Lone Oak is ready to press! Yeah.. Monday we are going to press the Lone Oak Pinot. I was hoping to have this thing go on for longer, however, as usual, the yeast and nature has the final say. We kept the must cold soaking under 50 degrees for about five days after crush. Once we brought it out of the cold room, it took off in no time and the must came up to 80 degrees in two days, then 90 degrees and before we knew it, here we are, five days later and Brix is at almost zero, ready to press. In any case, it followed almost the same trajectory of fermentation of the Sonoma Cost Gap’s Crown pinot, so it should be very interesting to see how it develops.
We are going down to the winery on Monday morning to press and will have some pictures to share from that event.

Uzi

Our Lone Oak Pinot Noir grapes were harvested finally last Tuesday and delivered to the winery. We went right down to business and started the whole process of sorting and de-stemming and cold soaking all over again.

Ben having a lot of fun sorting Lone Oak

Ben having a lot of fun sorting Lone Oak

Although the wine making plan for Lone Oak, which is in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation, south east of Monterey, is similar to the Gap’s Crown (Sonoma Coast Appellation) , the fruit is markedly different.

 

Santa Lucia Highland vineyards in the AM fog

Santa Lucia Highland vineyards in the AM fog

 

View of Salinas Valley from the Santa Lucia Highland vineyards

View of Salinas Valley from the Santa Lucia Highland vineyards

 

Both vineyards are influenced by the maritime fog and air, which cools the vines and slows down maturation during the summer months. However, that is where the similarities end. Whereas Sonoma coast produces delicate, refined, elegant wines which are well balanced with acidity to complement the typical Pinot fruit, the Santa Lucia Highland fruit is a bit more voluptuous and with flavors that are bursting at the seams. Still with a lot of elegance and refinement, but you can’t mistake the overt femininity, I’d say the Gap’s Crown is an Audrey Hepburn to Lone Oak’s Catherine Deneuve. I might be dating myself with these fine actresses as my analogies, but I can’t think of anything else at the moment. If anyone has a more recent, parallel examples, feel free to post and I will consider!
In any case, we chose to make these two different pinots to showcase the stylistic differences between the appellations. We like them both and are really excited to watch them ‘grow’, or as the French say, ‘élever’, side by side. It will be a lot of fun tasting and noting the differences.

On another note, since we started this whole wine thing was in a sense re-starting a tradition from my maternal grandmother side–where my little sister used to stomp the grapes–I could not resist having Kathryn and Hannah continue the tradition and actually use their feet to stomp the grapes. Of course, we made sure their feet were washed and sterilized before we let them in it! You will not taste a thing in the wine, no worries.   Uzi