Greetings from the vineyards, where our J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet grapes are still ripening on the vine but are soon to be harvested (if you’re following our harvest shots posted to Facebook!). Because we carefully calibrate the optimal ripeness for each grape varietal, we concluded our Syrah harvest a couple of weeks ago with the grapes showing terrific color density. Merlot is looking promising, with slightly above-average yields. In the spectacular hills of western Paso Robles, we’ve harvested our first vintage of Rhône white varietals Viognier, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc, with other Rhône Reds – Grenache Noir and Mourvèdre – to come. We’re still looking for a precise softness in our Pinot Noir berries from our Arroyo Seco and Santa Lucia Highland vineyards in Monterey County, and Chardonnay is slowly ripening and most likely will be ready for harvest in early October. And while we concluded the pick of Sauvignon Blanc from our Carol’s Vineyard in St. Helena, Napa Valley almost four weeks ago, we’re hearing overall that the California wine grape harvest is trending a bit later this year. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that Mother Nature will deliver no unusual weather events in the coming weeks to throw harvest off-course!