge to track him down, as he spends most of his time caring for the vineyards of the Price Family Vineyard collection, but every month or so Rob carves out some time to share some of his thoughts on the progress of the vines. And we drink up every word..
By now, you’re hopefully enjoying some of the latest Three Sticks releases, but fresh off the end of harvest I thought it might be a good time to give you all a little look at what the 2016 vintage was for us in the vineyards, and a little preview of what it will hopefully become for you in the bottle.
Overall, Harvest 2016 was pretty smooth and uneventful. The weather was cooperative throughout, and thankfully everything was ready to be picked and delivered before any of the fall rains started. The rain we have recently been receiving has been much needed and I hope it continues through a long and wet winter, but we are all happy to have completed our harvest before it began.
Our first pick of the year was the 19th of August up on top of Sonoma Mountain at our "One Sky" Vineyard. There, the elevation and the younger age of the vineyard can lead to a ripening curve on the earlier side, as it did in 2016. We started there with a few different clones of Pinot Noir, and worked our way around all of our Sonoma County properties for the next five weeks. Our last Three Sticks pick of 2016 was some Chardonnay from our DuPont Vineyard in Sebastopol where a cooler, more coastal influence can lead to slower development and longer ripening, ultimately delaying the harvest to the later side of the season.
Tonnages and yields were highly variable in 2016, but the one constant for the vintage was the quality that was equally represented throughout. The uniformity of quality we enjoyed for 2016 was, of course, most accredited to the natural influences of a moderate growing season, great weather, and spectacular sites. However, we do like to tell ourselves that we had a hand in ushering our vines into great fruit for Bob and the team to make into great wines for all of you! However it gets there, we’re happy and proud to be a part of it and put our stamp on another great harvest for Price Family Vineyards and Three Sticks Wines.
-Rob Harris, Director of Vineyard Operations