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 CH13lables  lightsretro  barrels

Things are beginning to look different. We hope to have our winery ‘Green Certified’ through the Napa Green program before the end of the year. A big piece of the puzzle here at the winery was changing out our power guzzling lights in the cellars with energy efficient LED fixtures. The light is bright and I feel a bit like a rock star as the lights automatically light my way in the cellar. It is nice to know our efforts that began so many years ago when our vineyards received their Green Land Certification will soon be complete.  

Water conservation has played a huge part in our viticultural practices in 2014. Being a farmer, key decisions need to be made on how to protect our fruit. While we have removed leaves, this year I am using different techniques to encourage more filtered light that opens airflow to the canopy while still protecting the clusters. Conscious watering decisions by spending more time observing the vine health has luckily kept our reservoirs healthy as we approach harvest.  

Speaking of harvest, it is almost that time. Last years’ Chardonnay is going into the bottle to make room for the new vintage. Our cellar is sparkling clean as tanks are being sanitized and each new barrel delivery fills the air with toasty oak aromas. My vineyard visits lead me to think there might be a ‘crush’ of all varietals arriving to the winery at the same time, similar to the chaos of last harvest. Guess it might be time to sample some vineyards before I decide to freak out?! 

- Winemaker Kimberlee Nicholls