Hooray Y2K—the overall consensus is for another strong year! After a mild to normal winter, the growing season was set in motion with an end-of-March budbreak and an ensuing warm Spring. Despite a few heat spikes in June and September, the 2000 summer was cool overall, allowing for great balance and even ripening in the vineyard. By mid-August Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon were beginning to exhibit full ripeness and flavor. The first Sauvignon Blanc was brought to Spottswoode on August 21st, and the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc harvest got underway at the end of September, with the final grapes coming in on October 3rd.
With one year of experience in our new winery building behind us, we felt more relaxed and comfortable as the 2000 harvest got underway. It was much easier to focus on winemaking due to a familiarity with the building and equipment, and we benefited from having an extra set of hands in the cellar—Darren Rathbone, our harvest intern from Australia, was a huge help.
The end of harvest was celebrated with an afternoon fiesta of beer, tequila and homemade carnitas, prepared by Elena Barberi, and plenty of Mexican music (which accompanied us almost non-stop during crush!). 2000 was also noteworthy in that the last of our old vines were removed shortly after harvest. As always, we have many people to thank for all of their hard work over the past year—vineyard foreman Jose Luis Lopez, vineyard manager David Abreu and assistant Annie Favia, organic consultant “Amigo”l Bob Cantisano, Darren and our entire vineyard and cellar crew for a job well done!
—Rosemary Cakebread, Winemaker