J Vineyards & Winery Kicks Off 2012 Sparkling Wine Harvest
J Vineyards & Winery harvested its first grapes of the 2012 season early yesterday morning. Pushed along by warm, sunny weather, the harvest is off to what many growers are describing as a normal year.
Vineyard workers picked approximately eighteen tons of Pinot Noir grapes from the winery’s renowned “Nicole’s Vineyard” around 3 a.m. The grapes, destined for J’s signature Cuvee 20 sparkling wine, were delivered in time for a “blessing of the grapes” ceremony conducted by Founder and President Judy Jordan.
“Following the last two years of challenging grape harvests, this year is shaping up to be very good,” said John Erbe, J Viticulturist. “The yields look healthy, the weather has cooperated at every level, and we are off to an encouraging start of harvest.”
Typically the sparkling wine grape harvest starts about three to four weeks ahead of the varietal wine harvest. This is due to a need for higher acid and lower sugar levels that play an important role in the sparkling winemaking process. Erbe expects to be picking J’s Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay vineyard designate varietal wines sometime after Labor Day.
“I’m excited about this year’s growing season,” said J Winemaker, Melissa Stackhouse. “The lack of climate drama, such as we experienced the past two years, means that it’s shaping up to be a banner year for Russian River Valley wine.”
Visit them at
11447 Old Redwood Highway,
Healdsburg, CA 95448