2017 Harvest Largest Yet for LDV Winery
This year’s harvest is the largest yet for LDV Winery, which celebrates its 10th anniversary next year of planting its first grapes in the Chiricahua Mountain foothills in southeastern Arizona.
“After a very hot June and early July and a brief but intense monsoon during the growing season, the 2017 wine grape harvest ended strong with warm, dry days and cool nights,” said Curt Dunham, LDV Winery owner/grower/winemaker.
In June and July, the weather was hot with daily temperatures above 105 degrees for about two weeks. Dunham said this was the first time he had seen temperatures over 101 degrees at the vineyard in eight years. In late July, the vineyard received over eight inches of rain in one week. When the rain stopped, humidity disappeared and 90-degree days and 50-degree nights set in. This created the perfect scenario for final ripening.
LDV Winery brought in over 57 tons of beautiful fruit using green harvesting, a technique where green fruit is dropped mid-season. This allows fruit flavors to concentrate, assists in preserving the vine’s health and longevity and reduces the potential for bunch rot and mildew by increasing ventilation through the vine.
“It breaks our hearts to see all the beautiful fruit on the ground, but it is an important task that must be done,” Dunham said, “We prepare for rainfall up until and even during harvest, but a nice, dry harvest was a bonus.”
Only time will tell how the extreme heat impacted the fruit. Based on initial assessments, berry size was small and cluster weight was lower than average, which should lead to intense wines.
Once harvest began with the Viognier on August 20, the rest of the vineyard ripened on schedule. The Syrah came in early September, followed by the Grenache in mid-September, the Road Block Petite Sirah and the Building Block Petite Sirah.
“We are ecstatic with the quality of the fruit. The winery smelled amazing during fermentation and we are now moving the wine from the settling tanks to the barrels,” said Peggy Fiandaca, LDV Winery owner.
The raw wine settles out for a week or so before barreling to ensure clear juice is getting into the barrels.
“All 59 fermentation vessels finished to zero sugar which is our goal but not easy to attain,” Dunham said, “Our fermentation protocols, developed over the last few years, are paying dividends! Incomplete fermentation results in the need to take measures that, in our opinion, compromise the quality of the wine. Our goal is for minimal intervention with the wine.”
Here is the LDV Winery 2017 Vintage Snapshot
Total Tons Harvested: 57 tons
Harvest Dates: August 20 through September 26, 2017
Viognier at a Glance
Harvested August 20-21
Brix: 23.9 average
pH: 3.44 average
Syrah at a Glance
Harvested September 12
Brix: 26.3 average
pH: 3.80 average
Grenache at a Glance
Harvested September 15-19
Brix: 25.5 average
pH: 3.91 average
Petite Sirah Road Block at a Glance
Harvest September 21-23
Brix: 25.9 average
pH: 3.85 average
Petite Sirah Building Block at a Glance
Harvest September 24-26
Brix: 27.6 average
pH: 3.76 average
To celebrate the successful 2017 vintage, LDV Winery is holding a Harvest Festival at the LDV Winery Wine Gallery in Old Town Scottsdale on October 28. The event is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and tickets include a BBQ lunch, glass of wine, LDV logo wine glass, grape stomping and fun.
To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ldv-winery-harvest-festival-tickets-36724595253?aff=mcivte. For more information, call 480-664-4822 or email at info@LDVWinery.com.