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Gregg Fishman
 
September 5, 2021 | Gregg Fishman

Circle of Life

When my kids were younger, we must have watched the Disney movie “The Lion King” at least 100 times. The classic tale has since been remade as a Broadway musical. The signature song is “The Circle of Life.” Now, the Amador County foothills don’t have a lot in common with the African savannah, but the “Circle of Life” plays out in the vineyards and wineries of Amador just as surely as it does on the Serengeti.      

That’s one of the (many) appealing things about wine. Each year, each varietal, each vineyard is different, but just as certainly as the sun rises and sets, the “circle of life” is present among the vines. While there is comfort in the regularity of the seasons, now, during the harvest and crush there is also the usual angst of trying to get 20 things done at the same time. 

Deciding when to pick is an individual decision for each vineyard based on the sugar content of the grapes, mainly, but several other factors also come into play. And the truth is, winemakers and growers also have to deal with the purely practical variables like, are the picking crews available when you need them? Is there capacity to process the grapes and manage the juice after crush? 

As the harvest ramps up and the “crush” becomes a literal term, Amador County is at its most vibrant. The grape clusters hang heavy on the vines. The leaves are showing a touch of fall color and the picking crews are out early to beat the afternoon heat. Trucks rumble along the narrow roads bringing tons of fruit to crushers.

And the wineries are alive with activity. Grapes arriving daily, the forklift scurries around moving grapes, juice, and equipment. The crusher runs almost continuously and pumps and hoses direct the juice to fermentation vats. Of course, everything must be cleaned thoroughly, too. 

To be very clear, I am not personally involved in the crush, or the intense period of activity. I am comfortable in my niche, pouring Scott Harvey wine at the Old Sugar Mill. But, I have some empathy for Scott, Jana, Mollie, Dom, and the others who are directly involved in the crush. I know they enjoy it, but I also know they are happy when each harvest is done.

There are downtimes, too, in the winery’s circle of life. The middle of winter, when the vines are dormant and most of the winemaking has been done, offers a chance to slow down, relax, sip a bit of a previous year’s work and enjoy the circle of life from a different perspective.

So the next time you open a bottle of Scott Harvey wine, think about the year it was made—the vintage. Think about what you were doing in the fall of that year, as the grapes were being picked, crushed, and processed into the bottle you are about to open. Place the bottle into its own arc in the circle of your life, and enjoy.

Time Posted: Sep 5, 2021 at 4:45 PM Permalink to Circle of Life Permalink
Gregg Fishman
 
June 25, 2021 | Gregg Fishman

Forged in the Fire

Like all agriculture, growing wine grapes is subject to the whims of Mother Nature. Most growers and winemakers are used to it—as much as you can get used to something that threatens your livelihood. Wet years might provide a larger yield; more tons per acre, but the wine can literally be watered down from too much rain. Dry years, conversely, often produce the deep color and intense flavors that make for a notable vintage…but, the yield is smaller. 

Most winemakers, whether they own vineyards or not, follow the weather and other variables pretty closely. They want to know what’s happening in the vineyard long before the grapes get to the crush pad. At Scott Harvey Wines, Scott, Jana, and newly promoted Winemaker, Molly Haycock all spend a lot of time in the vineyards talking to the growers, sampling grapes and planning for the harvest. 

The weather at harvest time matters, too. If it’s too cold, the grapes may not develop the sugar content or other desirable components. Too hot and the grapes can get a little raisiny. Rain at the wrong time can cause fungus and other problems. These are the “usual” risk factors that make the wine business both fascinating and a little crazy-making at times. The weather, the temperature, the yield, are the typical risks involved in growing grapes and making wine.

Recently, another risk factor has been a cause for worry in the wine industry. Wildfires have always occurred in California, but lately, we have seen larger, more devastating fires that have destroyed lives, homes, and property. Recent fires in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino wine country also destroyed vineyards and wineries. The smoke was so heavy that many vineyards not directly threatened by the flames suffered “smoke taint” and the grapes were ruined. 

