Those of you who know me know that I tend to play it a little fast and loose with superlatives and hyperbolic language in general, and so you may be inclined to take it with a grain of salt when I say that we here at First Colony, and our colleagues at other wineries across the Monticello AVA, are currently in the process of wrapping up what is surely the finest vintage in the state since 2010 and perhaps since 1998.
A mild winter and very early spring with copious rainfall triggered an abundant fruit set that in any other vintage vineyards likely would have struggled to ripen, but as June bled into July extremely hot, dry conditions kicked the vines into overdrive. By the middle of August, as daytime highs dropped serendipitously into the low 80s and sunshine persisted, we'd already set about harvesting our early season whites with near perfect chemistry at unprecedented yields. Several rain showers at the beginning of September refreshed the vines and set the stage for a magnificent Indian Summer characterized by balmy, brilliantly sunny days and cool nights, allowing red grapes to achieve extreme levels of phenolic ripeness while still retaining bright, refreshing acidity.
By the time you read this, we'll likely have completed our harvest, a full three weeks earlier than our historic average, and while it's still very early to draw final conclusions, fermentation kinetics and early tastings indicate a level of across the board, holistic quality that this young winemaker has never witnessed before in almost a decade in the industry.
We look forward to sharing these new wines with you in the coming months and years and hope you're as excited about the future of First Colony wines as we are.
Gavin Baum, Winemaker
Originally posted 1 October 2017