Harvest in wine country, says Hardy Wallace of Dirty and Rowdy Family Winery, is a bit like juggling squirrels. There are vineyards to check on and grapes to pick as soon as they're ripe—and most of those vineyards aren't anywhere close by. There's weather to worry about and fermentations getting started in the cellar. I asked the Dirty and Rowdy team to share some snapshots from the growing season and harvest so far, as well as a little preview of the wines to come.
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"Semillon is not a fashionable variety," announces Wine Grapes. "Nowhere outside Sauternes," the book continues, "does there seem to be a groundswell of enthusiasm for this noble variety." Time for a re-write, Wine Grapes.
If you're a Eurocentric wine drinker who thinks of all Californian wines as big and oaky with a heavy dose of ripe fruit, think again. There's a growing group of California wine producers who are taking a light handed approach to winemaking, giving us fresh, juicy, zippy wines with balanced fruit and good acidity.