Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir & Syrah
From Our Vineyard In The Sky
Muns Vineyard brushes the sky on a ridge above Monterey Bay at 2600 feet. This is the highest Pinot Noir vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a prime growing region for this luscious winegrape.
We enjoy the coastal climate of the mountains, with fog lapping at our feet in the summer. The cool coastal breeze that blows off the fog and sunlight are perfect for growing premium Pinot Noir. Moderate days and cool nights, along with diligent personal attention in our 13-acre owner-operated vineyard, produces fruit with rich and complex flavors. We have blended Dijon clones 114, 115, 667 and 777 to provide a complex and well-balanced wine.
Minimal intervention in the winery allows our unique terroir to shine. Barrel aging in 30% new oak for about 16 months adds soft tannins that accentuate, but not dominate, the beautiful fruit in this special wine. The wine drinks well now and is a delicious complement with food, and will bottle-age for years to come. Enjoy ‘heaven-in-a-bottle’ from our ridge top vineyard above the bay!
The best way to bring our wines home is to order directly from us. This way you can get the vintages you want and you can benefit with a 15% discount on 6 bottles; 25% on a case (and you can mix your wine selection). We deliver locally at no charge (with a 3 bottle min. order). We also ship.
For a list of our wines, see the Wines page here. To order, see our Order page here. For even better discounts, see our Wine Club page here. See the Where to Purchase page here for a list of wine shops, wine bars and restaurants where you can enjoy our wines. Many of the wine bars sell bottles to go.
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What’s Happening in the Vineyard: Springtime
We have had an unseasonably warm winter and little rain, and now that Spring is here we are finally catching up some on the rainfall. As of mid-March we have had only 21.5″ of rain, almost all of it in November, January and 8.5″ of it since March 1. Last year was an exceptionally rainy winter and as of mid-March we had had 74″ of rain (85″+ total for the season). Normally we would expect 30-40″ for the season, and with more rain coming in perhaps we’ll make it up to 30″. The last time we had this little rain was in 2014-15 during five years of drought.
Budbreak is about to happen. With budbreak we will start the new 2018 vintage! Temperatures were relatively warm during the winter up until mid-February and finally dropped consistently into the 30s and low 40s at night, keeping the vines dormant and budbreak at bay. The early warm weather precipitated budbreak in many vineyards at lower elevation, but at our high elevation it generally happens later due to the colder nights. And then the onset of cold weather prolonged dormancy. We even had a couple of days when we saw snow flurries, which we usually see at least a little of each winter. (You can see some snow pictures on our Vineyard page here.) Cold weather and even the occasional snow flurry do not hurt the vines during dormancy. But once budbreak starts, frost, which can occur into April, is a big concern.
The crew has pruned. We do two pruning passes: the first to hedge last year’s cane growth along the second wire. This makes it easier to extricate the long canes from the wires without damaging the nascent buds along the cordon. Then, in the second pass, they two-bud by hand along the cordon.
This year we are also switching a few rows from cordon to cane pruning. Instead of keeping the permanent cordon from which this year’s shoots will grow, we are cutting it off and laying down on the wire one of last year’s canes. This cane will bud out and send up shoots just like the cordon does, only this new horizontal cane will only be for this year. Then we’ll cut it off next year and lay down a new horizontal cane. Doing this helps to reduce disease by removing old growth, and it has been found to be more productive, especially in Pinot Noir. The shoots are growing off of recent cane growth instead of an old cordon. The cordons in this section of the vineyard are at least 12 years old. We’ll see how this works and may do more cane pruning next year. See our YouTube video on cane pruning here.
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See the Events page for details.
Vineyard Tours: Tours will be scheduled depending on conducive weather this winter. See our Events page for dates & more information.
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| See Muns Vineyard videos on YouTube here: Harvest, Netting, Pruning, more .
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The 2017 Harvest!
The 2017 harvest at Muns Vineyard started Sept. 1 and finished Oct. 12. Over the course of these 6 weeks we harvested 39 tons of Pinot Noir and 4 tons of Syrah picked on eight days. We started harvest in100 degree weather during the heat wave that hit Northern California early September; and finished on a very chilly autumn day in mid-October when the leaves on the vines had turned golden (and many had fallen to the vineyard floor). We had a very good crop load, and despite the heat wave we fared well thanks to healthy vines, a canopy that shades the fruit, and irrigation that minimized dehydration and helped the fruit ride through it. Despite some dehydration in some of the fruit by the last week of harvest, the grapes are juicy and delicious. We are looking forward to the wine made from this 2017 vintage!
On Sept. 1 we picked 6.75 tons for one of our winery clients. The heat wave that sat on Northern California and the Central Coast for several days drove the temps up that day to 100 degrees. It approached 90 degrees at 4am when we started. We picked another 8 tons on Sept. 5 when temps were 20-30 degrees cooler with a cool and refreshing breeze blowing up from the Bay. At dawn the coastal fog had risen and blanketed the vineyard.
The growing season. Veraison (when sugar levels in the fruit reach the point that they start to turn color) started the end of September, and was widespread during the first week of August (precipitated by some warm weather). This is about a week later than the previous year and we anticipate starting to harvest the first of September. We netted at the end of this first week to minimize bird predation. The crop load is plentiful and about as good as the banner years of 2012, 2013 and 2014 (and follows two poor years in 2015 and 2016).
As anticipated with all the rain we had this winter (85″!), the canopy is flourishing and floor management earlier in the year was a constant challenge. Ed mowed multiple times and with all the moisture in the soil the cover crop kept coming back. The crew weed whacked along and under the vines and hoed around each of them. The cover crop helps maintain healthy soils and attracts beneficial insects, but keeping cleared from under the vines helps reduce pressure from disease and pests. There has been so much mowed vegetation that it has made a nice thick mulch.
Budbreak in our vineyard is later than most in the area because of our elevation. The continued colder temperatures prolong dormancy, and this year was a couple of weeks later than usual. The buds were barely popping out as of early April but leafed out in earnest by about the second week. We had a little frost damage in the low swales where the cold air collects, which is not unusual for us in the Spring. Bloom started early in June (a couple weeks later than usual).
The 2017 vintage is looking excellent, and we have high hopes for it.
See more on our Vineyard page here.