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Frey Vineyards

Eliza Frey
October 24, 2014 | Frey Winery Blog | Eliza Frey

Vineyard Report, Fall 2014

Harvesting organic cabernet wine grapes.
Harvesting Frey Organic & Biodynamic Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

Due to a warm spring and hot dry summer conditions, the 2014 harvest started 2 weeks ahead of average.  The first three weeks were very busy because all of the white varietals got ripe at the same time.  September and early October were hot, and all berries reached optimal sugar levels ahead of other years, so clusters were allowed to hang and reach physiological ripeness, with nutty seeds, non-bitter skins and gentle tannins.  We got some much-needed rain during harvest, but it wasn’t enough to alleviate drought conditions or damage fruit.  Across the board, the quality was exceptional and yields were near average.

Organic cabernet wine grapes at weigh station.
Vineyard Manager Derek Dahlen at the weigh station.

Frey Vineyards is now farming a new ranch here in Redwood Valley!  The Walt Ranch is planted with Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Cabernet and Petite Sirah grapes and was managed organically by veteran grape grower Tony Milani for the past 25 years.  Tony passed away in March and we look forward to carrying on his tradition of organic grape farming on this beautiful land.

Rescueing piliated woodpecker.
Adam Frey rescues a Pileated Woodpecker.

This year we had visits from several wildlife friends: deer, fox, turkeys and woodpeckers, who live in the adjacent forests and venture out night and day to feast on grapes.  We have a mama bear and 2 cubs visiting our apple and fig trees, nightly.  Adam Frey rescued a wounded Pileated woodpecker at Road D Ranch and nursed it back to health. Although they eat valuable fruit, we are happy to be surrounded by forests that provide habitat for healthy populations of wild animals, no matter their occasional nibbling!

Moving into November, cover crop seeding, Biodynamic horn manure spraying and compost spreading are nearly completed for the season.  We are getting some nice rains this week to enliven the soil for the horn manure and ensure good germination of the cover crops.  The grape leaves are turning to fall colors and the vines are headed for dormancy for the winter.  The vineyards and their keepers are looking forward to a lull until pruning begins after the winter solstice.  In the meantime, we are praying for more rain. Please join us in that endeavor!

We look forward to sharing an excellent 2014 vintage with you soon. Cheers!

Picking organic grapes.
Harvest 2014 is over!


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