Welcome to the the Tzabaco Rancho Vineyards grapegrowing blog. Our vineyards are located in the heart of the Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County and we are proud to produce great wine grapes using sustainable winegrowing practices. Established in 1856, our family owned vineyard produces premium winegrapes for a number of major wineries and an enthusiastic clientele of home winemakers. Whether you are a new to winemaking or a veteran winemaker, our grapes should provide a solid foundation for your 2009 vintage wines!
My name is Janice Schmidt and I am a a UC Davis trained enologist, who worked for Jordan Vineyard and Winery for 20 years before retiring. I have fun guiding home winemakers in the complex yet rewarding process of making wine. I hope to use this blog to pass on interesting news about grapegrowing and winemaking gleaned from many different sources to elucidate and educate.
It is still too early to predict when harvest will begin this year. For red grapes, harvest generally begins about six weeks after full veraison (when the grapes turn fully purple). Due to a cooler normal Spring and Summer, as well as significant fog from the California coast, the ripening process is slow yet steady. Due to a three year drought in Northern California, the berries on the clusters are slightly smaller than normal. This generally means that berry flavors are more intense, rich and flavorful. Why? Berry skins contain the flavor compounds that make red wine – the more skin to less juice concentrates flavors.