It has been a cool and patient harvest over here in Washington wine country! We are now well into harvest 2019, and to say we have a lot of exciting wine in-store for future vintages would be an understatement. This year has marked the end of a hot weather trend that started in 2011 — making this vintage a classic one similar to 2012. Now, step into the shoes of our winemaking team as we celebrate a Nine Hats Wines harvest!
At Nine Hats Wines, we strive to make wines that are affordable, delicious, and authentic, all coming from top-tier vineyards. When it comes to the Nine Hats winemaking philosophy, our winemaking team will tell you it’s all about “creating well-balanced wines with a refined texture and a concentrated mouthfeel in the reds, and showing the vibrant and lively character of the white varietals while respecting the vineyard’s terroir.” In order to do that it takes minimal manipulation during the winemaking process allowing the fruit to express itself fully. Quality starts in the vineyard and this growing season proves just that.
One thing the Nine Hats winemaking team has to keep in mind is that each growing season brings “its own weather pattern and maturation process which makes it impossible to have a recipe”. This is why we try to stay as consistent as possible with our style, experiences, and winemaking techniques. “This year, the combination of heavy fruit set, a late start to the growing season, and cooler weather overall makes the canopy and fruit management crucial to a good physiological maturation.” For the 2019 harvest, we didn’t steer far from our normal techniques but were much more aggressive with the color thinning following veraison and when about 80% of the berries had turned red. By dropping the remaining green clusters, we are bringing the maturation to a more uniform level which is an important step with a cooler vintage.
Our first pick this harvest started with our Wente clone Chardonnay from French Creek Vineyard in the Yakima Valley. With this vineyard’s cool climate and the cool harvest, we can expect a flavorful, acidic, and elegant Chardonnay. Following this, we picked our Syrah and Merlot at Bacchus Dionysus Vineyard — the flavor profile of these varietals are outstanding! The weather this year helped develop more vibrant characteristics than ever while the longer hang time increased the intensity of flavor and color within the grapes. Our winemaking team is extremely excited about all the varietals this year due to the world-class vineyards in which they are grown, but they expect the Syrah to be impeccable. Our last pick of the harvest is expected to be on Halloween day (and there’s nothing scary about that)!
Now that you have a good sense of what’s to come, feel free to try some of our current release vintages to compare by browsing our wines page or joining us in SODO for a tasting — no reservations required. We can’t wait to share these new wines with you — cheers to harvest 2019!