Jordan Wine Country Table - Vol. 15, 2020 - 10

NEWS
The condition of the fruit was so beautiful and pristine
that minimal fining was needed, allowing the purity of the
fruit to shine through. We finished the vast majority of the
chardonnay pressing in six consecutive nights.
Mother Nature put on another show during harvest, and
there was a distinct first and second act. The chardonnay
harvest performed the first act with a beautifully timed
intermission that gave us time to make space in the
fermentation room for the second act by our four Bordeaux
grape varieties. Even the outside temperatures shifted
dramatically in the middle of harvest. On September 25,
the high was 103 degrees, and the next day, the high was
only 69 degrees. Ready for Mother Nature's second act,
we began crushing merlot, and the incredible fruit flavors
and intensity had us all celebrating. This would be the
second outstanding harvest in a row in which the weather
was cooperating, the fruit tasted marvelous and the yields
were above average.
As lead winemaker for the first time during harvest, I was both
grateful and incredulous as I watched the weather reports,
forecasting ideal temperatures for ripening grapes with
no rain in sight. As the fruit came rolling into the winery in
early October, we were notified of our first red flag warning,
which happens when temperatures are warm, humidity
is incredibly low and the winds are dangerously high.
Power shut-offs were also announced, but Director of
Facilities Tim Spence was well prepared; he and his team
filled up the water tank for cellar operations, purchased extra
fuel for the generators and switched all winery power over
10
to our generators. Many of our growers called to confirm we
could still continue with our regularly scheduled picks, and
we assured them our generator was working well, and we
could keep on crushing. Many wineries in Alexander Valley
did not have generators with enough power to run the crush
equipment, so when some wineries were forced to cancel
picks, our harvest dates were moved up in order to keep the
vineyard crews busy. Surprisingly, the first power outage was
beneficial for Jordan's 2019 vintage, allowing our growers to
pick grapes even faster than the normal pace, since they had
all crews working on our blocks.
The last of the grapes made their way to the hopper
on October 17. A few days after the commencement of
harvest, we were again warned of a second planned power
outage, but we already knew our generator could supply
our pumps and presses with enough power, so we thought
it would be business as usual. Mother Nature had other
plans. On October 23, around 10 p.m., the Kincade Fire
started in a mountainous area several miles northeast of
the winery, and the high winds quickly carried it into the
heart of the Alexander Valley in Geyserville, putting many
of our growers at risk. Our main concern was for the safety
of the families that live on the properties, their homes,
and their farm animals and pets. Vineyards are a natural
firebreak, so we knew the majority of the grapevines would
be okay. Roads into Alexander Valley were quickly closed,
but a small crew of us got around the barricade near the
winery entrance before sunrise, so we could pump the
tanks over and immediately close the tank lids to protect
them from any smoke that might move toward Healdsburg.

Jordan Wine Country Table - Vol. 15, 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Jordan Wine Country Table - Vol. 15, 2020

Table of Contents
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