September 15th, 2014
For those of you that watched our video last harvest about sorting fruit by hand, here is a quick explanation about what happens to that fruit once it is sorted. Pictured below is our grape destemmer. Although winemaker Paul likes a little green growth in with the fruit for added tannic acid we don’t want an entire tree falling in there. Once reaching the end of the vibrating sorting table our fruit falls into the cylinder below. Paddles spin inside of the machine so quickly that the fruit is forced through the holes leaving the foliage behind. A little green is still attached to the berries, and sometimes Paul will throw a bit more in as well. After being destemmed the fruit goes down yet another vibrating table. This table is designed to allow berries smaller than your desired size to drop out of the crop (raisins and unripened green berries). And now the very best is left for winemaking. The grapes will then fall into a big bin full of dried ice where we will begin controlling its fermentation.
August 28th, 2014
With the end of summer in tow we are experiencing delicate and warm breezes, crisp and clean air, and beautiful sunsets coming earlier each night. Come enjoy all of these comfort qualities of the harvest season on our patio from 5-8pm while sipping fine wine and munching on tacos catered by Los Robles Cafe. Musical ambiance will be provided live by Wind & Waves. Tickets are $10/person and $5/club member. Our most recent evening on the patio sold out early so be sure to RSVP by either calling the tasting room or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
August 11th, 2014
On August 30th from 5-7pm join winemaker Paul Ayers at a vertical tasting seminar as he opens our Fireside Claret (Cab Sauv, Cab Franc blend) vintages ’04-’11. Tickets are $40 and will include a bottle of our Fireside Claret in the vintage of your choice to take home. Light appetizers of gourmet cheese will be served. Please purchase your ticket at our website before August 25th. We will sell out. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the tasting room.
August 7th, 2014
Pictured is a great example of zinfandel experiencing veraison, transitioning from green to purple. Zinfandel is notorious for wanting to ripen unevenly, with one side ripening first and then the other following. This is why shoot thinning is so important for a zinfandel vine. Removing excess foliage allows sun to evenly touch the grape clusters allowing for more even ripening.
Veraison can last for several months depending on the local climate. During this time the grape is developing sugar, acid, tannic, and mineral structures making this phase in development crucial.
Climate and variety plays the deciding roles in ripening a grape and the date of harvest. In hot climates grapes may be harvested as soon as 30 days after veraision if they are a soft skinned berry. Much cooler climates can take as long as 70 days after veraison to fully develop, especially if the berry itself is thick skinned. Last year we harvested in October across the board due to a beautiful weather pattern of warm sunny days and cool nights lengthening the growing season.
August 4th, 2014
A big thank you to everyone who came to our Midsummer dinner on Saturday,. The weather, food, and company could not have been more perfect. Stay tuned for upcoming news and events. We hope you can make it next time.
July 10th, 2014
For those of you who joined us last weekend for our July 5th tri-tip bbq, you’ll remember it was a fabulous hit so we will be doing another event on August 2nd from 5-8pm in much the same fashion. On that note, we also sold out of tickets on the 5th, so for our mid-summer dinner be sure to RSVP ahead of time. We will be cooking up kabobs(vegetarian, chicken, or shrimp) and other sides for $10/plate, $5/club members. To enhance the ambiance, we will be joined by pianist Brett Mitchell. You can reserve your ticket by contacting the tasting room at (805)238-2544 or email@example.com
June 28th, 2014
As usual, this first summer month was a hot one. But, we still had a lot of fun. We would like to give a big thank you to everyone who came out to the tasting room and kicked off our summer vineyard series. Beginning again on July 11th we will be learning more about how a grape ripens and why that is important to wine. Contact the tasting room for details on the package. Also, Monday June 30th is the last day to place a wine order to be shipped.
June 16th, 2014
In honor of Independence in our country Hearthstone Estate is serving up a bbq of tri-tip and other goodies to go along side an award winning wine selection, fun music, and great weather from 12-3pm. Tickets are $20 and include a meal and a flight of 6 wines. Contact the tasting room if you have questions.
June 14th, 2014
Each Spring the growth cycle of our vines begin with bud break. In Paso Robles, this stage begins around March/April when tiny buds on the vine start to swell until shoots grow from the buds. This is when the first sign of green in the vineyard arrives. After bud break the process of flowering begins with little flower clusters appearing at the end of the small shoots looking like buttons. Soon after, the flowers begin to grow to an observable size. It is during this stage that the pollination and fertilization of the grapevine takes place with the resulting product being a grape berry. Fruit set follows flowering almost immediately when the fertilized flower develops a seed and then a berry to harbor that seed. In Paso Robles, this normally takes place in May/June. This stage is important as it decides the potential crop yield. Following fruit set, the berries are unripe, firm, and very bitter. They have little sugar and elevated acids. They begin to grow to about half of their final size when they enter this stage of veraison. This stage signals the beginning of the ripening process which will be discussed during the next phase of our vineyard tour series.
June 12th, 2014
Join winemaker Paul Ayers from 2-4pm on July 13th for a vertical tasting of our Fireside Claret. This seminar style wine tasting will feature vintages 2004-2011 and light appetizers will be served. To purchase your ticket visit our website and be sure to RSVP no later then Thursday, July 10th. Tickets are $40/person or $30/club member and will include a bottle of Fireside Claret to take home in the vintage of your choice.