Reflections of Harvest 2022
It was a record-fast harvest for Seven Apart. Blink, and you may have missed it!
Of course, our vineyard and cellar team didn’t, keeping an experienced eye on things. Starting on August 23rd, all the grapes were in the cellar by October 4th, with the red varieties taking only two weeks. The total yield was 45 tons, with 9.67 tons coming from Stags Ridge. As the team finally has a moment to catch their breath, here’s a recap of the many memorable moments that made harvest 2022 a fruitful experience.
At the Mercy of Mother Nature
Forget predictions or crystal balls. Each year, harvest offers something new, and winemakers need to play the cards they’re dealt. According to Seven Apart General Manager Yannick Girardo, Mother Nature served several challenges in the lead-up to this harvest. This included late frost at the end of April, followed by a heat wave and lashes of rain and hailstorms.
“There is no denying it. If this year wasn’t a sign of climate change, I don’t know what else could be. Did I mention the earth rattled twice in the area this year? Nothing major, 3.3 and 4.4 shakes, but we really experienced it all!” shares Yannick.
Add to this the 700 acres of land opposite Seven Apart that burned down at the end of May, and there would be a definite cause for concern about this year’s vintage.
Doubling Down & Leveling Up
Instead, the Seven Apart team doubled down their efforts, working together to mitigate the adverse conditions. For our Winemaker Andy Erickson (now leading his 5th harvest at Seven Apart), there is a constantly renewed sense of puzzle-solving and focus that brings him back year after year:
“In terms of weather, 2022 had it all. What really changed the course of action was the extreme heat we endured from September 4th – 9th. We had record temperatures ranging from 112°F to 118°F in the Valley. The vines were irrigated and monitored daily. This is why we harvested sooner and faster than expected, as the sugar levels peaked quickly.”
This time around, Andy explains that Seven Apart saw a significant decline in yield due to the frost and ongoing Californian drought. The yield per acre was 1.17 tons. In comparison, in 2021, we harvested 3 tons per acre. In 2020, there was no harvest due to the smoke taint from the devastating Glass Fire.
“While over the next few years we will be working with other growers to offset the Base Camp vineyard replant, our production for the 2022 harvest will stand at around 2,300 cases. If we look at the first five vintages of 2018 – 2022, our yearly production stands at about 2,500 cases,” explains Andy.
What This Year Will Yield
With all our wine in, the smell of crushed grapes fermenting fills the cellar air. Despite this year’s challenges, Seven Apart wine lovers have plenty to look forward to:
“The quality of this year’s harvest is excellent and a true relief after the crisis of Covid and wildfires of 2020. We’re also very excited about the 2021 vintage that has been in barrel since last year. We will be working on doing the final blend in the new year for the Expedition,” says Yannick.
Outside of the harvest, this year was full of activities and milestones for Seven Apart. 2022 marks the first year as a fully operational hospitality facility, with the team welcoming visitors to the tasting room since October 2021. Seven Apart is also farming organically and working towards a certification. The first harvest for the newly replanted 8 acres of the Base Camp vineyard is planned for 2025, with the ultimate goal being to offer 100% estate-grown wine.
“I think that we’ll be entering another new and exciting phase by the time we have completed our long list of goals and wish lists. Watch this space as Seven Apart grows from strength to strength.”
As we all prepare to turn the page onto a fresh new year, Seven Apart wishes our wonderful community a peaceful festive season. May only exceptional wine fill your glasses and remarkable moments fill your days.