October 2, 2012 | by Lisa Mattson
After two weekends of warmer temperatures, the 2012 grape harvest has kicked into high gear. If you’ve been following our blog, you may have seen some of our night harvesting videos from the last two vintages. It’s the first week of October, and this year’s first night harvest video will hopefully get you in the Halloween spirit.
Every Chardonnay grape that goes into a bottle of Jordan is hand-harvested in the coldest, darkest hours of the morning–and for good reason. During the night, the grapes’ aromas are elevated and acids become brighter. Our elegant, more European-style of Chardonnay demands these very fresh, pristine components as a foundation. Grape skins also get firmer when the fruit is cold, which is beneficial during the pressing phase. Sturdy skins prevent the naturally astringent flavors found in grape skins from being extracted. Our elegant, more European-style of Chardonnay demands these very fresh, pristine components as a foundation.
Cold grapes are also beneficial because they delay the onset of fermentation, and we don’t want our Chardonnay juice to start fermenting too quickly: Freshly pressed juice settles in stainless-steel tanks at Jordan for 24 hours before being transferred to barrel for fermentation. Our 2012 Chardonnay will spend several months in a combination of new and mature French oak barrels, receiving just the right amount of sur-lie aging, battonage and barrel age before bottling next summer.