FROM ST. FRANCIS WINERY & VINEYARDS
Harvest is in Full Motion
What a year! The 2023 Vintage is almost in the history books and has proven to be one of the most peculiar yet bountiful growing seasons we’ve seen in nearly a decade. With California’s drought ending, Sonoma County remained remarkably cool through Summer as much of the country experienced record heat, moving the harvest season further into Fall than expected.
We are moving at full steam in the 2023 Harvest season in the beginning of October. Our vineyard and production teams are working diligently to bring fruit from around Sonoma County for crushing and fermentation. We started with Sauvignon Blanc in early September, which marked one of our latest starts to harvest season in more than five years. Driven by a wet winter, a late bud break in the Spring, and surprisingly mild Summer heat in the region, the 2023 vintage is getting a lot of love and a longer-than-usual time on the vines.
Our winemakers, Katie Madigan and Chris Louton, are happy with the fruit they’ve received from our Estate Vineyards and grower partners. The clusters are whole and plentiful; the sugars are just at their optimum levels and the overall outlook is that this will prove to be an exquisite vintage for some of our cool climate-loving varieties such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Still a Ways to Go
At about 25% of the grapes harvested by the first week in October, there is still a ways to go for our team. We just started bringing in some of our red varieties and it’s rumored that we may even be harvesting some Cabernet Sauvignon in the weeks to come.
Some unexpected rain showers in late September paused vineyard activity sporadically, but 90+ heat spikes in October are helping the vines reach their optimal Brix levels, keeping harvest in full swing.
Wines That Will Excite You
Everyone at the winery is excited about several wines coming out in the October Club Release. We have a few new additions and some sought-after favorites that had been sold out since this time last year.
The 2019 Maggie’s Vineyard Old Vines Zinfandel is one of those new releases—a bright, aromatic, and tantalizing new Zinfandel made from Certified Heritage vines found here in the Sonoma Valley. Jake Terrell and the St. Francis team took over farming of this reputable vineyard in 2019, and we’ve been eagerly awaiting its release.
Our Estate Lagomarsino Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, is also returning with the release of the 2020 vintage. This sophisticated Sonoma County Cabernet has is always a staple for the wine lover’s cellar and shows outstanding aging potential at this early stage. High demand and small lots of this vintage favorite have made it a rare find, so collectors should feel very fortunate if they can cellar some away.
White wine fans will be both satisfied and enamored when they taste the new release of our Extended Age Chardonnay. Each vintage of this full-bodied Chardonnay is sourced from a different vineyard in Sonoma County. Katie Madigan produced the 2020 vintage from our premier estate vineyard Behler in the Sonoma Valley. Astonishingly complex and a delight to sip, this newest release will likely sell out faster than previous vintages.
It's been an Event-Full 2023!
We’ve had a blast hosting so many new winery events this year, and we’re very grateful to everyone who came out to join us. Our events are planned to bring together our club members and community to enjoy our wines, food and have a little fun!
We kicked off the year with an intimate Valentine’s Day dinner, where couples could celebrate their love with wine, food, and live music.
We went a little mad with our March Madness Wine Wonderland party, where guests were transported to a Wine Wonderland as they enjoyed themed tastings and deliciously unorthodox morsels.
Guests at the April Il Fratello Wine Release Dinner event were treated to a night celebrating togetherness, as they were the first to taste the new ‘Il Fratello’ red blend paired with a spectacular four-course meal.
In May, Jimmy, our new Culinary Farmer, hosted a unique Estate Pairing experience that showcased our flourishing Culinary Farm. Guests were taken on an educational tour of the grounds, learning about new plantings, country crops, and our exciting culinary plans.
We gathered to celebrate the longest day of the year and the first day of summer at our Summer Solstice Family Supper. There was live music, wine, food, and activities for everyone to enjoy. It was a wonderful day to enjoy the beauty of summer with family and friends.
Our Executive Chef Peter Janiak brought back the Flavors of Spain for an unforgettable evening of Spanish food, wine, Flamenco dancing, and guitar.
We just wrapped up our 21st Blessing of the Animals on October 1st. It was a beautiful day in Sonoma County. All of our friends and neighbors came out with their pets to enjoy the Dog Shows, raffle prizes, and supporting vendors at this popular charity event. We are very proud to have raised over $12,000 for our local Animal Rescues and non-profits. A feat made possible by all of you!
A special congratulations to Olive, our 2023 Winery Dog of the Year!
We hope you had a wonderful time at our events this year. If you missed any, be sure to check out our events page on our website for a complete list of upcoming events. https://www.stfranciswinery.com/events/