To really understand smoke taint I think you need a degree in chemistry, but simply put, heavy or prolonged smoke in the vineyard at the wrong time can permeate the grape skins. You can’t wash it off and it isn’t always apparent. Grapes that taste fine in the field and test OK in the lab might still produce an off-flavor during fermentation that ruins the wine. 

Amador County suffered through some smoky days last summer and fall, but Scott Harvey Wines has been fortunate so far. Our wine, like most of the wine produced in Amador County, has not suffered from smoke taint. The 2020 Amador vintages should be just fine.

So now, as they do every year, growers and winemakers are keeping an eye on the weather. 2021 is already noted for being a dry year. Hopefully, the vines will produce the rich, intense fruit that makes for a notable vintage. And hopefully, the yield, though it may be somewhat smaller, will still be good. And also, hopefully, despite the lack of rain and snow, the 2021 fire year will not be as intense as it has been in recent years.

There are already too many other things to worry about.

 

Gregg Fishman
 
May 17, 2021 | Gregg Fishman

Art of Winemaking and Science

Winemaking embodies both art and science. The winemaker has to decide when to harvest based on the right sugar content, acidity, and tannin. And there are dozens more scientific variables to consider throughout the growing and winemaking process. The artistry is in knowing how these different components will interact with each other in the field, the vat, the barrel, the bottle, and eventually in the glass. In the long run, what really matters is does it taste good? Do you enjoy drinking it?

The history of wine is closely tied to the history of human society. The first “wine” was probably discovered by accident when some early humans ate wild grapes that had fermented on the vine. How long did it take before someone figured out how to improve on that natural process?  

Today, viticulture and enology, the sciences of growing grapes and making wine, are taught at prestigious universities. Wine can be chemically analyzed at every stage of the process and adjusted with additives. Some wineries manipulate some of their products to provide a consistent flavor profile vintage to vintage, regardless of the natural differences that occur in the growing and winemaking cycle. And some winemakers prefer to keep things simple.

And that’s what I love about Scott Harvey Wines. Scott has access to some of the best wine grapes grown in Northern California and he generally lets the fruit speak for itself. Harvest the grapes at the right moment, crush them, ferment the juice, let it age, usually in oak barrels, but maybe stainless steel, and then bottle it. Scott doesn’t usually stray very far from that basic process. Scott’s 45-plus years of experience gives him deep insight into how annual differences in rainfall, temperature, length of the growing season and more will affect the year’s vintage.

That depth of experience also comes into play in the blending process. Many of Scott’s wines are 100 percent single varietal, and some, like the Toy Barbera, for example, are single-vineyard varietals—all Barbera from one very special vineyard. But he does blend some of our wines to provide a different flavor profile and to enhance the year-to-year differences in some varietals.

For example, take a taste of the 2018 Griffin Society Zinfandel sometime. (You have to be a wine club member to buy it.) The 2018 Zinfandel is a great wine on its own. Scott wanted to make a special wine for the Griffin Society so he blended in 24 percent of the 2018 Syrah, also a very nice stand-alone varietal. The resulting wine takes on a whole new personality with a beautiful, rich red color, a fruit-forward aroma, and a hint of cedar on the finish. It is a remarkable wine.

 

That’s the artistry of Scott Harvey’s winemaking. Sure, there’s science involved, too but it’s really his experience, knowledge, and palate that define Scott Harvey Wines. So, as always, we invite you to enjoy our wines with your eyes, your nose, and your palate. Share it with friends and family. Pair it with different food and enjoy it again and again in different settings. Scott Harvey wine is art in a bottle—with a little science to back it up.

