is here and with it the lovely reds and golds of the season. Our driveway and
vineyards rival any painting. The leaves fall with the slightest breeze and
drift in piles everywhere. The vineyard rows stand at attention, their golden
bedecked tendrils reaching to the blue sky awaiting something as if they have
not finished for the year. A carpet of green in the vineyard that came up
after the rain we recently received gives us hope for more. We’re heading
towards the Holidays. Soon it will be Thanksgiving and then Christmas. The
year is winding down. Time to reflect.
This year has been a good one, despite many challenges. We have much to be
thankful for. Filled to the brim with many events, it was a fast moving,
happening place around here! Thankfully our event season went by smoothly
and, without rain. Again, we met so many wonderful people from all over the
country and the world. We enjoyed sharing our wine, hearing their stories,
meeting their families. We’ve found that everyone is awed by the beauty of
our area. All want to know more about the vineyards and how wine is made–how
the simple grape becomes a delicious beverage loved around the world. One man
we met at an event here who comes closest to knowing is Larry Stone, world
renowned wine sommelier, who gave us his take on wine. We’ve met many who
know wine daily but when it comes right down to it we are all wine experts in
our own way, for wine is an individual experience. What we might love in a
bottle of wine may not be your choice at all. And that’s just fine. That’s
the fun part about wine. We all know what we like and don’t like.
But while the bottle tells the final story, the beginning of the story is in
the vineyard. And this past year brought us many challenges to farming. While
this past Spring we received an adequate amount of well-timed rain, all the
while tending to our primarily dry farming techniques, we experienced a very
cool May which reduced our Pinot Noir crop size. By the start of Summer we
had received a fair amount of normal seasonal morning fog which plays a
significant role in growing exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay helping
things in our favor a bit.
As a result of a relatively warm winter and a lighter crop, the grapes were
ready earlier than ever before. In fact, our apples, berries, and other crops
also matured earlier than ever. Our grape harvest began on August 21st and
was completed on September 3rd. Harvest went by in a whirl of activity.
Estimates of crop size were all over the board. Everyone could easily tell
the crop levels were lower than in previous years but no one predicted a 45%
drop overall! The good news is we expect the quality of the 2015 vintage will
At our Fall Wine Fête held this past weekend we were able to taste and
compare a flight of our 2012, 2013 and our as yet unreleased, 2014 vintage.
Not surprisingly, for we had tasted the 2014 in the barrel last Spring and
declared it exceptional, this past Sunday we agreed with our first
assessment–the 2014 is truly over the top exceptional! With a very fruit
forward nose--aromatic and bold, and a deep red color akin to garnets and
rubies it is a lovely glass of wine to behold. It’s velvety mouth feel and
complex flavors of blueberry, black cherry, tarragon and a hint of smoky
barbecue rival any Pinot on the market. And with a great finish right now it
will only improve as it matures over the next year. We look forward to its
release in the New Year! Can’t wait!
Until then we are babying along our 2015 vintage with kid gloves for every
drop is precious and if our 2014 vintage is any indication the 2015 vintage
might very well surpass it! Wow! That will be amazing! We can’t wait for this
new vintage’s release!
We will keep you posted on the transformation of this new vintage. Until then
we hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season.
We’ll be back to you again in the New Year!
Happy New Year!
From Dan and Jan and
Everyone at O’Connell Vineyards and Vine Hill House
"True love is like a fine wine"
Join our Wine Club!
20% discounts all year long!
Contact Dan or Jan at
O’Connell Vineyards regarding your membership, to order wine
and for wine club events at the number below, or visit our website at www.oconnellvineyards.com to sign up.
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