Cellar & Harvest Update: 9/7/2023

Blending, Bottling & Prepping for Harvest

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Anthony, Assistant Winemaker
forklift moving wine barrels

Prepping For Harvest: 2022 Blending & Bottling

by assistant winemaker, Anthony Sereni

“Blending the 2022 vintage was a lot of fun! I make up some composite samples based on the notes Grant and I take while tasting through the cellar. We each come up with a few options for each blend and taste them blind before deciding on the final composites. The quality of the wines was so high in 2022 we really got to focus on the smallest details. After blending is finished I start marking barrels for which blend they’ll be included in. I then look at the wine chemistry of the composite lots to be sure the wines are in a good place to be moved. Tanks, equipment and hoses are thoroughly cleaned in preparation for moving the wine.  We try to minimize the amount of oxygen the wine is exposed to and use nitrogen gas to displace the wine out of barrels and into tanks. This method also does not generate any heat with a pump and helps keep the wine smelling and tasting as fresh as possible. Once the wines are blended we check the chemistry again and make sure all our packaging supplies arrive on time to get the wine safely in bottle and into storage before release.  It’s a great sigh of relief once the wine is in bottle, another vintage encapsulated and ready to begin a life outside of our hands.

The time between the last bottling run of the year (early August) and harvest is usually a great time of calm, organization, and deep cleaning. And then it’s off to the races as fruit begins to ripen and we start the process all over again! We are eager to welcome the 2023 vintage in the door.”

– Assistant Winemaker, Anthony Sereni

Grant Coulter, Winemaker

The 2023 Growing Season Leading to Harvest

by Director of Winemaking & Viticulture, Grant Coulter

“The winter of 2023 started with usual Willamette Valley rains. As winter progressed, cold, late winter fronts brought more than a few inches of snow. The cool weather then continued and thoughts of a late spring persisted until, boom! The warm weather came on fast starting in April and went from cool 50’s right up into the 80’s overnight. The vines quickly woke from their winter slumber and pushed through bud break and right into flowering in record time. Our Vineyard Manager, Jaime, and his crew spent many long hours working in our two estates, Flânerie Vineyard (Ribbon Ridge) and La Belle Promenade Vineyard (Chehalem Mountains), to keep up with the explosive growth. With ample yields we decided to dropped grapes to achieve the perfect balance of fruit in the vineyards. Warm days continued and looking at the growing season degrees of years past, this year is tracking closely with the 2018 growing season. Starting in the first week of August we witnessed the first berries beginning to color up harkening the feel of an early harvest. A week of 90 degrees followed but cool overcast mornings have slowed progress of ripening allowing the fruit to soak in the final days of summer before harvesting. August 30th, marked our first pick of the vintage starting with Pinot Meunier for our sparkling wine program. Now with all the fruit dedicated to our 2023 sparkling wines in the door, we patiently wait for our vineyards to tell us it’s time to GO! We have a team of three fantastic interns helping Anthony (Assistant Winemaker) and I in the cellar this harvest. We are currently sampling grapes from across our two estates checking on sugars and ripeness, we will be in the thick of harvest any day now. It’s an exciting time here in Carlton, Oregon with the smell of harvest in the air – come check out the action!”

– Grant Coulter, Director of Winemaking & Viticulture

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2023 Harvest Interns in the Vineyard

2023 Harvest Interns: Brian, Darren & Ellen in La Belle Promenade Vineyard (Chehalem Mountains AVA)

Tractor in the row of a vineyard

Sampling fruit at La Belle Promenade Vineyard (Chehalem Mountains AVA)

Sampling Chardonnay for sugar levels at La Belle Promenade Vineyard (Chehalem Mountains AVA)

Flanerie Vineyard Ribbon Ridge AVA Oregon Flâneur

Early Morning Harvest Pick at La Belle Promenade Vineyard (Chehalem Mountains AVA)

Harvesting grapes on a foggy day at Flâneur Wines vineyards

Early Morning Harvest Pick at La Belle Promenade Vineyard (Chehalem Mountains AVA)