ValleyFogBlog


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

Although we arrived at the vineyard before 11am, it was already a hot day. Owner Vicki Tomola met up with us, taking us through the blocks of the pinot noir and sauvignon blanc from which we get fruit. Similar to what we saw in Anderson Valley, the grapes at Mariah are developing nicely, with large clusters of green grapes.

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

Pinot Noir clusters at Mariah Vineyards on July 23, 2017. Photo: J. Waits

While we walked through rows, Vicki’s husband, owner Dan Dooling, was at work in the vineyard, doing maintenance before the afternoon heat kicked in. We all gathered in their kitchen at the end of our visit, comparing notes on prior vintages, chatting about their daughter’s upcoming wedding, and adding another pencil mark on the height chart on the wall to indicate how much our daughter had grown since our last visit. As Dan commented: “How many growers do you work with that have your daughter’s height marked in pencil on the wall?” Indeed, the close relationships with growers is one of the things we enjoy most about this business. We are truly fortunate. And yes, time certainly marches on as another harvest approaches.

We’ll be back to Mariah in late August to see how grapes are progressing – they are not even at veraison yet – and will report back as we near harvest.

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

Sauvignon Blanc leaves at Mariah Vineyards on July 23, 2017. Photo: J. Waits

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