After nearly sixteen inches of rain in January, the latter part of the winter was mild and relatively dry, which got the growing season off to an early start. Budbreak for our estate vineyard began on March 17th, a full two weeks early by any normal standard. Throughout the late spring and early summer months we experienced moderate daytime temperatures with warm evenings and light morning fog, which is typical of our summer weather.
Our Cabernet Sauvignon harvest began before all of the Sauvignon Blanc was brought in, but much to our relief, the ripening was delayed by two brief rains. What followed can only be described as some of the most perfect, fall-like weather which greatly enhanced further ripening and flavor development of the fruit. Most winemakers describe this vintage as luxurious, one in which the luxury of additional hang time concentrated flavors while sugar levels remained constant. 1997 shows promise for a spectacular vintage—the color in the Cabernet is the most intense we’ve seen in some time, reflecting both maturity of fruit and refinement of tannins.
—Rosemary Cakebread, Winemaker