Time Posted: May 17, 2021 at 9:45 AM Permalink to Art of Winemaking and Science Permalink
Gregg Fishman
 
March 30, 2021 | Gregg Fishman

Spring has sprung at the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg, CA

Springtime in Amador County and the Shenandoah Valley means grape buds are beginning to break on the vines, wildflowers are blooming. The warmer weather makes it an idyllic setting to sit outside with a glass of wine and enjoy the annual renewal of life. The same things are true in Clarksburg at the Old Sugar Mill where Scott Harvey Wines has a third tasting site open on Saturdays and Sundays. 

 

The Old Sugar Mill was built in 1934 to process sugar beets. It closed in 1993 and sat vacant for about a decade. The beautiful, cavernous brick buildings have now been repurposed for wine production and tasting. It sits just off the levee road along the Sacramento River among Yolo County vineyards that replaced the sugar beets many years ago. The Old Sugar Mill is home to more than a dozen wineries and lots of open space. 

 

Yolo County recently moved into the "Orange Tier" and after so many people have been sheltered in place for so long, an open, inviting space to enjoy the spring renewal is especially welcome. There are usually some food trucks available on the weekends and visitors can purchase a variety of food items to go with the wine. There are tables and chairs, bench seating and an ample lawn area that allows for casual dining and sipping with plenty of social distance.

 

The Scott Harvey tasting site is in "The Boiler Room" a huge open building that is also used for weddings and other events. The tasting room staff sets up tasting tables outside as well and patrons can enjoy the spring weather as they sip Scott Harvey's spectacular wines. The site is also open for wine club members to pick up their allocations. 

 

The Old Sugar Mill is just 15 minutes from downtown Sacramento and offers easy access to Scott Harvey Wines. The tasting room staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and always happy to see Scott Harvey fans or people new to wine altogether. The setting also makes it an attractive stop for bicyclists, boaters, and day-trippers from almost anywhere in Northern California. 

 

 

The swallows have just returned to The Mill, as they do every spring to nest, giving bird watchers another reason to visit. It's fascinating to watch them flying to and from the river as they build their mud-nests in the exterior nooks and crannies of the brick buildings

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Of course, Scott Harvey fans are always welcome at our Amador County winery and tasting room in the Shenandoah Valley and our second site in Sutter Creek. However, we also invite you to check out the Scott Harvey tasting room and the Old Sugar Mill. The same great wine and attention to detail in another idyllic setting.

Scott Harvey tasting rooms:

 

Old Sugar Mill, 

35265 Willow Avenue, Clarksburg CA 

11-4 Saturday and Sunday only

 

Shenandoah Valley, 

10861 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth CA, 

11-4 every day reservations required 

 

Sutter Creek,

79 Main Street, Sutter Creek CA

11-4 Tuesday-Sunday reservations required

Scott Harvey
 
January 15, 2020 | Scott Harvey

History of Zinfandel and Amador County

You may or may not know how significant the Zinfandel varietal is in Amador County, but with this month being Zinfandel month for Scott Harvey Wines, Scott took some time to elaborate on the various plantings and noteworthy events of this grape in our region. Enjoy Scott’s account of the history of how Zinfandel came to be celebrated in this part of California, and how he became involved in working with the grape.

First Major Zinfandel Plantings

Zinfandel first came to Amador County during the California Gold Rush. Gold was found in the Sierra Foothills in 1848, and soon the California Gold Rush of 1849 was attracting large numbers of people from all around the world to the Sierra Nevada and what would later become Amador County. These gold miners brought a thirst with them, and soon some of them began to plant vineyards on their mining claims. Incredibly, our Vineyard 1869 Zinfandel is a vineyard that still produces wine from this period. 

The vineyard was planted on the Upton gold mining claim and was developed by Mahala Upton, a widow with six children. Not only is this vineyard still making wonderful wine, but many of her descendants are still farming in the Shenandoah Valley of Amador County today.

