Sauvignon Blanc Advocacy Group, Summertime In A Glass Thrilled About 2013 harvest

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The 2013 harvest of Sauvignon Blanc in California's North Coast and Livermore Valley has all the markings of excellence. A variety of growers and winemakers from the region have offered their views to the Sauvignon Blanc advocacy organization, Summertime in a Glass (SIAG) as has SIAG Executive Director, Bryan Dias.

"Naturally brilliant, full, luscious flavor spectrum of lime, grapefruit and honey dew melon.. classic Sauvignon Blanc." Jeff Keene, Cornerstone Cellars

California North Coast wineries agree that perfect weather yielded ideal conditions for the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc harvest. “We are more than excited about the harvest in the California North Coast winegrowing region. The conditions were about as good as anyone could ask”, reports Summertime in a Glass (SIAG) Executive Director, Bryan Dias. "We surveyed winemakers and growers from around the North Coast including Mendocino, Lake, Napa and Sonoma Counties as well as the Livermore Valley, another strong hold of Sauvignon Blanc and we obtained amazingly consistent responses."

Kristy Charles co-proprietor of Foursight Wines in Boonville was very optimistic, "We picked our Charles Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc on September 7th, extremely early for Anderson Valley. Typically we harvest our estate block 2-3 weeks after our Pinot Noir. This year we picked them simultaneously, making it a bit crazy. Our vineyard and climate tends to produce a crisp, acid-driven Sauvignon Blanc with bright citrus fruit. This year, flavors and ripeness were right on target, and, combined with the lower crop size, we expect an excellent finished product, the most any vintner can hope for."

Dennis Krentz owner, Big Valley Wine in Lake County grows Sauvignon Blanc grapes exclusively. "The 2013 Lake County Sauvignon Blanc harvest was largely complete by October 4th. Summer temperatures averaged slightly higher day and night and the acidity in the fruit was very good. Grape flavors have tended more towards tropical fruit and melon than is typical."

Sandy Bend Vineyards, Upper Lake, Lake County, owner Chris Schlies believes that "2013 should make for a dynamite vintage. The couple of early rains were of no consequence and we were 95% picked by early October. At this point, all signs are "good" with the 2013 vintage." Typical farmer’s understatement!

Yountville winemaker Jeff Keene posited "At Cornerstone Cellars, we have experienced a beautifully early harvest. Warm days and cool evenings (wide diurnal temperature swings - perfect for the grape) have been ideal for creating crisp, balanced acidity in our Sauvignon Blanc, while at the same time developing a naturally brilliant, full, luscious flavor spectrum of lime, grapefruit and honey dew melon...these intensely lifted aromatic and flavor characteristics are classic for the Cornerstone Cellars Sauvignon Blanc."

Aron Weinkauf, winemaker at Spottswoode Estate in St. Helena agreed, "It was another prodigious vintage. Fruit flavors were excellent and yields were very high. This year the yields can be attributed to more berries per cluster which point to the beautiful bloom time conditions we had this year."

"One of the blessings", remarked Chris Christiansen, Winemaker/Owner of Bodkin Wines in Healdsburg, "of this vintage is that crop loads on Sauvignon Blanc were up all across the North Coast. I have even been able to buy fruit to do some small trial batches with new yeasts, cooperage and fermentation practices. That's the real fun part for me - experimenting, learning, questioning...constantly sculpting my ideas and opinions on crafting amazing Sauvignon Blanc."

“Things may be even sunnier when one considers that the state’s wine industry outlook continues to improve. What is driving that optimistic view is the growth potential for bottles in the $10-$20 range. California can produce high quality Sauvignon Blanc within those price points”, Dias opined.

“Lake County has a long history of growing premium Sauvignon Blanc grapes and the High Valley and Red Hills AVA’s produce incredible ‘Wild Flavor’”, said Shannon Ridge assistant winemaker Jason Welch. “We’ve witnessed a growing awareness for California Sauvignon Blanc and believe the quality and value to the consumer are unbeatable. It was a prime grape growing season in 2013 and we are excited to taste our new vintages".

The good news extended to the Livermore Valley, just south and east of the North Coast, where the folks at Cuda Ridge Wines reported, “We harvested our Livermore Valley Sauvignon Blanc on September 6th this year, a couple weeks earlier than the last two years. The early tank samples of the 2013 Cuda Ridge Sauvignon Blanc reveal a fragrant grapefruit nose which carries over to the palate and high acidity which gives freshness on the finish.”

Dias concluded that he is “looking forward to spring 2014 when all these wines start to hit the shelves. That’s one of the great things about Sauvignon Blanc, you get to enjoy the fruits of the labor pretty quickly after harvest!”

ABOUT SUMMERTIME IN A GLASS: Summertime in a Glass (SIAG) is an advocacy and information group that seeks to promote, educate and entertain wine enthusiasts and the industry itself on the world of Sauvignon Blanc. We strive to do so by being informative, yet never too serious or dogmatic. Wine is fun and social. Sauvignon Blanc is known as a great food wine but many styles also make for great “porch wines.” This all means that it is meant to be shared and enjoyed, not pontificated!

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