This was the first commercial harvest. At 3 years on the vines, we were a year ahead of schedule. However, with the care that Steve put into the vineyard, we felt that we could produce something that would kick off 4hearts in the right style.
Despite a difficult growing year, we were able to harvest about 5.5 tons of zinfandel, 1.3 tons of cabernet, and 1.5 tons of petite sirah.
What a relief, and what a rush! This was also the first vintage of 4hearts Private Stash, made by Bob Dunning. This is the only reference point we have so far for the vintage. All we can tell you is that our friends and family have loved the "Stash."
Check out the wineries on our Partners page if you want to try at least a little 4hearts. Or, do what my buddies do and simply come on over!
The 2012 harvest occurred in September that year. The weather was cooperative and Steve did his usual stellar job in keeping everything on track. The original 15 acres were producing closer to maturity, and Steve was able to coax a little petite, cab, and grenache out of the new area which was helpful. The tally was just over 22 tons of zinfandel; nearly 6 of cab; 8.8 tons of petite (yes!); and 1.4 tons of grenache for just over 38 tons total.
We were fortunate to have some extra cabernet this time, so Bob Dunning produced a stash of cabernet blended with a touch of petite. It was bottled in late 2014 and is already drinking fabulously. We love our zin, but it is really nice to have some variety in the rack.
The vineyard started to ramp up its productivity in 2010. The main issue was the variability of the ripening; therefore, we were harvesting into late October. Overall, we were able to get 13 tons of zinfandel, 3.2 tons of cabernet, and 4.8 tons of petite sirah. The '10 Stash was bottled in late 2012 and was 100% 4hearts zinfandel.
Incredibly rich and complex. It looks like our dry farming technique is paying off!
Well, this was a tough one. We were banking on a major increase in productivity; not full productivity of course, given the young age of the vineyard, but an increase in any case. However, Mother Nature stepped in and threw the kitchen sink at us.
From frost to mildew, to early rains, to unusual temperature fluctuations, it all happened. Steve worked his tail off to bring as much as he could bring to harvest, while all the time maintaining our high quality standard.
We'd rather have less be great than a lot be OK. The final tally was the same 13 tons of zinfandel, 4.6 tons of cabernet, and 5 tons of petite sirah. As Steve says, "That's farming!"