Second Major Zinfandel Plantings

From 1920 until the end of 1933, Prohibition took its toll on Amador County’s commercial winery production with only one winery surviving. The rest of the grape growers, including my grandfather, moved to selling grapes to the home winemaking market. They sold grapes to what we called “Jobbers”. These were people that bought grapes in wooden grape boxes and sent them east on railroad cars to the markets in Chicago and New York. In fact, some of the great wine family names you know of today started out this way. The Gallo brothers, Ernest and Julio Gallo, were both born in Amador County. Robert 

Mondavi, originally from an Italian mining community from the iron ranges of Minnesota, was sent to California to secure grapes during Prohibition.

Grape acreage in Amador County increased during Prohibition because the terroir in this county produces grapes at higher sugar levels while maintaining great acidity. Since home winemakers don’t use SO2 (sulfur dioxide), the naturally higher alcohol levels from the Amador Zinfandel would make the wine last longer, or as the home winemakers put it, “the wine was less likely to go sour.” 

Third and Current Zinfandel Plantings

During and after Prohibition, Zinfandel growers of Amador county continued to sell their grapes to home winemakers. However, things were soon to change because of a Sacramento college teacher by the name of Charles Myers. 

As an accomplished home winemaker in the early 1960s, Charles was lamenting to one of his classes about the high cost of grapes in Napa Valley.  A student-directed him to her cousins in Shenandoah Valley who grew Prohibition-era Zinfandel vineyards, and the rest is history. The high quality of Charles’ Amador county Deaver Vineyard Zinfandels got people like Sacramento wine merchant, Darrel Corti, and Napa Valley’s Trinchero family to invest in Amador County Zinfandel and promote it. From there, Corti convinced a man named Cary Gott to build a substantial winery in 1973. In 1974, I went to work for Cary Gott at Montevina Winery as an apprentice. Ever since I have been making and promoting Zinfandel from Amador County, going on 46 years now. 

Cheers to Zinfandel month and this incredible grape we’re proud to produce for you each year. If you’re local, stop in and try our classic Amador County wines - we’re open daily from 11am-5pm!

- Scott Harvey, Winemaker

Time Posted: Jan 15, 2020 at 9:32 AM Permalink to History of Zinfandel and Amador County Permalink
Scott Harvey
 
October 10, 2019 | Scott Harvey

The Effects of the PG&E Power Outage

For the last two days while in the apex of harvest PG&E elected to cut power to the whole Shenandoah Valley and Fiddletown wine appellations of Amador County. They also cut power to Napa Valley and Sonoma as well. We produce wine at three different wineries that are located in Amador County, Napa Valley, and Clarksburg. They say it is due to high wind danger. I’m not sure about the rest of the wine-growing regions in northern California, but in Amador County, there has been no wind event to speak of. I would think that PG&E would have the ability to turn on and off different areas depending on the danger in each.

This will cost our winery in revenue and potential wine quality and will probably cost the Northern California wine industry millions of dollars.

  • We have two tasting rooms in Amador County and are part of a co-operative tasting room in Napa.  Since the POS (point of sale) system or cash registers are run through the internet and on electricity we are forced to close the tasting rooms depriving us of badly needed revenue to stay alive. 70% of our total sales are direct to consumer and the tasting rooms are a big part of it. Even if we did open the tasting rooms and took down the sales information on paper to enter later, there are no people out tasting because they have heard everyone else is closed. 50% of a winery’s sales revenue is generated in the fourth quarter of the year. Our tasting rooms are open daily during October, November, and December to take advantage of the needed sales revenues. I find my anger mounting when I look outside on a perfectly claim sunny day and can not open my tasting room due to PG&E shutting off the power.
     
  • At the apex of harvest, there is a lot of wines in fermenters. The conversion of grape sugar via yeast to carbon dioxide and alcohol is a reaction that creates heat. We have large cooling jackets on out tanks that dissipate the heat and keep the fermentation cool.  When a fermentation gets too hot, bitter-tasting components (phenolics) start to come out of the skins and seeds. This lowers the overall quality of the wines. The cooling system is run on electricity. Luckily, for us, all of the fermentations we have in tanks right now are past the peak period where they are producing high amounts of heat. By leaving the winery doors open the cool night air is enough for us to limp along.
     
