ValleyFogBlog


Our Third Pick of the Year – Mariah Vineyards in Mendocino Ridge by Jennifer
September 8, 2015, 3:17 pm
Filed under: Vineyards, Winemaking | Tags: , , ,

Within 10 days of the start of the Waits-Mast 2015 harvest, we are now 3/5th of the way through our picks. Mariah Vineyards in Mendocino Ridge was harvested on Sunday night and vineyard owner Dan Dooling hand-delivered the beautiful fruit to us in San Francisco yesterday morning before things really heated up in the city.

Pinot Noir grapes from Mariah Vineyards arrives on Sept. 7. Photo: J. Waits

Pinot Noir grapes from Mariah Vineyards arrives on Sept. 7. Photo: J. Waits

Although it was a bit quieter in San Francisco due to Labor Day, the street that the winery is on was still full of activity, with local firefighters and emergency workers stopping for coffee at the newish Philz across the street and trash collectors picking up loads just as Dooling arrived with his large truck.

Truck arrives from Mariah Vineyards. Photo: J. Waits

Truck arrives from Mariah Vineyards. Photo: J. Waits

Labor Day wasn’t a holiday at the winery, which was full of winemakers and harvest interns who were all hard at work on their in-process wines. We also weren’t the only pick/sort of the day, so we had time for a quick lunch break at a favorite neighborhood eatery while awaiting our time on the sorting table. We always hand sort the fruit in order to pull out leaves, twigs, and berries that we don’t want in the wine (including green berries, raisins, and moldy fruit). In the case of this year’s fruit, the sorts have been super easy so far and we are mostly pulling out leaves and stray leaf stems.

Hand sorting Mariah fruit. Photo: J. Waits

Hand sorting Mariah fruit. Photo: J. Waits

It’s been unseasonably warm in San Francisco and the winery was a nice respite from the 90+ degree heat outside. It also made me nostalgic for one of our visits to Mariah Vineyards earlier this summer.

Bins of Mariah Vineyards fruit from Mariah Vineyards

Fruit from Mariah Vineyards waiting to be hand-sorted. Photo: J. Waits

Back on July 12th we stopped by the vineyard on a cool, cloudy day and it was perhaps the first time that we realized that as we walked through the rows of vines, we were actually surrounded by clouds rather than fog. Our heat-averse daughter was also overjoyed and pranced through the vineyards, enjoying the absence of heat and sun.

Clouds engulfing Mariah Vineyards in July, 2015. Photo: J. Waits

Clouds engulfing Mariah Vineyards in July, 2015. Photo: J. Waits

As we’re experiencing another scorcher in San Francisco today, it’s nice to reflect back on that July visit to Mariah Vineyards and I’m hopeful that the cooling breezes and fog will return to the city again soon.

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