It’s what every winemaker dreams of – first crush. It means harvest has begun and another season of making wine begins. I was at Thornton Winery this morning for their first crush of the season. Winemaker Don Reha raised a champagne toast as the first Pinot Noir grapes tumbled into the press to begin their journey towards becoming Blanc de Noir sparkling wine. The weather was absolutely perfect. There was a gentle breeze and temperatures were in the mid 60s. You can see this is what Don lives for. He probably won’t get a lot of sleep during the next month, but this is what it’s all about.
Don says this year’s harvest looks to be one of the best in recent memory. The extraordinarily cool weather in June led to a beautiful acid balance in the grapes. I tasted somes of the grapes and they were like nectar. Cafe Champagne Executive Chef Steve Pickell was on hand as was winery President Steve Thornton (sporting the hat he got at Ralphs for ten bucks). It looks like the 2009 harvest is off to a fantastic start. Don and Cellar Manager Arsenio Reyes have begun the crush.