Wine Spec Sheets & Harvest Notes

See past vintages below. If you are interested in the details of a wine/vintage not listed, please contact us to request it. 

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Late spring and early summer of 2018 was dry and relatively warm. In fact, it started to look like a repeat of 2016. Then Mother Nature flipped the script and handed us day after day of rain as mid-August rolled around. Torrential downpours caused flash floods in the region, with some areas getting as much as 7 inches of rain in a matter of hours. We were on the lower end with just about 3 inches of rain from the first major rainstorm. Finally, after persistent rain, some much needed warmth came to help with ripening, but with the heat came humidity. e humidity forced us to work overtime in the vineyard to prevent as much disease pressure as possible. Harvest kicked off­ August 31st at RTR with fruit from our new vineyard site, Earl’s place. Sparkling and Dornfelder harvest followed in early September with some extra hand sorting to mitigate any damaged caused by the humid end to the growing season. By mid-October we were pretty much done with all of harvest. Fruit yields were average, but coming off­ the 2017 abundant vintage, it felt smaller. The first light dusting of snow showed up around Oct. 18th and the next day we decided to utilize the developing noble rot within our Riesling blocks and officially ended harvest on Oct. 19th with botrytis Riesling.

2017 was one of the more challenging growing seasons. We experienced a relatively mild winter, proceeded by a very wet spring. The growing season was cold and wet. As a consequence, we entered into the normal harvest window about two weeks behind in fruit maturity…across all varieties. The significant moisture levels led to potential vigor challenges and required intensive efforts to maintain balance between canopy and crop levels. Significant hand work was required to promote quality fruit production and hinder disease pressure. We implemented shoot thinning, leaf pulling and green thinning. Thankfully we experienced a much-needed reprieve from the cold and wet in the early stages of harvest. We had an extended window of hot, dry sunny days from the middle of Sept. through most of Oct. As a result, we achieved full ripeness across all varieties…simultaneously! So, we had a very compressed harvest period and brought in all varieties over an extremely short period of time.

After three harsh winters in a row, the 2016 winter was a significant diversion. Temperatures were primarily mild except for two extreme events that occurred in late winter. In each case, we utilized our wind machine that mitigated bud damage and maintained our crop levels for the coming season. Very little rain or snow fall in the winter months, followed by an extremely hot and dry growing season. In fact, the summer was one of the worst droughts in the history of this region. We started harvest with our cuvees for sparkling on Labor Day Weekend. Early fall rain pushed in to close out the 2016 harvest. Our last day in the vineyard took place in late October with some snow sprinkled on the ground.

One of the harshest Februarys on record with extreme cold and heavy snowfall. This was followed by a relatively mild spring and summer. A series of very hot and humid episodes during the latter part of veraison accelerated berry softening and ripening across all varieties. This provided the proper viticultural criteria for the development of high quality noble rot, and also shortened the ripening window for all varieties across the board. We experienced a condensed window of harvest that required intense picking and process schedules in order to bring in each of our varieties at optimal ripeness.

The winter of 2014 was long and cold. There were several episodes of extreme low temperatures and a constant blanket of snow in the vineyard. These conditions resulted in a reduced number of viable primary buds, which in turn led to reduced yields for all varieties in our estate vineyard. Although fewer clusters were produced, the fruit that remained was highly structured. Reds appeared to have more intense color and texture in comparison to previous vintages. Comparatively speaking, berries of all varieties tended toward thicker skins and fleshier pulp. The outcome of these multiple variables is demonstrated by the greater depth of color and texture in the wine.

We had some close calls with frost late in the season around Memorial Day in 2013. Fortunately, we experienced a combination of light rain and gentle breezes at the estate vineyard; this provided our young shoots with the protective buffer they needed to make it through the frosty morning temperatures. Early in the season, cool temps and serious rainfall lead to some serious vigor in the vineyard, particularly in the reds. Additional shoot thinning and leaf pulling were utilized to counterbalance the vigorous growth. This cooler, rather moist early weather transitioned into dryer and warmer temps in late September and superb conditions for ripening our later ripening varieties.

846 State Route 14 

Penn Yan, NY 14527 

(315)-536-4580

tastingroom@redtailridgewinery.com

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