Grapes for sparkling wine kick off the harvest season in Paso Robles wine country
–Vino Vargas, one of Paso Robles’ sparkling wine producers, harvested chardonnay to be used in its Paso Doble blanc-de-blanc sparkling wine this week. Because grapes for sparkling wine are picked with about seven degrees less of sugar and higher acidity, their harvest comes earlier than grapes picked for regular still wines. The 2020 harvest came 10 days earlier compared to 2019.
“The more moderate summer weather we’ve had this year has really let the vines mature slow and consistent. As a result, everything is tasting great and the quality is top-notch,” said Pedro Vargas, winemaker.
The grapes come from the Pear Valley vineyard on Union Road. The harvest team started the pick early in the morning when the temperature was still in the 50s. “Everyone enjoys a great sparkling wine, and we’re happy to partner with Vino Vargas and have our grapes ring the harvest start bell,” said Kathleen Maas, owner of Pear Valley Winery and Vineyards.
The grapes were then trucked to the Vino Vargas winery in San Miguel for processing and for the annual ritual of sabering a bottle of sparkling wine and pouring it over the grape bins. “We do this every year and is our way of starting the harvest” said Vicky Vargas wine sommelier. “If not for the pandemic we would usually have a larger group of people with us to help us celebrate and bless the grapes.”
Paso Doble sparkling wine is made in the traditional method known as Méthode Champenoise and all of the production steps take place at the winery. You can learn more about the winery and Paso Doble at www.vinovargas.com.