  • Delay of harvest.  We want to pick grapes at their optimum ripeness. Not under ripe and not overripe. Two days ago, we were scheduled to pick Vineyard 1869. One most prized 150-year-old Zinfandel vineyard.  Now we have rescheduled for tomorrow depending on PG&E turning the power back on.  Hopefully, it will not be delayed too much longer.

There needs to be some better answers to this problem than just shutting off the power to all of northern California’s wine regions. Otherwise, I can see the lawsuits flying at PG&E at a time they can hardly afford any more lawsuits. The other answer is to put in a permanent high-powered generator for such occasions. Probably at a cost of $20,000 or more. 

Scott Harvey
CEO and Winemaker

Time Posted: Oct 10, 2019 at 4:21 PM Permalink to The Effects of the PG&E Power Outage Permalink
Scott & Jana Harvey
 
June 25, 2019 | Scott & Jana Harvey

3 Ways to Enjoy Scott Harvey Wines Outdoors this Summer

One of the great things about wine is its versatility. There are countless varietals to choose from, all easily enjoyable in a range of settings. And since we thoroughly enjoy the outdoors here at Scott Harvey Wines, particularly during the summer months, we’re sharing our favorite ways to sip on your favorite wines all season long. So whether you’re more of a “beach bum”, prefer a day on the river or a weekend in the mountains, our wide variety of wines are the perfect complement to any day trip or vacation you plan this summer. Want to see why? Read on!

1. The Beach
Our Amador County winery might not be particularly close to the shore, but it’s one of our favorite places to visit! Amador County can be sweltering during the summer months, and there’s nothing like a beautiful day at the beach to get a breath of fresh ocean air.

While lighter whites and Rosés like our 2018 Jana Sauvignon Blanc or Tickle Me Pink are perfect for hot beach days, sometimes it gets a little breezy and chilly (at least at our Northern California beaches!).

Because of that, we love to bring along our 2016 J&S Reserve Syrah. Aromas of raspberry, pepper, and cherry and bright, spicy flavors make this a feel-good wine to walk along the beach with loved ones.

 

2. The River
Scott-Harvey-Wines-beach-syrah
Moving more inland but still savoring the water, a favorite pastime of ours is going to the river to relax, enjoy a meal, and cool of by canoeing or floating down. The comradery of spending time with friends and family is one of the most heartwarming parts of summer, and you can’t beat our Barberas to continue the fun in the sun!

Our 2018 Rosé of Barbera is dry in style and packed with a well-rounded mouthfeel, while our 2016 J&S Reserve Barbera is a fruit-forward wine that boasts rich, full flavors that express both the varietal and the Amador County terroir. Both wines have the potential to pair beautifully with any picnic you pack. Or, simply sip on them while you soak up the sun!


3. The Mountains

Our final favorite location to enjoy Scott’s wines is in a mountain setting, and we love our 2016 Vineyard 1869 Zinfandel anytime we head to the hills. With flavors of blackberry, fig, and violets and hints of coffee with bright currants on the nose, the old vine complexity of this wine is unmistakable and absolutely delicious.

Whether you’re sipping it in the still of the afternoon amongst the trees, on a boat on the lake, or in a group around the dinner table or a campfire, we love how this wine has the power to bring people together in even the most remote settings.
 

Scott-Harvey-Wines-Gold-Lake-GroupWe love this idea so much, in fact, that for the second year in a row we’re thrilled to host our Wine Club Weekend Glamping Trip! If you’re a wine club member, join us as we escape the city lights and leave the noise at home. Let the beautiful scenery of the Sierra Buttes be the backdrop of a beautiful weekend with friends.

