September: Time to Bring in the Harvest
With any luck, there will be grapes coming in from the vineyards at some point fairly early in September, unless August refused to generate enough heat. In this case, much angst will reign, and the watchword of the day will be “drop” as in “drop fruit.” The best way to ensure even ripeness is to control the cropload early in the season, so as not to be in this potential situation, but when the weather is protractedly cool, it is never a sure thing that you’ve dropped enough fruit to get most of it fully ripe. The vines will start shutting down towards the arrival of the autumnal equinox, so we hope the ripening cycle is working its way towards completion by then. Although most fruit in the Corralitos area of Santa Cruz Mountains isn’t harvested until the second or third week of October, in the Summit area, it’s typical to harvest Chardonnay end of August thru mid-September, with Pinot starting early September and finishing out towards month’s end. The Bordeaux varieties will come later, with Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot usually bringing up the rear, let’s hope before Thanksgiving.
September 10 and 11 is a busy weekend for the wineries on the Summit to Sea Wine Trail. Burrell School will be at the Capitola Art & Wine Festival, Loma Prieta will hold its Chardonnay debut release party, featuring Bill the Oyster Man, and Poetic Cellars will be pouring at the Healthy Kids Annual Winetasting fundraiser at Thomas Fogarty Winery, on Sept 11.
Some of the premier Pinot producers in the Santa Cruz Mountains will be highlighted at a seminar at the prestigious Lake Tahoe Food & Wine Festival, held at Northstar Village, September 10th. Exquisite pairings of five mouthwatering Pinots from Big Basin Vineyards, Burrell School Vineyards, Loma Prieta Winery, Poetic Cellars and Windy Oaks Vineyard, will be presented, along with tasty treats featuring the “happy cow” cheeses of Fiscalini Farms. This is a rare opportunity to taste a paradise of mountain-grown Pinot along with a bevvy of cheesy goodness fresh from the Central Valley of California. Loma Prieta, Poetic Cellars and Windy Oaks will pour as part of the Wine and Beer Walk from noon until 4 p.m. on Saturday, and Windy Oaks will pour as part of the Grand Tasting on Sunday, September 11, from 1 to 4 p.m. For tickets and more information, go to www.gotahoenorth.com/events/autumn-food-and-wine-festival.
Grazin’ on the Green, the annual Santa Cruz cancer benefit, will be held September 17th at the beautiful Aptos Park, and you’ll be able to meet most of the wineries from the Santa Cruz Mountains there, including the Summit to Sea wineries. This is the gala food and wine extravaganza of the year! The remaining wines from the Generosa cellar will be sold at this event. Don’t miss it.
All month long, MJA Vineyards will be offering a three for the price of two special on their Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon collection, and Burrell School will offer a Harvest 4-pack for $89.
Fall for Our Mountains
Fall is a magical time here in the mountains, so we invite everyone to grab their cameras, a picnic and an appetite for fine wine and come visit the Summit to Sea wine trail as the vineyards begin to turn their fabulous mosaic of colors. Drink in our beautiful fresh air and scenery, while enjoying two for one tasting at each winery, plus take advantage of special wine discounts. Collect a complimentary souvenir coaster with purchase.
Pick up a picnic at the Summit Store, where they’ll offer specially priced sandwiches to enjoy with a leisurely winetasting on a spectacular autumn afternoon.