Vino Vargas celebrates the start of harvest season
Harvest of sparkling wine grapes begins
– Vino Vargas kicked off its 2022 grape harvest season with an early morning pick of their pinot noir and chardonnay sparkling wine grapes. With a growing season that has been steadily warm and no threats such as smoke, the quality is exceptional, according to the winner, although the yield was reportedly slightly lower than in prior years. The harvest started at first light and 55-degree weather.
Sparkling wine grapes are picked earlier than still wine grapes because of the need for acidity and lower sugar, according to the winery. In most years, this means a harvest that starts three to four weeks earlier than traditional wine grapes. The sparkling wine harvest is a clear marker of the season’s beginning. “Our growing season has been steady with no major issues, and 2022 is going to be a great vintage,” said Pedro Vargas, winemaker.
Sommelier Vicky Vargas ceremoniously marked the event by sabering a bottle of Paso Doble sparkling wine and sprinkling it over the grapes, and the rest went in glasses for the team to share. “This is such a special time for us, and we are thankful that nature and our vineyard team got us to this point,” said Vicky. The chardonnay comes from Chris’s vineyard, a block consisting of chardonnay sparkling wine clone 38. The pinot noir is a sparkling wine clone 73.1 from Hortencia’s vineyard. Both blocks of estate grapes were planted with the plant material that originated in France at the Perrier Jouet champagne house and was initially imported by Mumm of Napa County. The blocks are named in honor of the couple’s late mothers.
After harvest, whole clusters are deposited in a pneumatic press, and the juice is gently pressed out for about two hours. The juice then goes into chilled stainless steel tanks to be fermented into base wine, forming the basis for the traditional “methode champenoise” production that Vino Vargas uses.
This year Vino Vargas will produce two new additions to its lineup of sparkling wines. A sparking viognier and a sparkling red pinot noir. This will make a total of five selections available for sparkling wine enthusiasts.
“We’re proud of our San Miguel AVA and happy to show people that amazing sparkling wine can be produced here,” said Pedro Vargas, winemaker.
Learn more about the winery at www.vinovargas.com.