The year 2011 will be notable for many reasons. Spring was wet and cool, and the rain and temperatures caused bloom to be highly variable. Spottswoode was fortunate to have a vital, healthy organic cover crop which helped to moderate the early season vigor, and we were blessed with a healthy set—lovely loose clusters of small, concentrated berries.
Summer’s growing season was mild, with only a handful of days above 100?F and none of the extreme highs we've seen in recent years. Due to the considerable variability after bloom and a nice overall vine balance, we did very little fruit thinning.
Harvest came later than usual and was marked by cool temperatures, rain, the development of botrytis, and our efforts to manage all well. Fortunately, we had great fruit and vine conditions before the rain, with long, loose clusters, good even spacing, and balanced open canopies. The level of botrytis in our Estate Vineyard was low. As a preventative measure, we did one organic botrytis spray, and in any areas that were adversely affected, we made multiple passes to drop fruit. The results were ripe fruit in excellent condition with lower-than-normal sugars. Our harvest and sorting crew worked tirelessly and our resulting fermentations were vibrant and healthy. The wines are beautifully finessed, with good flavor and enticing aromatics. There are many to thank for all their hard work—our Vineyard Foreman, Jose Luis Lopez, our dedicated vineyard and cellar crew and interns as well as our new Assistant Winemaker, Landon Donley!—Aron Weinkauf, Winemaker