Cart 0 items: $0.00
Ryan Beauregard
October 31, 2023 | Ryan Beauregard

2023 Harvest Notes

Today is October 31 2023 and I just finished loading the last truck of Pinot Noir from Coast Grade.

On November 2nd, we will pick the Cabernet Sauvignon from Beauregard Ranch marking the latest pick date in my 24 years of making wines from this vineyard.

So about the most challenging vintage of my life:

Winter here in Bonny Doon was intense.  There was heavy rainfall throughout the season which caused a series of issues.  For one, the vines sat dormant longer than any year that I can remember.  I always put an application of organic stylet oil on the vines to eradicate dormant powdery mildew spores, but the tractors could not navigate the deep mud that never dried out.  Pruning was also pushed out farther than I can ever remember also because of the rain.  Most interestingly we had a heavy snow that stayed on the ground for a week, aiding to a late bud break.  The last time I can remember a snow like this was 40 years ago.  My daughters persuaded me to stand on a boogie board and ride down the vineyard road which ended in a substantial shoulder injury, unfortunately I discovered that a man nearly 50 years old does not rebound as quickly as a younger man.  During the start of this season, I yelled at the sky.

Spring was a typically warm April but it moved into one of the coldest Mays that I can remember.  It rained many times pushing my sprays intervals out in the vineyards.  By the time I was able to get tractors into the vineyards to mow, disk, and spray it was 6 weeks later than the previous vintage.  The cover crop grew so tall that the mowers could barely cut the cover crop down and the tractors sank into the mud on more than one occasion.  Water oozed out of the ground for weeks.  I yelled at the sky.

Summer yielded only one heat spike which was on the 4th of July weekend and hit 100 degrees for one day.  The cold summer delayed fruit development.  In most years, we have a consistent warm season with occasional heat spikes which help the grapes mature, but not this year.  I yelled at the sky.

Fall was also a cold one.  In the middle of September, I was convinced that we would have no crop to harvest.  I was rather depressed that my perseverance throughout the growing season might go to waste.  I was terrified of the looming disaster which included the potential for financial devastation.  The final rain before harvest caused enough mildew so that I lost one third of the Bald Mountain Chardonnay crop just one week before picking.  I yelled at the sky.

There is  good news here The long hang time (or late harvest) sometimes has the potential to make unparalleled wines with superb quality.  Slower development will give the wines more character and nuances, and complexity.  I find that grapes that are physiologically riper and more developed with a generally lower percent of sugar (brix).  The highest quality wines in the world are made from grapes that can barely ripen before the winter.  Here in Bonny Doon, we see a lot of years like this but never to this degree.  I am calling this out to be the greatest vintage of a generation, mark my words.

So that is the story of the 2023 vintage for Beauregard Vineyards.  

After a turbulent farming year I am feeling the urge to connect with family, extended family, my chosen family, and my good friends.  Looking towards my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, I cannot wait to tell my favorite humans how much I appreciate them. I am also very thankful for you, my wine club member.

 This will be a season that I will never forget and I hope you enjoyed reading about it.  




Commenting has been turned off.

Beauregard Vineyards Newsletter

Sign up for our occasional email and get 10% of your first order. Be the first to receive limited offers and stay up to date on upcoming events.

Newsletter Signup Form

Opt into mailing list
Leave this field blank: