Summertime Weather in January is Causing Vintners to Sweat
By on January 21, 2014
The few harvests leading up to 2012 were challenging by both the farming and business perspective. Despite the poor circumstances, we were able to produce lovely wines that are tasting nice and showing great potential after a few years of aging!
Per contra, weather conditions from 2012 and 2013 brought Laird Family Estate great fortune in the vineyards and the vinification process. We produced more wine than any other vintage and with some of the best quality fruit that we’ve seen in years!
So what made 2013 so prosperous? The same thing that could possibly put 2014 at a disadvantage. Drought. 2013 was the driest year in California’s history. Vineyards don’t need a lot of water to survive, so with the little rain that we got early last year the vineyards were still able to flourish. The difference now is that as we are approaching the end of January, we still have not seen a drop of rain. Normally, we receive the most rainfall in January and February, but without any rain, the reservoirs that the vineyards depend on are all dried up and that poses a big problem. What’s more, in a dry year, bud break usually comes early, but the early morning frost that we’ve been having creates a risk of stunting the crop. Although Vintners are not panicking yet, they certainly are nervous. So, if you are a wine lover, grab your friends and do a little rain dance because we need it!
- Madeleine Rose
By on March 19, 2013
After a few disappointing harvests with low yields and small case productions, boy, did we need a harvest like 2012! The Lairds have been farming grapes since 1970, and Ken Laird admitted that 2012 was the best harvest he’s seen in the 40 years that he’s been here. Of course, this may not apply to all grape growers in the valley. With so many different microclimates and varietals that are grown in Napa, grape growers are going to have different experiences depending on their location; but for the Lairds, 2012 was a very exciting year.
This past harvest brought enormously high yields with outstanding quality. And while many of us are still enjoying our current release wines, such as 2008, 2009, 2010, or what have you, I’m sure that there are many out there who are just like me, waiting ever so impatiently to try the nectar that the Wine Gods brought us in 2012!
Well…the wait is over, sort of. We recently bottled our first wines from the 2012 harvest, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Rosé of Syrah. (Sorry, red wine lovers, you’re going to have to wait another 2 to 4 years to really enjoy this harvest…but it’ll be worth it!)
I remember tasting the 2011 Sauvignon Blanc immediately after being bottled last year, and it was extremely light. You really had to search for the fruit. Even though white wines don’t necessarily need ageing, the 2011 Sauvignon Blanc was one that did benefit from sitting in the bottle for a couple of months. However, after some brief bottle ageing, the 2011 finally released those pronounced aromas of citrus and tropical fruit that our SB typically offers.
That wasn’t the case for 2012. As soon as we cracked open that bottle of 2012 Big Ranch Sauvignon Blanc, the aromas wafted through the air and into our sinuses, sending signals to our brain that cried out, “drink me, drink me.” So we did. Brilliant flavors of tropical fruit, citrus, honeydew melon, and pear danced on our palates, inviting us to dance along with them.
Ah, yes, 2012 was indeed a great harvest.