Vineyard Evolution

Gantz Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Fruit Available

Our Pinot Noir fruit from 2018.

Our Pinot Noir fruit from 2018.

In 2013, we sold our first harvest to Michael Browne and Dan Kosta of Kosta Browne Winery. We felt fortunate to have this tremendous start. During the next six harvests, we were made to feel that we were part of a family telling an important story about Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.

Last year, Michael and Dan moved on. Although we were told by the new owners that we would have a contract for 2019, both the abundance of fruit in 2018 and the March 2019 flood of the Barlow-located winery put them in a position where they could not accept our grapes.

Now, late in the game, we find ourselves hoping to sell our 2019 fruit. We’ll be fine if we don’t. We know how lucky we are to be in that position. But we’d hate to see this beautiful fruit go to waste.

Professional winemakers, don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to discuss purchasing our Pinot Noir this year or in future years. You can find more info here and throughout the website. And please help us spread the word.

We’re looking forward to the next chapter.

Gantz Family Vineyards

Gantz Family Vineyards

Harvest 2017 at Gantz Family Vineyards

VineyardWorkers_GantzFamilyVineyards.jpg

Gantz Family Vineyards measures itself on quality and not quantity, but after last week's harvest, we were pleased with the results. As a relatively young and small vineyard experiencing only its fifth harvest, the main thing we want to see is improvement year over year. We were pleased to see growth in 2017, with an abundant amount of Pinot Noir fruit harvested and delivered to winemaker Kosta Browne Winery.

As it goes with farming, it was down to the last minute before we were absolutely confirmed on the picking date/time. It was supposed to be at 2 a.m., Wednesday morning (September 13), so Celeste figured she had time to rehearse with her a cappella group Tuesday evening, come home for a nap, and start fresh. No such luck! Our vineyard manager, Jim Pratt of Cornerstone Certified Vineyard, announced that picking would start at 10 p.m., Tuesday night (September 12). So Celeste left rehearsal early and hit the ground running! We like to provide lots of "fortifications" for the crew; Clay made sure the crew knew where the snacks were and proceeded to make pot after pot of coffee.  

Both of us help with the "sweep" harvest, picking up the grapes that the crews drop or miss. But later in the evening, it became apparent that because of our new leafing strategy, it was hard for the guys to find and pick the fruit, particularly in the Pommard and Calera blocks. So Celeste decided to go out and pull leaves away, just ahead of the crews; it's a task she's planning on taking on again next year. She can't do it all, but it certainly helps.  

The crew started at 10 p.m. and finished at 6 a.m., working through the mild, 61-degree night. Just as the last crew member emptied his tub into the bin, a few raindrops began to fall. As the last bin was fork-lifted onto the truck, the rain started to pour in earnest, complete with lightning and thunder. We couldn't believe our luck! 

Delivery at Kosta Browne Winery

Delivery at Kosta Browne Winery

The Mariafeld 23 clone, which we introduced into the vineyard last year, performed better than expected and Sam Ausburn, Kosta Browne's viticulturist, was pleased about the quality. It was a nice result, especially because deciding to replace some of our Calera with the 23 wasn't an easy decision. We do feel like the results validate (at least initially) some of the steps we took for the first time this year:

  • The fourth cane in the Calera calmed the vines and resulted in better set.

  • A new leafing strategy helped protect the grapes when we had the Labor Day heat spike.

  • The grapes seemed to respond well to a regulated deficit irrigation strategy.

Because it is farming, we have to give a big nod of thanks to Lady Luck. Our row orientation (E-W) combined with our leafing strategy helped to protect the clusters from the hot weather. An E-W row orientation is unorthodox, but we picked it (with counsel from our former vineyard manager Ulises Valdez and Kris Lowe) because of the way our site was laid out and because, in our spot in the Russian River Valley, we were not too worried about sunburn. This year was not ideal for growers by any stretch -- with heat spikes, wide temp fluctuations and rain during harvest -- so we feel like we were very fortunate.

WineGrapes_GantzFamilyVineyards.jpg

Missed the 2017 growing season?

stay up to date on what's happening at Gantz Family Vineyards

Sign up for our newsletter and receive occasional (VERY OCCASIONAL) emails about the latest events at the vineyard.

Third Harvest at Gantz Family Vineyards

Third Harvest at Gantz Family Vineyards

Gantz Family Vineyards’ third harvest got under way early Saturday morning at 2:30 a.m. when three crews from Cornerstone Certified Vineyard – 26 very hardworking people – showed up to begin snipping our fruit off the vines. Seven hours later, the crew had seven tons of Pinot Noir fruit to deliver to Kosta Browne Winery.

Trunk Training At Gantz Family Vineyards

Trunk Training At Gantz Family Vineyards

We've been trunk training the 500-600 new plants that make up our expanded Pinot block, our new Chardonnay block and re-plants of failed vines throughout the vineyard. It's historic work when you consider that those crooked, gnarly trunks you see in old vineyards were once very delicate shoots.

Adding A Second Irrigation Line

Adding A Second Irrigation Line

We added a second irrigation line recently in order to better see to the needs of individual Pinot Noir plants. The compact size of Gantz Family Vineyards – we have 4.5 planted acres – allows us to manage the property on a micro-level and pay this kind of attention.

New Gantz Family Vineyards Website

New Gantz Family Vineyards Website

As our vineyard has evolved, so has our online presence. The main thing we’ve come to understand is that this is more than 1s and 0s flying through the air. We’re talking to you: our Russian River Valley compatriots, our friends in the wine industry, Pinot lovers, wine country romantics, family and friends. The screen really isn’t there. This is just us, Clay and Celeste and Angelina, honored to have this opportunity to talk to you.