about gelfand vineyards

                                             Summer 2018




Summertime in Paso usually means 110+ days.    And this year is no exception.   Only this year, there IS a slight difference.    In past years, we expect these extreme temperatures to last for 3 or 4 days, then a cooling off period before the next heat wave.   But this year, we have been over the century mark for weeks, with little relief in sight.   The only saving grace are the nights, where temperatures drop into the low 50s.    This 60  degree swing is one of the reasons why Paso Robles wines are so different from other growing regions around the world.   ( and of course, we think so much better! )   We are just approaching version – where the grapes begin to change color – from green to red – and when sugar production begins.


                                    these are Syrah grapes just starting to go thru verasion  


In my last newsletter, I commented that the ’17 harvest was one the best we have seen in many years.    I can now safely say that the wines from this harvest will also be some of the best I have produced. I have recently started barrel tasting these wines, and they are turning out to be just what I hoped for – BIG fruit, great body and color.   One would think that after 15 years of making wine, the excitement would slow down – but this is definitely not the case…. I am really looking forward to bottling this vintage.   In the next few days, Jonathan and I will be tasting and grading every barrel in the winery ( it’s a tough job- but as they say, someone has to do it) and determining which barrels will go into the straight varietals and which will be used for the blends, as well as coming up with the % of each grape that will produce the blends. ( that is for all the blends EXCEPT for the SFR and Menage which will be determined by our wine club at the annual blending party which will soon be upon us.   (September 22nd)


Last season we picked the first of our Sangiovese and Tempranillo grapes and found that our resident birds and squirrels also love those two varieties, helping themselves to over half of the yield.   Live and learn;    it will never happen again, as early preventative measures will be taken.   And they have been.   We just finished netting and have electronic bird screeching devises set up – almost a month earlier than normal.   We are hoping, praying, and lighting incense every night that this will deter the pests and keep them away from the grapes.   

Here is a look at the three new varietals….. and this is after we dropped about half the fruit that was on each vine.   Looking good.   Now its up to the bird callers and the nets to do their job.   ( the incense is a good back up in case the other two fail) .