From Friday, August 23rd at 2pm through Sunday, August 25th, “glamp” in style with incredible wine and food pairings at the Lakes Basin Recreation Area at the Gold Lake Beach Resort. Pack your suitcase and hiking shoes and leave the rest to us! Enjoy group hikes during the day and wine and food pairings at night prepared by our Estate Chef, Brian Overhauser.

For more information, click here, contact events@scottharveywines.com, or call us at (209) 267-0122 and ask for Melissa. 

Whether you prefer the beach, are more of a casual river dweller or enjoy the serenity of the mountains, our wines are ready to go whenever and wherever you are. Happy summer, Scott Harvey fans!

Time Posted: Jun 25, 2019 at 11:23 AM Permalink to 3 Ways to Enjoy Scott Harvey Wines Outdoors this Summer Permalink
Scott & Jana Harvey
 
May 23, 2019 | Scott & Jana Harvey

Top 5 Things to Do in Amador County from a Local

Are you in need of a vacation? Or, a “staycation” for those that are local? For some people, Amador County would be considered “off the beaten path”. While many don’t know the extensive and fascinating history behind the county, for us, it’s home. In the time we’ve had the privilege of living in Amador we’ve stumbled across many things we love to enjoy as a couple, or with friends and family when they visit. With that, we’ve put together our top five favorite Amador County hidden gems we hope you can someday enjoy.

1. The Amador City Loop

We begin our day in the city of Amador where we love starting our day at Andrae's Bakery for coffee and a sweet or savory breakfast snack. Once we have our coffee fix, we venture up the main road along the creek for a pleasant walk along the brook. After our stroll, we return downtown via Stringbean Alley which is a comfortable, flat concrete walking path. On your way back into the main part of town, you pass the Sutter Creek Gold Mine which is a fascinating piece of history.

 





2. Volcano

You read that right - Volcano! But, it’s not an active one, or even a volcano for that matter. Volcano is actually a town in Amador County. Settled in 1849, the town is named for its setting in a bowl-shaped valley which early miners thought was caused by a volcano. The early morning fog rising from the valley floor only reinforced that belief. If you take a stroll around town, you’ll feel as though you’ve transported into a different era. If you visit the old grocery store, you’ll find items that you haven’t seen in years, if ever. There’s also a charming community theater that was established in 1854 and is continued through the efforts of the Volcano Theater Company. Watching a play at the 50-seat Cobblestone theater is an absolute treat. Finally, you can curb your appetite with a savory lunch or dinner at the Union Inn + Pub.

3. Black Chasm Cavern

This is a place we always love to take new visitors. While Black Chasm Cavern was likely known by the local Miwok people who inhabited this area long before the Gold Rush, the first documented exploration of these caverns occurred in 1854 when a group of explorers braved the unknown to discover the phenomenal beauty that exists below the surface. Simple tours were held at the Black Chasm in those early days, barely penetrating the cavern system that we know today. The tours we venture on nowadays are always interesting and entertaining, and usually given by a member of the family that owns it. We find it fun to use your imagination with the shapes of the stalagmites and stalactites, while in the main part of the cavern opens up for a splendid experience overall.

4. Hikes at Carson Pass

Carson Pass is a mountain pass on the crest of the central Sierra Nevada in the El Dorado National Forest. The historic pass was a point on the Carson Trail during the Gold Rush and was used for American Civil War shipping to California until the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad. In addition to the extensive history, the hikes at Carson Pass boast some of the most gorgeous wildflowers we’ve seen in California. These trails are best around mid-summer after the snow melts, and this year should be even more beautiful with all of the rain we had over the winter! Carson Pass is a great place to partake in a variety of activities, from day hikes and backpacking to practicing your photography skills.

5. Lake Tabeaud

We don’t see a lot of water in Amador County except for the many creeks, which is why it’s such a pleasure to walk around Lake Tabeaud. This lake is a great place for walkers, joggers, canoers, kayakers, and those who like to fish. This setting is also an ideal quiet place for picnicking and bird-watching. You can enjoy a walk or fishing on the banks in this peaceful setting with shade from the surrounding oaks. While there are no motor boats, swimming, or overnight camping allowed, these trails are open year-round. We love to take a walk around this lake in an easy-to-moderate 2.5-mile loop.

