Finally, fall has arrived! The leaves are changing, the mornings are crisp (unless you’re with us on the sweltering California Central Coast) and most importantly, it is time to harvest grapes for the wines we all know and love. Harvest is a merry time for all members of a vineyard or winery. Finally, after a long season, the fruit of everyone’s labor can be plucked, tasted, and celebrated!
Harvest is one of the most crucial times in the entire wine-making process. Typically, harvest in the Northern Hemisphere occurs between the months of August and October. What growers attempt to accomplish during this time is to pick their grapes at exactly the right time in order to achieve the perfect balance of sugar and acidity levels in each ripened grape.
Luckily for Gold Medal Wine Club members, one winery has achieved this level of perfection and was gracious enough to share the product of one of their best harvests with us. Please welcome our Fall Special Feature: the 2012 Ashley’s Estate Chardonnay from Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills.
One reason that the Ashley’s Chardonnay is particularly outstanding is that the 2012 harvest was exceptionally good. Wine enthusiasts have praised the moderate California weather that put little pressure on vines and as a result produced complex, vibrant, and well-balanced grapes. 2012 boasted nearly 3.3 million tons more ideal harvestable grapes than the 2011 harvest; what a huge success!
The 2012 Ashley’s Chardonnay is completely sold out at the winery which is no surprise to us as the wine has received such outstanding ratings. With a 94 rating and Editor’s Choice from Wine Enthusiast, a 92 from Wine & Spirits, a 91 from Stephen Tanzer and a Gold Medal from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Fess Parker has seamlessly continued its legacy for receiving ratings of 91 and above for all their Chardonnay vintages since 2008.
We can only hope the 2014 harvest is as favorable for winemakers and wineries as the 2012 harvest was for Fess Parker. Head to our wine store today and order the 2012 Ashley’s Estate Chardonnay for nearly 25% off the winery direct price. Cheers to Fess Parker, this year’s successful harvest and many more to come!