Today we are harvesting the mighty Hyland Vineyard. These old vines have always made up the strength and power of the Cumberland Reserve. The thick Pinot Noir skins on this site allow a longer hang time and later harvest to ensure optimal physiological ripeness. We willharvest roughly 12 tons from Hyland today including Jimi Brooks’ fruit from Yard 5 Wadenswil clone and Yard 2 Coury clone. Jimi and I both shared an affinity for the Pinot Noir from this wonderful old vineyard site and it is a pleasure and an honor for me to be able to help tend to his wines to help keep the Brooks label alive in his absence, as many of his friends are helping to do in other wineries around the Willamette Valley. The spirit of this industry is strong and harvest time always reinforces our love for each other and for what it is that we do.

The last entry I made, I talked briefly about food. Harvest wouldn’t be harvest, and wine wouldn’t quite be wine, if it weren’t for good food. Around the world as the grapes are being picked and fermentations are starting and new wine is going into barrels, harvest crews are all rejoicing with food. Maybe good food during the workday helps inspire great winemaking. Maybe it just keeps us warm and awake. Whatever the case, we have enjoyed wonderful nourishment this harvest season whether it be fresh chanterelles in a creamy risotto, herbed lamb on the barbecue, fresh steamed King Crab, Foie Gras and various terrines of pate, stews, soups and native salmon..all of a sudden I am very hungry. Our executive chef for the season has been David Bergen of Tina’s Restaurant in Dundee . David and Tina share our love of winemaking and food pairing and have thoughtfully and caringly nourished our crew with fine meals over the duration. Thanks guys.

Back to the winery.

Last night we harvested Nysa Vineyard Pinot Noir, La Collina Pinot Noir and Vigna Giovanni Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Riesling. The fruit from each site was beautiful and fully intact with little traces of damage from the weather. The juices were concentrated and the flavors were impressive. These should make nice wines! The Riesling had a very nice percentage (10-15%) of noble rot which should bring the sugar levels up some and add some nice texture to this vintage. Tomorrow we will harvest the last fruit from the de Lancellotti Vineyard and all of the Pinot Gris from the Wahle vineyard. Then we will take Wednesday and Thursday to concentrate on pressing out some Pinot Noir fermentations which are finishing up before we harvest our last grapes on Friday and Saturday, almost two weeks later than last year.