Winemaker Notes


justin-michaud  thumb-1Well, September came and went just as fast as always and another harvest is now on its way. I just got started at the beginning of September with Coyote Canyon and wanted to get a better understanding of the Vineyard as I prepared to make the wines. The vineyard was looking very good and crop loads were at the level that I thought they should be so I spent the first few weeks on a four wheeler collecting samples and tasting berries. On September 13th we picked our first grapes, it was a few tons of Grenache from a block at the top of the vineyard. With this being my first vintage at the facility it was nice to have JP, (a winemakers loft cellar rat), around to help me figure out where everything was my first few days, now I already feel like a veteran of the facility.

Justin pulling sample from Viognier
Justin pulling sample from Viognier
Harvesting Albarino grapes

I inoculated the Grenache the day after we received it and prepared to get our first white grapes of the season. We picked our Viognier on September 17th and pressed them off to cold settle for a few days before inoculating. We got the Viognier from 3 separate blocks and I think the blend this year is going to make a very nice wine. One of the blocks has more acidity and tart flavors, one brings floral notes and the youngest block seems to add some interesting tropical notes to the wine as well. We also picked some Syrah and Primitivo that week and the cellar started to fill up.

Photo by Tim Adams
Martha Andrews, Dorothy Adams and winemaker Justin Michaud

The week of September 24th we were busy pressing off the Grenache, receiving our Albarino (which looked and tasted amazing), checking the fermentation of the Viognier, punching down the Syrah and Primitivo, getting ready to pick our Mourvedre and a nonstop barrage of making sure everything was getting done. That’s part of what makes harvest so much fun it is fast paced and you have to make sure you are well prepared to get everything taken care of in a timely fashion.

I am very pleased with the way things are starting out and think the 2013 vintage is going to make some spectacular wines. There is still a long way to go before harvest is over and certainly a lot to look forward to. The Cabernet is ripening nicely in the vineyard and hopefully the weather will cooperate and allow us to hang it out there a few more weeks to develop more flavors.

Justin Michaud

Coyote Canyon Winemaker