2023 Pre-Harvest Report
Sourcing fruit from the Sierra Foothills, almost 600 miles away from the winery, presents a set of challenges. But our winegrowers are amazing. Skilled, experienced, passionate and the deals are done with the honor of a handshake.
I just got back from visiting my farmers and vineyard managers in the Sierra Foothills in Northern California east of Sacramento towards Tahoe.
I was also sniffing around to see who might have a great, rare varietal to incorporate into my lineup. Maybe a Montepulciano or a Teraldego or a Refosco. No luck on day 1.
This spring there was no hard frost.
Last year, two springtime frosts wiped out much of the buds throughout the region. While some
vineyards only lost 40% to 50% of their harvest, other vineyards actually lost entire vines.
Last year was a brutal season. Gianni Buonomo got shut out. Those two frosts killed us.
Northern California got inundated with rain this spring. Fortunately, because these vineyards are in the
foothills and have great drainage, there was no damage due to the rain.
The vines are actually very happy with all the moisture in the soil. Possibly too happy. Vine vigor is
going crazy and its taking overtime hours to trim the canopies. Vineyard managers are struggling to keep up.
This spring was unusually cool and the start of the summer season has been very mild. Based on where
we are today, we are expecting harvest to be about 1.5 to 3 weeks late this fall. I suspect we’ll be making
wine well into November this year.
Bottom line, there will be an abundance of high-quality grapes coming out of the Amador
and El Dorado Counties this vintage. I am stoked to work with such exceptional fruit.
I agreed to purchase several tons of Barbera, Petite Sirah and Nebbiolo. On my way
out of town I got a text from a new vineyard manager I met on Day 1. He found a couple of tons of
Teraldego for me. Unfortunately, I had to decline it this year.
With the 9 tons out of the Sierra Foothills and an estimated 14 tons out of Washington, our little OB
winery will be at maximum production this fall.
I estimate we’ll make about 14,000 liters which is about 60 barrels or 1500 cases.
Its going to be a very busy fall at the winery.