Photo Essay: The Long, Cold Winter
March 27, 2014 § Leave a comment
March 27th, 2014
Late March 2014 finds us with spots of snow still on the ground, freezing temperatures, and lots of work ahead of us. It has been a nearly unprecedentedly cold and snowy winter in much of the East Coast, certainly in Virginia, and absolutely here at Sunset Hills. In fact, the weather has been such a prominent topic of conversation for the past two months that I’m hesitant to bring it up at all. Instead we’ll take a stroll around the production end of Sunset Hills to see what we’ve been up to.
Nearly all our 2013 whites have been bottled this winter. Thus far we’ve bottled the 2013 Sunset White, 2013 Chardonnay, 2013 Rose, 2013 Rose of Cabernet Franc, 2013 Viognier, and 2013 Reserve Chardonnay. Due to low yields in our estate fruit, we will be skipping the vintage with Petit Manseng – a bummer for sure, but on the bright side we were able to do some wonderful blending with Petit Manseng in our Chardonnay and Viognier. The 2013 whites are quite nice – fleshier and riper than in 2012 – and we’re excited to see them appear on our tasting lineup and in the Club shipments. Bottling season will continue through June this year, as we still have our beefier 2012 reds to barrel, as well as some of the earlier 2013s. All told we will be bottling more wine in 2014 than ever before, and we’re quite fortunate to have some very exciting releases around the corner.
We were excited and honored to have our 2010 Mosaic included in the Virginia Governor’s Cup Case for a second year in a row. This is quite an honor, as the competition itself is quite stringent, and the fellow wines and wineries included in the Case are truly wonderful expressions of Virginia wine. We are further excited to be putting the finishing touches on our 2012 Mosaic, and moving it into bottle in May, although at this time we aren’t planning on releasing it until next winter.
And, of course, winter is for pruning. While we were hoping to have completed the installation of our new vineyard, Sherman Ridge Vineyard, the weather has not yet permitted. So, instead, the crew has been busy pruning through these freezing days. With 60 acres to prune, this task essentially spreads out over the entire winter. The picture above is the Cabernet Sauvignon in our Estate Vineyard #2. He should probably be wearing gloves.