EnRoute Rosé Returns! Stock up while you can here.

Harvest Puzzle Pieces: A Napa Valley Chardonnay Update

09.17.15

Harvest Puzzle Pieces: A Napa Valley Chardonnay Update
Napa Valley Cellar Master Javier Munoz

After more than two decades of Far Niente harvests, Cellar Master Javier Munoz has honed his "sorting table strategy."[/caption]

Napa Valley Winemaker Nicole Marchesi

Winemaker Nicole Marchesi celebrates her tenth harvest with Far Niente.

For Far Niente Winemaker Nicole Marchesi, the start of harvest begins before she ever starts picking fruit.

It starts in the weeks leading up to that first pick date, when she spends her early mornings in the vineyard, sampling for ripeness.

“It’s one of my favorite times of harvest, especially those mornings I spend in our Napa Valley Chardonnayblocks in Coombsville. The cool, early morning fog slowly dissipates while I’m walking; the vineyard is quiet and peaceful but my brain and my palate are already moving at full speed working on the harvest puzzle."

"As I pop grapes in my mouth noting the flavors, the acidity and the texture of the skins, I’m also mentally comparing my impressions of ripeness in each block, thinking about the upcoming weather and mapping out a potential pick plan.”

The first Far Niente Napa Valley Chardonnay of 2015 came into the winery before sunrise – during those pre-dawn hours that temperatures are coolest and fruit’s freshness is best preserved – on August 20th. Then it was a blur of swift fingers as Nicole and her team focused their attention on sorting, pressing, racking and barrel fermenting each lot, one by one.

Our final lots of Chardonnay came into the winery yesterday morning, just as we began picking our first blocks of Oakville Cabernet. “I’m super happy with flavors right now, there’s lots of freshness and beautiful acidity. We’ll taste through all the lots again in January, and that really gives us the best snapshot of the vintage.”

For now, it’s a waiting game. Nicole and her team will be mostly hands off, as the wines spend the next ten months in barrel, developing greater texture and depth.

With the harvest puzzle for Chardonnay nearing completion, Nicole can now focus her attention on the Cabernet lots coming in from our Martin Stelling Vineyard, aka the cornerstone of our estate Cabernet.

We'll share more about our Cabernet harvest as the fruit comes off the vine!

As our 2015 Napa Valley Chardonnay goes into barrel, we invite you to click here to learn more about the current vintage.

The 2013 Estate Chardonnay marked our 34th year of making white wine! The 2015, our 36th!

DSC_0488 edit

Related Posts

Winery & Vineyard Life The Keys to Far Niente's Cave Collection: Crafting Age-Worthy Cabernet

01.06.22

The Keys to Far Niente's Cave Collection: Crafting Age-Worthy Cabernet

In anticipation of our annual Cave Collection release, we sat down with Winemaker Nicole Marchesi to talk about Far Niente's Cave Collection and the keys to making age-worthy Napa Valley Cabernet. Read on to hear what she has to say. Then mark your calendars for the January 17 release from Far Niente's Cave Collection. This year’s allocation is one of our most limited to date, with less than 100 bottles available for our most sought-after vintages.

"Each vintage is our opportunity to make our greatest wine. It's what inspires us in the vineyard and winery."

LEARN MORE
Winery & Vineyard Life Non-Malolactic Fermentation and the Far Niente Chardonnay House Style

07.29.19

Non-Malolactic Fermentation and the Far Niente Chardonnay House Style

Non-malolactic fermentation. Although the phrase doesn’t roll easily off the tongue, Chardonnays made without it certainly can. And it’s essential to our Far Niente Chardonnay house style.

LEARN MORE
Winery & Vineyard Life Women in Wine

03.08.22

Women in Wine

Meet Six Women Shaping the Far Niente Family of Wineries & Vineyards.

Two winemakers. One CFO. Two VPs. And the woman who helped launch Far Niente more than 40 years ago. In celebration of Women’s History Month, we sat down to talk with just a few of the women shaping the way we grow, make, sell and share our wines. From the cellar to the board room, these daring innovators and leaders share a passion for human connection and a sense of adventure.

LEARN MORE

If you are at least 21 years of age and willing to accept cookies, please click enter.
ENTER
Book a Tour Call Us