H-CENTRAL COAST

Sep 14, 2012 9:41 PM

Local Vintner says 2012 harvest looking great

Grape growers and wine makers are busy on the Central Coast. Harvest is underway and it's turning out to be a great year. The last few years have been rough on vintners because of cold weather, but Calcareous Vineyard in Paso Robles says this year brought one of the best crops its seen. "I am pretty excited about this year." says Jason Joyce, Wine-maker for Calcareous Vineyard. "Everything that I have been seeing in the vineyards and everything developing....everything that has come in so far has been good numbers and flavors that I dream about."

He has about 10 people picking the grapes this season and everything at Calcareous is hand picked. Joyce says the timing of this year's harvest is great. "This is a real indication of how the harvest is going to be. For the Pinot Noir to come in on September 7th and it is just beautiful. It's an indication that the weather has been absolutely perfect."

"Each one of these bins when full is about a half ton that will give us 70 gallons of juice, which will give you 60 gallons of wine at the end....25 cases per bin." Joyce explains as he walks through the crush pad. "Yeast does the magic of turning sugar into wine. Once all the sugar is gone, we will put in our press and that squeezes everything out and you are left with skins and all the juice goes into the pans...and that goes into barrels which begins the next step which is about 18 months of sitting in a barrel and getting ready for bottling."

Joyce says at the beginning of the year when there are only a few grapes in the cellar, it is really nice to come out and spend the morning picking the grapes and involving himself in the entire process. Especially in a year like 2012.

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