ValleyFogBlog


Harvest 2017 is a Wrap by Jennifer

What a strange year. The first Waits-Mast Family Cellars harvest for the 2017 vintage was on September 15 and then we ended up with an 11 day break, while waiting for fruit to develop further. On September 26, we brought in Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc from Mariah Vineyard in Mendocino Ridge. Two days later, we were done; with Pinot Noir picks from Oppenlander Vineyard and Nash Mill Vineyard arriving in the winery on September 28.

Waits-Mast winemaker Shalini Sekhar loads empty bins onto Mariah Vineyards' owner Dan Dooling's truck. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast Family Cellars

Waits-Mast winemaker Shalini Sekhar loads empty bins onto Mariah Vineyards’ owner Dan Dooling’s truck. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast Family Cellars

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2017 Waits-Mast Harvest Begins with Wentzel Vineyard by Jennifer

At last, 2017 harvest is underway for Waits-Mast Family Cellars, as our first pick of the season took place at Wentzel Vineyard on Friday, September 15. It’s been a weird few weeks of weather and due to high temperatures, many of our winery friends are much further along with their harvests; some have picked fruit from all of their vineyards already.

Pinot Noir clusters from Wentzel Vineyard from September 15, 2017 pick. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast Family Cellars

Pinot Noir clusters from Wentzel Vineyard from September 15, 2017 pick. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast Family Cellars

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Autumnal Leaves and Winesong as Harvest 2017 Nears by Jennifer

Our house is finally cooling down to the 70s after several weeks of hot September weather in San Francisco. It has been much the same up in Mendocino County, although there are already signs of fall, with a smattering of leaves starting to change color in the vineyards.

Leaves changing color at Oppenlander Vineyard on September 9, 2017. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast Family Cellars

Leaves changing color at Oppenlander Vineyard on September 9, 2017. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast Family Cellars

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We Have Color: Harvest 2017 Looms by Jennifer

Over the past few days, a major heatwave brought 100+ degree temperatures all over the San Francisco Bay Area and up north into Mendocino County. San Francisco reached a record high of 106 degrees and friends in Anderson Valley reported that the mercury topped out at more than 110 degrees. During our visits to all four of our Waits-Mast Family Cellars vineyard sources in Mendocino County a week ago, the weather was already hot, even at our traditionally cooler sites.

Anderson Valley on August 25, 2017. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast

Anderson Valley on August 25, 2017. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast

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July in the Vineyards – Part Three: Nash Mill Vineyard by Jennifer

Before bringing some updates from our vineyard visits from last weekend (spoiler alert: things are heating up, with harvest drawing near), we wanted to flash back to our final late July vineyard tour. During a quick visit to Nash Mill Vineyard on Saturday, July 22, we continued with our series of check-ins at sites from which Waits-Mast sources pinot noir grapes. As we saw at Wentzel Vineyard earlier in the day, the fruit at Nash Mill has developed considerably since our trip to Anderson Valley in May.

Nash Mill Vineyard on July 22, 2017. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast Family Cellars

Nash Mill Vineyard on July 22, 2017. Photo: J. Waits

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July in the Vineyards: Part Two – Mariah Vineyards by Jennifer
July 31, 2017, 12:40 pm
Filed under: Vineyards | Tags: , , ,

On Sunday, July 23, we trekked up to Mendocino Ridge to take a look at the progress of the fruit at Mariah Vineyards, another vineyard that we source from for Waits-Mast Family Cellars. It was a rough, nearly hour-long journey there from Anderson Valley, as the mountain road was full of cracks and pot holes. One stretch narrowed to one lane, as a portion of the road had been washed out during the rainy year. While a harrowing ride for us city-dwellers, the beautiful and delicious grapes at Mariah’s 2400 foot elevation vineyard are well worth the trip.

Mariah Vineyards on July 23, 2017. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast Family Cellars

Mariah Vineyards on July 23, 2017. Photo: J. Waits

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July in the Vineyards – Part 1: Wentzel by Jennifer

Seasonal changes are in full effect in Mendocino County as we hit the peak of summer. Temperatures are rising, the hills have gone from green to amber, and grapes are maturing on the vines. Looking ahead to harvest, this weekend was an excellent time to check in on a few of the vineyards that Waits-Mast sources fruit from.

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Pinot Noir grapes at Wentzel Vineyard on July 22, 2017. Photo: J. Waits

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New in the Cellar: 2016 Sauvignon Blanc by Jennifer

We’ve always said that Waits-Mast Family Cellars ONLY produces pinot noir, but that’s not entirely true. We love white wines and have been toying with the idea of expanding our repertoire for awhile, even dabbling in micro batches. Those non-pinot noir forays in 2009 and 2014 led to two interesting wines that were crafted for us by other talented winemakers.

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Waits-Mast bottling, February 2017. Photo: J. Waits

Long-time followers may recall a limited run of a 2009 Waits-Mast sparkling wine from Split Rock vineyard in the Sonoma Coast. Comprised of 100% chardonnay, we only made 6 cases of the wine and released it back in 2011.

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2017 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival and an Early Peek into the Vineyards by Jennifer

One of our favorite wine events is the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival. Brian and I started going to the festival probably around the year 2001 and began pouring Waits-Mast Family Cellars wine at the event’s Grand Tasting in 2009, so it’s always a great opportunity to see many friends and fans and meet other Pinot Noir lovers.

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The big tent at Goldeneye Winery during set up for the 2017 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival Grand Tasting. Photo: J. Waits

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Waxing nostalgic as we release our 2016 Rosé and 2014 Pinot Noir, Mariah Vineyard by Jennifer

In honor of our Waits-Mast Family Cellars late spring release (the 2016 Waits-Mast Rosé of Pinot Noir and the 2014 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir, Mariah Vineyard), it’s a good time to reflect back on the early days of these wines.

The rosé is a mere babe, crafted from a blend of luscious pinot noir juices harvested last August and September from some of our favorite Mendocino County vineyards. Nash Mill Vineyard, Mariah Vineyard and Oppenlander Vineyard make up the blend, which is being released just in time for this week’s heat spell. We only made 20 cases of this wine, so enjoy it while you can.

2016 Waits-Mast Rose of Pinot Noir just off the bottling line, February, 2017. Photo: J. Waits

2016 Waits-Mast Rose of Pinot Noir just off the bottling line, February, 2017. Photo: J. Waits

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