It’s harvest time just about everywhere here in Sonoma County wine country. Everyday here at the Raford Inn we share with our guests the beautiful hues that the new fall light provides our sweeping vineyard views. Leading up to the harvest Dane was busy this summer showing off our organic vineyard by offering our guests an informative and informal vineyard tour. Here is a sample of some of those highlights:
Here is a beautiful cluster of Zinfandel grapes about eight weeks from harvest. Most of our vineyard at here at Raford are Zinfandel vines– 250 vines to be exact. We also grow three other varieties: 100 Primativo (which is the genetic parent grape to the Zinfandel), 30 Pinot noir, 20 Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5 Gewurztraminer. Only 125 of our vines are fruit-bearing and the others are too young yet. However, our vineyard still yields about a barrel of wine a year.
Even though only third of our vineyard is mature enough to produce fruit, we have a few of our “old boys” that produce enough to make up for them. This vine here is over 25 years old and is still producing amazing fruit. With all the love and care Dane puts into his vines, it’s no wonder.
Because our vineyard is organic, it’s very easy for Dane and the guests to sample how the gapes are ripening up!
After the grapes are harvested, the Raford team has the pleasure of helping in the wine-making process. First the grapes have to be stemmed and crushed. Here is innkeeper Kristen, making a little hard work look easy.
Here is a fabulous example of Dane and Rita working as the great team they are to get the pressing done. Again, making a little hard work look fun and easy!
After the fun of pressing, innkeeper Tawny ensures the quality as the pressed wine goes into it’s first vessel for the aging process before it goes into the barrel. All of us at the Raford Inn have so much fun producing our wine–and sometimes the guests participate in the experience as well. Although we weren’t able to get pictures, several of our guests helped us in each step of our wine making process, getting a little more from their stay here at the Raford Inn.
After all is said and done, Dane is the ultimate judge of the taste and quality of our wine. Of course, quality and taste can only be tested in the most beautiful of settings.
After many days of testing and waiting, the reward is to gather around and share in the fruits of our labor with a few good friends! Please join us at the Raford Inn this fall and have a wine adventure all your own! Cheers!