The Hop Barn Hill Syrah Vineyard was planted in 1996 on a clay loam slope near the old hop barn neighboring our winemaking area and tasting room. These heavy clay soils are perfect to reduce the vigor common to Syrah vines, forcing the plants to focus their efforts into the fruit versus their canopy or root systems. The grapevines are planted in four separate blocks; one meter by two meters apart, on less than an acre of land which yields no more than 3 barrels each vintage.
The 2018 season was much calmer than 2017, due to the absence of extra rain and heat spikes we experienced in 2017. The moderate temperatures in the spring and summer allowed for a longer growing season and full flavor development. There was plenty of water in the soil to carry the clusters through the long growing season with minimal dehydration. Our first day of harvest in 2018 was September 10th, compared with an August 26th start in 2017. It was nice that the production crew could enjoy the Labor Day holiday right before the long hours and hard work of harvest began.