Harvesting the 2017 Viognier
by Beth Heiserman
A few weeks ago, my doctor put me on a special diet for 30 days. I’m not supposed to eat certain fruits and vegetables such as plums, apples, cauliflower, onions and several other things that I generally do eat. I was also asked to remove wheat, lentils and kale. I will say when you must omit something it’s harder than you think it is. So, my meals lately have been a little different than I am used to. For instance, tonight ‘s dinner is ground chicken sautéed with butternut squash, peas, corn in a chipotle tomato sauce. I can eat rice and mashed potatoes so either one of the two will be a great accompaniment to this dish. This will end up being a shepherd’s pie that got a bit of spice and instead of traditional mashed potatoes, I will have sweet potatoes and instead of Parmesan cheese, I will sprinkle cotija on top. The doctor did tell me I can have oranges and other citrus along with grapes which includes wine. And since wine was included in the list of things I can eat and drink, I am good.
So, tonight’s dinner, I am going to pair this with our 2016 Rose of Merlot. It’s fruity and pairs well with something a bit spicy. Three years ago, when we were harvesting our Merlot, we brought the grapes in four hours after we harvested. In that time, it created a very dark rich color that I didn’t quite want for this rose. Typically, roses are much lighter than ours.
That same year, we brought grapes in from Lake Los Angeles which included the Viognier, the other white wine. I blended a little bit of the Viognier with the Merlot and thus we have our 2016 Rose of Merlot. For that year, the remainder of the Viognier went into our Rosa’s Choice Rose.
Last Friday, I drove out to Lake Los Angeles to test sugar on this year ‘s Viognier. It was so sweet and delicious. We will be harvesting it this Thursday and I am so excited to have another vintage. In September, our tasting menu will include our 2013 Viognier, which is almost sold out. It has won a gold medal and received 91 points from the 2016 San Francisco International Wine Competition, a silver medal & 88 points from the 2016 Toast of the Coast, plus a bronze from the 2016 Los Angeles International Wine Competition. This wine has intriguing aromas of white peach and a touch of honeysuckle. On the palate you get delicious notes of white peach and lychee with this refreshing lingering long finish. The crisp fruitiness and acidity in this wine make it delightful to pair with many foods. There are eight cases left. Then, I will be able to release our 2017 that we bottled this past January. I can’t wait to share this fabulous wine with you soon.