Harvest has been cruising right along at our Suttons Bay and Old Mission locations, and since there are only a couple of weeks left, we wanted to share with you a little “State of the Vineyard” update.
To say we are excited about what we have seen of this year’s harvest is an understatement. Throughout the growing season, our head winemaker Lee Lutes has been in the vineyards, meticulously checking on the health and quality of the vines and fruit. What he has observed has been well above average. “Certain wines will be the best we’ve made since 2017, while others will be good to very good, depending on how the grapes survive the pressures of late-season rains,” Lee states.
The official kick-off of Harvest 2021 began in mid-September with our dedicated vineyard and winery teams picking and processing Chardonnay from the Leelanau Summit Vineyard, followed by Pinot Blanc just a few hours later. The first fruit picked is typically used for sparkling wines because they require grapes with higher acid levels.
After processing the fruit for sparkling wine, which grapes we harvest next depends on a combination of factors, as there is no set order from year to year. Lee says, “these factors can include the size of crop loads in specific vineyards and animal, insect, or disease pressure on certain sites. As an example, Pinot Noir from one of our estate vineyards came shortly after. Bees were plaguing the fruit due to the abundance of warm weather we experienced in late September. The grapes would not have survived another week had they not been picked at the right time.” This earlier harvested fruit will become our popular Pinot Noir Rosé.
As of now, we have harvested Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, Merlot, Marquette, plus small amounts of Riesling. However, some varieties are still hanging on the vines, but this extra time means more time to ripen, which is certainly not bad for the red grapes!
They say that great wine is made in the vineyard, and this year’s fruit has been exceptional for the most part. We cannot wait to share our 2021 vintages with you in the future! Don’t want to wait for the 2021 wines? Try some of our staff favorites from the 2020 vintage like the Arcturos Sur Lie Chardonnay, Arcturos Pinot Noir Blanc, and Arcturos Pinot Noir Rosé.