2009 harvest at Solomon Hills has been nothing short of interesting. The season started in late August with extremely high temperatures, which was very reminiscent of the September weather in 2004. Luckily this came earlier than it did in 2004, and we escaped with only some slight sunburn. We were blessed for most of September and October, with a moderate climate minus the unusual amount of rainfall. The 2009 harvest started for us on 8-31-09 with chardonnay for a sparkling program and ended 10-22-09 with a small amount of syrah. The syrah was the only grape variety to weather the rain and did very well, all things considered. Over all the 2009 vintage should be an excellent quality year, with small yields in the chardonnay and small/normal (2-3.5 tons/acre) yields in the pinot noir. The fruit was harvested extremely clean and had a long hang time, thanks to the moderate temperatures of September and October. I would expect to see great things emerge from the 2009 vintage over the next several years.
Greg Phelan, Manager of Solmon Hills Vineyard in Orcutt, CA
Photo by John Gellentien