Harvest 2016 Update

Harvest has been incredibly busy so I haven’t had a chance to write very often.  Here are some pics from McDowell’s Cabernet Franc harvest.  Cheers and I will be back to regular posts soon!

Early morning before harvest in Chalk Hill
Early morning before harvest in Chalk Hill

 

Cabernet Franc is in and ready to process!
Cabernet Franc is in and ready to process!

 

The romance of foot stomping grapes (it is not as easy as it looks!)
The romance of foot stomping grapes (it is not as easy as it looks!)

 

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Harvest Has Begun in Wine Country!

Harvest has officially begun throughout Sonoma and Napa and I am excited to say that we are working on wine project of our own.  I will post more details as the season comes to an end (you can also sign up for McDowell Cellars’ mailing list here), but here are some awesome pictures to enjoy in the meantime!

Early morning in vineyards harvesting Chenin Blanc
Early morning in the vineyards harvesting Chenin Blanc

 

Brandon foot stomping the Chenin
Brandon foot stomping the Chenin

 

Working in the winery...when the big press breaks, you have to go old school!
Working in the winery…when the big press breaks, you have to go old school!

 

Taking a break to celebrate at Whetsone Wine Cellars
Taking a break to celebrate at Whetstone Wine Cellars

 

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Celebrating Harvest in Healdsburg – Harvest Lunch at Jordan Winery

Harvest is undoubtedly the most beautiful time of year to visit Sonoma County.  The vineyards are stunning and you can feel a sense of excitement and anticipation at each winery you visit.  A couple of weeks ago, Brandon and I headed to Sonoma County to experience harvest for ourselves.  The entire trip was awesome but the highlight was our Harvest Lunch at Jordan Winery in Healdsburg.  Each year, Jordan hosts a 5 week harvest lunch series in September and October.  The lunch celebrates the French tradition of wineries providing a daily lunch for harvest workers.

Jordan is one of the most beautiful estates in Sonoma County.  As you drive up the winding driveway, you see Jordan’s magnificent chateau.  We met our lunch group in the stately Bacchus Courtyard and Lisa Mattson, Director of Marketing & Communications at Jordan, guided us to a beautifully appointed lunch table overlooking Alexander Valley.  We mingled with lunch guests around us as we were poured a glass of Jordan Chardonnay.

Jordan Estate Chateau
Jordan Estate Chateau *credit Jordan Winery
Bacchus Courtyard
Bacchus Courtyard

This Harvest Lunch was a special one as it marked the 40th vintage for both Jordan Winery and winemaker Rob Davis.  The lunch, prepared by Executive Chef Todd Knoll and staff, showcased an abundance of local ingredients, both from Jordan’s farm and other local Sonoma farms.  The menu changes regularly depending on available ingredients and we were able to indulge in an array of dishes that included a beautiful heirloom tomato & burrata salad and delicious roasted quail.  Our meal was paired with three wines from Jordan; 2013 Jordan Chardonnay, 2011 Jordan Cabernet, and 2008 Jordan Cabernet.  The wines were balanced, elegant, and really showcased the beautiful fruit used in each vintage.

A beautiful setting for Harvest Lunch!
A beautiful setting for Harvest Lunch!
Jordan Cabernet and Chardonnay
Jordan Cabernet and Chardonnay

After lunch, we were invited on a tour of Jordan Winery.  As we toured the estate, it was easy to notice the careful attention to detail.  Every part of the winery was thought out long before production reached its current capacity.  We had a chance to see the barrel room and the staff hard at work (mostly cleaning the tanks as 2015 was an early harvest).

Jordan Winery
Jordan Winery Tour
Jordan Winery Tour
Jordan Winery Tour

If you are in Sonoma County, I definitely suggest heading to Healdsburg to visit Jordan Winery.  They offer an array of tours and tastings by appointment that include a gourmet wine tasting with food pairing in their private library, a walking tour through their iconic chateau, and an epicurean excursion across their property.  I am sure you will find your experience at Jordan to be just as wonderful as we did!

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