The year 2011 will be notable for many reasons. Spring was wet and cool, and the rain and temperatures caused bloom to be highly variable. At our Spottswoode Estate Vineyard, we were fortunate to have a vital, healthy organic cover crop, which helped to moderate the early season vigor. We were also blessed with a healthy set, producing lovely loose clusters of small, concentrated berries. Summer’s growing season was mild, with only a handful of days above 100°F, and none of the extreme highs we've seen in recent years. Due to a nice overall vine balance, we did very little fruit thinning.
Harvest came later than usual and was marked by cool temperatures and rain. Fortunately, we had great fruit and vine conditions before the rain, with long, loose clusters, good even spacing, and balanced, open canopies. As a result, our grapes were harvested ripe and in excellent condition with lower-than-normal sugars.
After more than 25 years of organic farming, the 2011 vintage was a final validation of our approach. We were very excited by what we saw in the vines rows throughout the season. With its rich, healthy, organic soils, farmed with minimal tillage, the vineyard showed its resilience and allowed us to mitigate the most extreme weather conditions of the vintage. Like everyone else, we were meticulous in our picking and sorting, but ultimately, we harvested beautiful fruit without major complications.
The wines are beautifully finessed, with good flavor and enticing aromatics. There are many to thank for all their hard work—our vineyard foreman, Jose Luis Lopez, our dedicated vineyard and cellar crew and interns, as well as our new assistant winemaker, Landon Donley!
—Aron Weinkauf, Winemaker