While it’s easy to search “top places to visit” online for any given place, we hope this local’s perspective of Amador County will take you a bit further out of your comfort zone and into our world here at Scott Harvey Wines.

If you choose to visit or partake in any of these activities, we hope you also find some time to stop by one of our two tasting room locations in either Plymouth or Sutter Creek to round off your Amador County experience!

- Scott & Jana

Time Posted: May 23, 2019 at 7:22 AM Permalink to Top 5 Things to Do in Amador County from a Local Permalink
Scott Harvey
 
April 22, 2019 | Scott Harvey

One Earth, Three Scott Harvey Vineyards

In honor of Earth Day, we’re deep-diving into the vineyards of three Scott Harvey Wines fan-favorites!
 

We couldn’t resist the opportunity to embrace Earth Day and do a deep-dive into our spectacular vineyards. They are, after all, what gives our grapes the characteristics that shine in our wines - each wonderfully unique in their own right.

While Scott Harvey Wines is based in Amador County, we source some of our grapes from a few other highly sought after vineyards around Northern California. Because we’re in the midst of spring, it’s the perfect opportunity to hone in on some of this season’s favorites. Let’s start off close to home with our Rosé vineyards.

Hailing from our very own Amador County where Scott has been making wine for over 45 years, our Rosé of Barbera is long-time Scott and Jana Harvey fan-favorite.

Shenandoah Valley is an American viticultural area (AVA) in the heart of California's once-thriving gold-mining country. Although Zinfandel reigns supreme here (check out our red wines!), the region also produces high-quality Italian favorites like Sangiovese and Barbera.

This Barbera vineyard used for our Rosé of Barbera sits on a hilltop overlooking the entire Shenandoah Valley. These flavorful Barbera grapes are harvested early to produce this light, crisp, and dry Rosé. It is produced in the “Halbtrocken Kabinett” 

style, which is the lightest style of Riesling done half-dry (or slightly sweet). Scott loved producing this style of wine while he went to winemaking school and worked in Germany many years ago.

In Amador, hot, sunny days turn to cool evenings bringing breezes that blow down from the Sierra Nevada. This drop in temperature allows the grapes time to close down their ripening processes overnight, retaining the acidity required to create balanced wines. The refreshing breezes are also essential for ventilating the vineyards and keeping fungal diseases at bay.

The most noteworthy soils in Amador are of iron-rich decomposed granite. They’re often laced with sandy clay loam, enabling them to retain water and stay hydrated despite the county’s limited rainfall. These are ideal conditions for cultivating high-quality grapes as the vines are forced to grow deep, strong root systems.
 

Moving farther out west toward well-known Napa Valley, we then take a right and head north toward Lake County. Lake County is home to our Sauvignon Blanc vineyards, and one of the most interesting aspects of this county is that ancient volcanoes have provided much of its terroir. Ridges and hills throughout the county have been formed by ancient lava flows, and vineyards are planted on hillsides with a variety of different slopes to take advantage of the prevailing weather patterns.

We source the grapes for our Sauvignon Blanc from the Olden vineyard, which is located on the northern shore of Clear Lake. The vineyards are located against a large pear orchard and these sandy, alluvial soils drain well to produce our wonderfully flavorful Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is made to be fresh and crisp to preserve the wines ability to tell the story of the vineyard it comes from, and the varietal character.

Gravel, sand, and even pockets of heat-retaining obsidian can be found in the areas near Clear Lake, while the lack of water in the ground leads to small berries with great concentration of flavor.

