2011 Villa del Monte GrapesAs 2011 comes to a close, we asked our winemakers, John Overstreet and Neil Perrelli, to describe 2011 from a winemaker perspective and to make some predictions about the harvest.

“What a year!  The growing season started out with late spring rains and continued with cool-to-moderate temperatures.  The early rains happened during bloom and resulted in less than average fertilization.  Since not every flower turned into a grape, we knew that yields would be down a bit.  But, then we had an unseasonably high amount of rain late in the growing season. This had the potential to cause havoc on the grapes as swollen fruit can dilute the flavors and sugars or, worse, split the grape skins which makes them susceptible to rot,” explains John.

“We worked very closely with our growers, talking with them daily to discuss weather reports and to plan, and re-plan, the picking schedule.  While we are always selective about our grapes, the picking process was a more labor intensive task than in past years as each cluster had to be inspected to insure it was rot-free,” adds Neil. “While yields throughout Northern California were down, the resulting wines should be delicious–full of fruit and perhaps a bit lower in alcohol level.”

This year, we are excited about the addition of a Zinfandel and a high-elevation Cabernet vineyard.  Our 2011 vintages will include:

  • Cabernet Santa Cruz Mountains (two different vineyards)
  • Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains
  • Merlot Carneros
  • Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains
  • Syrah Santa Clara Valley
  • Syrah Rosé  Santa Clara Valley
  • Zinfandel Santa Clara Valley

We thank you for your patronage in 2011, and we wish you a Happy New Year!