After harvesting Moon Hollow Sauvignon Blanc 2021 on August 20th and Moon Hollow Viognier 2021 on September 3rd, we are patiently waiting for the red varietals to get ripe enough; which looks like to be at around late September for this year.
The Sauvignon Blanc already gives us the vintage characteristics! Healthy fruit and low yield. Perfect recipe for a great vintage. The low yield (overall 20% less compared to 2020) is due to wind during flowering and provides clusters of fruit with space in between berries; which helped keeping the fruit healthy while growing. Temperatures were balanced and never reached over 100F on this side of the mountain (50F the morning of Sauvignon Blanc harvest).
Another drought this year with very little rain in winter has driven the vine to produce less fruit and smaller berries; translating in more flavors for the future wine. Though we have to wait a little more to get the red in the cellar! A lot can happen.
Our flock of Babydoll Southdown sheep are integrated into the lifecycle of our vineyard. In winter and early spring the sheep graze the cover crop, reducing the need for mowing, while fertilizing as they go. Here are before and after photos of the vineyard.
The sheep are removed from the vineyard to other areas of Moon Hollow once the vines awake
Suzanne Harmon is Gardens and Livestock Manager at Moon Hollow Ranch, she draws upon these experiences to integrate different aspects of ranch operations into the natural environment of the property, using regenerative grazing for carbon sequestration, invasive plant management and fire fuels reduction, while working to preserve and improve habitat for native wildlife and plants, including several rare or endangered species of plants endemic to the area. A long-time gardener, her work in conservation extends to the preservation of heirloom garden and food crop species as well heritage breeds of livestock, integrating the protection of our agricultural biodiversity into the ecosystem as a whole to protect these irreplaceable genetic resources.