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Hands-On Approach with Harvest 2015

The early 2015 grape harvest proved to be yet another hands-on process. As the Ukiah valley pears were still being picked, there was a shortage of labor to help in the grape vineyards. Over in Philo all the wineries were eager to pick at the same time, so once again we looked at each other and said "letís get this done."

With the grapes perfectly ripe and not enough pickers, everyone at Husch was asked to drop their normal work and head to the vineyard. On three separate days we found ourselves amongst the vines, clippers in hand, dropping fresh grapes into buckets. Conversations in both English and Spanish kept us moving along and inspired until we had enough fruit to fill the press.

"Slowest pick crew ever," commented winemaker Jeff (who was part of the crew). But with many hands helping, we were able to get the grapes off the vine and into the winery. Within a week harvest fell into a more normal routine. However the Husch employees remember that first 15 tons as the hardest pick ever.

Harvest began on August 17 which is the earliest harvest start on record for Husch. All indicators pointed to an early harvest - early bloom, early fruit set, and early veraison (changing of the grape color from green to purple).

Winemakers Brad and Jeff report that the quality is on par with some of our best vintages. We had less fruit on the vines, which appears be a result of the ongoing drought. The smaller crop allows for more concentrated and developed flavors. Intense flavors translate to delicious wines with true varietal character and richness.

We look forward to the first wines from the 2015 vintage hitting the market early next year.

A Few Good Men: Working Together to Create Memorable Wines
Winemaker Brad celebrated his 13th harvest this year at Husch. His passion in the cellar and ability to craft stellar wines across vintages allows Husch to have a consistent high quality reputation. Brad is a family owner and graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Ranch Foreman Raul (31 years at Husch) has a great eye for detail and is forward thinking. Projects are often completed before we have a chance to identify them. His daughter Melinda attended Sonoma State University, is married and has 3 children. His daughter Maggie is a high school senior, looking at several California colleges.

Winemaker Jeff enjoyed his 4th harvest at Husch this year. His high energy and enthusiasm to make the best wines possible create a dynamic workplace. Jeff is a graduate of Sonoma State University and recently married local caterer Sally-Anne Petit.

The Old Vines Zinfandel Native Yeast Caper
We always talk about the grapes, soil, and weather, but what about the yeast? Yeast play a big role in determining the outcome of a wine. Typically we inoculate our Old Vines Zinfandel grapes with a commercially available yeast strain to conduct and complete fermentation. When we take this course of action the outcome is predictable: From point A to point B we know who, what, when, where, and how. But to keep things interesting and potentially more complex, not every batch of Zinfandel grapes is inoculated and we allow native yeast(s) to ferment the wine.

However, with this course of action the outcome is rather unpredictable: From point A to point B, we are left asking who, what, when, where, and how? Bring on the detectives. Luckily for winemakers Brad and Jeff, DNA testing is not just reserved for the plethora of TV crime dramas. So our native-fermenting Old Vines Zinfandel is sent to the lab for DNA fingerprinting. The results? A little less than wholesome. It turns out the Zinfandel was a fan of infidelity and was caught mingling with eight different yeast strains. Two of the revealed yeast strains were found to be of commercial origin, while the other six were residents of our wineries in Ukiah and Philo.

In most cases such infidelity would be frowned upon, but in the court of complexity, as judged by Brad and Jeff, such DNA results are welcomed because each of the eight yeast strains have made a unique and favorable impression on our Old Vines Zinfandel. Blended with the inoculated batch, the results are delicious and thanks to DNA testing we can tell you "who done it." One mystery solved, the next is just beginning. Who drank the bottle? Good thing we still have more available...buy it today!

2013 Old Vines Zinfandel
$25 per bottle or
$270 per case (10% discount included)

Calendar of Events

JAN 22-31
Crab & Wine Days
Tasting Room Food & Wine Pairing

JAN 30
Crab Cake Cook-Off www.mccinc.org for tickets

FEB 20
International Alsace Festival
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FEB 21
Tasting Room Food & Wine Pairing

APR 11-13
Spring PRP Package ships
Call to update credit card number or shipping address by March 25

MAY 20-21
Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival
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MAY 22
Tasting Room Food & Wine Pairing

PRP Picnic
wine club members only

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Wishing you all a cheerful holiday season filled with joyous celebrations! Luke, Amelia, Krista, Zac Robinson and Mojo, Trix, Amanda, Brad Holstine