The harvest avalanche continues

September 10, 2021 15:21


Vineyards just before picking.
Top: Fox Den Pinot, Rued Vineyard Chardonnay. Bottom: Shop Block Pinot Blanc, Jentoft Pinot

The wild ride continues

While our weather has been fairly mild since we started picking our grapes (other than Labor Day weekend heating up into the 90s), all the fruit seems to have decided it's ready at pretty much the same time. This means the winery has been working non-stop bringing in grapes every day. As of today, nearly all of our Russian River Valley fruit has been harvested, with the exception of our cold Mill Station Chardonnay, and our zin and syrah. Our outlier sites, like our Angel Camp in Anderson Valley and even our typically late Devil's Gulch pinot are on the calendar for next week. At this rate, we could be done with harvesting everything by the end of September, which would definitely be a record!

The great news is all the grapes look beautiful, with most coming in a little below our expected tonnage, which bodes for excellent quality. The pinots have some "hens and chicks" (tiny seedless berries next to full-size ones), which gives the wine great concentration and depth. 

And after picking today:
Fox Den going from bin to sorting and Rued clusters in the bin before pressing


In our Tasting Room:
Van der Kamp Vineyard Pinot Noir

We've updated our tasting flight for September, featuring a new line-up of wines, including one that we've never poured before in our Tasting Room: our 2018 van der Kamp Vineyard Pinot Noir.

We just started making wine from Van der Kamp Vineyard on Sonoma Mountain in 2017, but that wine didn't make it past our wine club. With the 2018 vintage, we produced a bit more, so are able to share it more widely. Situated at 1,500 feet, the site is considered sacred by the local Native Americans, who believe the world began on the top of Sonoma Mountain. It's also one of the oldest Pinot vineyards in Sonoma County, with plantings from 1952. The grapes are sold to an eclectic array of small wineries, with each receiving fruit from an assortment of their blocks. Dan loves it not only for the amazing place, but also for the heartfelt family of Martin, Dixie, Ulysses, and Malia Van der Kamp, who lovingly caretake the vineyard and property. 

The earthier and more savory Sonoma Mountain grapes provide a nice counterpoint to our fruit-focused Russian River Valley bottlings. Our 2018 Van Der Kamp Pinot leads with dusky aromas of Bing cherry, plum, and dried sage, along with a perfume of dried purple flowers. With time in the glass, savory/sweet notes of rhubarb and beet join in. In the mouth, it’s robust and sultry, bringing to mind the earth from which it comes. Black cherry is enveloped in spicy sandalwood and black tea, riding on a backbone of tight, fine tannins. The wound-up quality of the wine in its youth lets you know this will be a good cellar option. If you’re enjoying it young, go with something with a little fat, like chicken thighs, ribeye, or a cheeseburger, or cheeses with a salty bite like Valley Ford’s Estero Gold Reserve or an Asiago. 

2018 van der Kamp Vineyard Pinot Noir


DG in the News 

Our wines have been featured in some nice articles recently. In case you missed them, here are a few of the latest:

Food & Wine magazine named Dutton Ranch as "The 17 Most Important California Vineyards All Wine Lovers Need to Know". They also recommended our 2018 Emerald Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir as one to try.

Robb Report featured our 2016 Cherry Ridge Vineyard Syrah in "
12 Bottles of Syrah That Just Might Convert You From Cabernet: California’s take on the Northern Rhône’s noble red deserves its own devoted fan base." 

You can read all our latest press and reviews anytime on our website.


A big thank you to whoever it was who figured out the wonderful things that can happen with grapes! 

Your friends at DG