This will be the last time our barn doors will be open to the public, as we are retiring.
Re: Smith Vineyard Retiring the Winery and Tasting Room.
To: Our Wine Club Members, Downtown Neighbors and Valued Customers
Someone once said that “drinking good wine, with good food, in good company is one of life’s most civilized pleasures’” and we could not agree with this more! That is why our decision to retire and close the Winery and Tasting Room has been a difficult one. Although, many of you may be surprised at this announcement, we can assure you that it has come after much thought and careful reflection. Making this decision has given us the opportunity to look back on all of the fond memories, while at the same time, look forward to our future in retirement. We have made many friends along the way, including our association with other local wineries and all of our neighbors in downtown Grass Valley. But, at the top of our gratitude list
is YOU…our valued customer!
The honors that we have received over the years have far exceeded anything that we could have imagined when we began this journey. We have been recognized by Sunset Magazine and received multiple awards for our wines over the years. Perhaps the ultimate honor has been to receive Double Gold, Best of Region and Best of State, for our 2013 Primitivo, by Calif. State Fair.
Smith Winery has been operating for 31 years in our community and we look forward to continuing to farm our vineyard and sell certified organically grown fruit to other winemakers. In addition, we look forward to traveling and spending more time with family and friends.
This is not a goodbye, as we hope to stay involved in our local community. It has been our pleasure to cross paths with each of you, and we are deeply grateful for all of your support as we pursued our labor of love. Our Tasting Room will be open through the end of May. Memorial Weekend we will be celebrating our retirement at the Tasting Room. We hope you can stop by.
Cheers to the good memories, good wine and good friends!
Gary and Chris
Here it is…the first full day of Autumn. Harvest has come and gone in a flash! Yes, just like that! In three short weeks all of the fruit ripened and was harvested. Yes, this made for one crazy month! In a typical year, our fruit is harvested in a six to eight week period.
The big question of the season has been…How has the drought affected your crop? We were alloted the same amount of water from NID and we did have some late spring rain. This rain carried us into summer without any problems. We were grateful for the late rain because ground water is necessary during bud break. All to say, we were off to a good start this past spring. The late rain and no late spring frost made for a good start in our growing season.
The 2014 harvest began with Chardonnay on August 26. The 2013 Chardonnay harvest was on September 12th. Yes, a good two + weeks ahead of a normal year.
Harvest began two weeks ahead of a normal year and in half the time. The drought might have had a factor in the earlier ripening. Although, we also had a hot August with many long periods in the high 90’s. We believe both of these factors contributed to the early harvest.
Saturday, September 20th, was the final day of the 2014 harvest. All ten acres has been harvested and all of the fruit has been crushed. We have already pressed off some of the reds. Chardonnay is fermenting slowly, at the right temperature in the cool stainless steel tank.
The winery is full! The fermentation has begun!
Yes, the 2014 harvest and crush is complete. We still have some work ahead of us, but we have much to celebrate…This begins our season of Thanks! These two are tired but so, so grateful to have the privilege of farming…one more year. Cheers to the 2014 vintage!
Organic Farming at Smith Vineyard
Organic Farming at Smith Vineyard has become a way of life. Earth Day was Tuesday, April 22nd. Yes, I’m a few days late in acknowledging, but I believe it is never too late to celebrate and care for this place we have been entrusted, our vineyard, our home.
You may ask, why do we farm organically? These pictures say it all…for the love of family and this place we call home. My father-in-law was a pioneer in his day. He began farming organically soon after he planted our vineyard in 1980. Our sons have all been a big part of the farming end of this business and knowing what they were applying to the vineyard was important to us.
Organic farming takes dedication and a conscious effort as it is more costly and more time-consuming than non organic farming. The time-consuming portion comes from NOT using sprays that kill the weeds, or what we call the cover crop, under the canopy. This is done by hand with weed eaters. Organic farming is more costly because the applications are more frequent and less severe. This is true in the sulfur application, necessary to keep powdery mildew out of the vineyard.