June 3, 2024 | by Maggie Kruse

Like a good novel, the 2022 vintage was full of drama—from a cool spring punctuated by blustery winds to a massive heat wave over Labor Day weekend that kept the vineyard team on its toes through harvest. Fortunately, through the skill and quick decision-making of vineyard and cellar teams, the story of the 2022 vintage had a happy ending.

Here are five factors that allowed winemakers to produce delicious chardonnay in 2022 despite the year’s plot twists.

aerial view of vineyards with mountains and the sun in the distance

Warm Spring and Summer Weather Brought Beautiful Clusters

Following a cool and windy start to the growing season, warm weather prevailed from May through the end of August, with limited heat spikes. This resulted in beautifully uniform chardonnay clusters in Jordan’s Russian River Valley vineyards with the potential for rich, intense fruit flavors.

Grape harvesters at night pouring a bucket of green chardonnay grapes into a large silver vat behind a tractor.

Vineyard Teams Protected the Grapes from Heat

When the weather forecast predicted a 10-day period of triple-digit temperatures over Labor Day—including four days over 110 degrees Fahrenheit—Jordan’s vineyard team jumped into action to protect the grapes from extreme heat exposure. They sampled all of the chardonnay blocks to determine which ones were ready for picking, then worked quickly to get the fruit off the vines. For the remaining chardonnay, the vineyard team worked closely with Jordan’s growers to rigorously irrigate the vineyards to minimize dehydration. Our recent decision to select cooler climate chardonnay sites certainly helped us maintain freshness during the heat wave.

Smart Picking Decisions Prevailed

Grape-picking decisions and timing made all the difference in 2022. When Jordan’s team learned of the impending Labor Day heat wave, crews quickly sampled chardonnay blocks and picked any fruit that was ready to go. Rather than harvest the remaining grapes too early, the team made a calculated decision to pause picking until the brutal temperatures subsided. When the heat wave ended, samples showed that all of the blocks had reached perfect ripeness, and the team was able to proceed with harvest.

workers at winery sorting table picking out material other than grapes

Fruit Quality Remained High

In spite of the heat wave, Jordan’s fruit quality remained high and flavors were not heavily impacted. Some chardonnay picked after the heat event showed more mature aromas of ripe apples along with some tangerine, yet acids remained high and the fruit maintained its freshness.

three large concrete egg fermentation vessels in wine barrel room

Concrete Eggs Enhanced Minerality

To let the fruit purity shine, Jordan’s winemaker Maggie Kruse fermented a portion of the wine in egg-shaped concrete fermenters. The concrete eggs—a new addition to the Jordan cellar designed to enhance texture and mineral character without oak influence—resulted in rich minerality and Burgundian-style flavors for the 2022 Jordan Chardonnay.