The Fruits of our Labor ~ Harvest 2021
As we head through the fall, Iron Hub Winery started harvest in mid-September. Typically, harvest begins with our Sauvignon Blanc at the end of August, but excessive heat and high winds experienced this growing season have delayed ripening. When it gets hotter than 95oF or high winds blow through the vineyard, the leaves of the grapevine close their stomata, inhibiting photosynthesis. This results in the grape berry’s metabolism to stagnate and inhibit sugar accumulation. However, the delay in harvest is welcomed, due to cooler mornings by mid-September, resulting in ideal grape picking conditions and more favorable fermentation conditions. The vineyard recently finished Veraison, implying harvest is 4-6 weeks away. Though California is experiencing drought conditions, our dry-farmed blocks that are nearly 50 years old are still able to absorb water in our deep granitic soils and retain the water needed to ripen the grapes. Overall, the grape yields appear to be slightly below average. The high winds knocked down some of the fruit during flowering early spring, so the number of berries per cluster is lower than normal. The number of clusters per vine is determined over the weather conditions of the last two growing seasons, therefore determining the exact reason for lower yields can be due to a multitude of events. However, Assistant Winemaker Spencer Jones believes the lower yields in the vineyard are going to result in high-quality grapes with bright aromatic profiles this year and is excited to work alongside Tom Jones this upcoming harvest!
Iron Hub is also celebrating the final racking of the 2020 vintage in the barrels for this year! Racking is a process where wine is moved, while being aerated, from one barrel to another. This is done throughout different times of the wine aging process. It is usually done after the secondary fermentation (malolactic fermentation) process is complete. Assistant Winemaker Spencer Jones said that his father and he rack the barrels based on how the wine tastes. This will determine when and how often they rack to develop the depth of flavors in the wines we all love. We are looking forward to seeing what flavorful surprises the 2020 vintages have in store!