Lake County lies in the rain shadow of the Mayacama mountains, and the region is generally warm and dry. The Olden vineyard experiences afternoon breezes which help to cool the grapes and extend the growing season. These warm days are followed by colder nights, ensuring berries have a slower ripening period during which they can develop varietal character without sacrificing acidity.

 

Our final stop is northwest of Lake County at the northern limit of California's quality wine-growing regions.

Scott’s favorite white wine to make is our Old Vine Riesling, and Mendocino County was the perfect place to venture to for these grapes. Nelson Ranch, where these grapes are sourced from, is the perfect vineyard for our Riesling because of the area’s cooler climate. This climate allows the grapes to ripen slowly to preserve that beautiful, well-rounded varietal character.

The Mendocino region is divided into two distinct climatic zones by the Mendocino Range, one of several mountain ranges which make up the Pacific Coast Ranges. Unusually for California, some vineyards lean toward the inland areas rather than the coast. Inland, it is significantly warmer and drier and vines are sheltered from the cooling effects of the Pacific Ocean.

We consider each of our wines to be a reflection of the complex terroir and growing conditions of the AVAs they come from. It’s always incredible to see how these factors affect the characteristics of wines, and how these can change so drastically from year to year. While Mother Nature can certainly be unpredictable at times, we’re especially thankful for these vineyards and everything they endure to provide us our grapes each year. We hope you have the opportunity to step outside and enjoy this beautiful planet today - Happy Earth Day!

Time Posted: Apr 22, 2019 at 11:50 AM Permalink to One Earth, Three Scott Harvey Vineyards Permalink
Jana Harvey
 
February 11, 2019 | Jana Harvey

4 Reasons We Love Our Wine Club Members

Our Wine Club Members have stolen our hearts… here’s why!
 

1. All You Need is Wine and Food

 

We’re foodies over here at Scott Harvey Winery, and lucky for us, many of our Wine Club Members share that sentiment! One thing we love about wine is its delectable ability to pair with food. Winemaker Scott Harvey and Estate Chef Brian Overhauser love working together to unlock fantastic food and wine combinations for all to enjoy. Whether they are bites at our monthly 3&3 Wine and Food Pairing events or hearty dishes you can cook at home, like braised wagyu beef short rib or sous vide Alaskan halibut, we love bringing people together at the table. We love that our Club Members appreciate a great pairing when they see one, so we make sure they’re always stocked up with winemaker notes and perfectly paired recipes!

2. New and Old Favorites



Speaking of great wine and food pairings, we understand wine can be very subjective and that no two palates are alike. Some of our members prefer red wines – especially our big, bold Zins, Syrahs, and Barberas. Others may prefer white wine or Jana’s bubbles, or they’re fans of all of the above and everything in between! With that in mind, we always want to ensure there’s something for everyone. We love sharing a variety of wines with you each year through the customized club options, and that you get as excited for new and old favorites as we do!

3. Two Tasting Rooms, Twice the Fun



Two tasting rooms means double the fun when our Wine Club Members come to visit! We love being able to catch up and share stories with familiar faces while pouring a new release. When our members pop in for their complimentary member tasting or Wine Club pick-up at our Downtown historic Sutter Creek tasting room or our winery in Plymouth, it’s like welcoming old friends in the door. Whether their visit is a quick trip or they stay for an afternoon and bring a picnic, we see it as a great opportunity to get to know each member and bond over our favorite Scott Harvey wines!

4. Feels Like Family



Last but far from least, we’re fortunate to host a wide variety of exclusive events and parties throughout the year that bring folks together from all walks of life. Whether it’s a Club Member who comes every year or a guest of a member who is tasting Scott Harvey wines for the first time, every time we come together it feels like a family affair!

We know there are endless Wine Clubs to join out there in the wine world, but we’re extremely grateful to our Club Members for choosing us to support and believe in. To our Wine Club Members who continue to value our mission and enjoy the fruit of our labor year after year - we love you!

If you’re interested in learning more about our Wine Club benefits and joining the Scott Harvey community, click here!

 

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