Heat & Wind

The beginning of May brought with it the first heat-wave of the year, with temperatures on the vineyard climbing above 90 degrees. The warmth and sunshine turbocharged the vines, with Sangiovese and Grenache both beginning to bloom.
Potentially disastrous, the heatwave was followed by a storm. High winds were forecasted in front of the weather system. Because we are situated on Point Conception west of the coastal range – unsheltered from the Pacific Ocean – May winds reduce crop yield just as often as the March and April frost threat. We experienced high winds during the 2015 bloom, and yields were reduced by over 33%.

Winter 2017 Rain
When I met with Ruben as the weather began to cool, he appeared oddly calm about the seemingly ominous situation. Ruben explained that the healthy rain fall we experienced this year allowed for an evenly full, robust canopy. The leaves would protect the tiny flowers from blowing off, causing shatter, or missing grapes within each cluster.
In an unexpected twist, the rainiest season in well over a decade has aided in a healthy harvest, but not because of moisture for the roots!


About Pete

Pete Stolpman has led Stolpman Vineyards since 2009 and has served as the President of Ballard Canyon Winegrowers Alliance since the AVA was approved in 2013. Prior to taking over the family operation, Pete worked in the wholesale side of the business at Henry Wine Group and the winemaking side in Barossa Valley and Chianti Classico. Today, Pete focuses on experimentation in both the vineyard and winery. Pete believes his new own-rooted, high-density Syrah and Mourvedre vineyards will once again redefine the quality threshold at Stolpman. Outside of the Stolpman label, Pete and Rajat Parr bottle estate grown Trousseau, Trousseau Pet’Nat, and Chenin Blanc under the Combe Label. Pete also partners with Ruben and Maria Solorzano to make fresh and lively wines called Para Maria.