HALL Wines Farming
HALL’s harvest is always in multiple stages. The blocks (sections of vines that are all planted in the same type of soil with the same vines) in each of our vineyards are rather complex. Within the same vine variety, we will strategically graft specific rootstocks (the lower portion of the root of the vine) with specific clones of a vine variety and plant them in the soil and microclimate that we think will result in the very best fruit. Since the soil within even a single vineyard can vary dramatically, we may have many different small blocks in each vineyard.
So many different plantings make our vineyard management much more intensive. Our various types of vines mature at different times. Certain blocks of Merlot just happen to mature early while certain blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon seem to want to hang around forever.
How do we know when to pick? Our winemaking team, led by Steve Leveque, tastes and walks every vineyard many times, watching for flavor development. Harvest usually occurs sometime between mid-September and late-October depending on the growing season. During that time of year, we sample each block of vines in each vineyard to determine if they are ready for picking.
In addition to analyzing by sight, smell, and taste, we check the sugar and acidity levels in our lab.
Once we determine that harvest is underway, our vineyard team, led by Director of Vineyards, Don Munk, hand picks the grapes, typically harvesting around thirty tons a day with the ability to nearly double that if additional hands are brought in. We transport the fruit in small bins to our crush pad as quickly as possible. The fruit for our single vineyard red wines along with our "Kathryn Hall" Cabernet Sauvignon is taken to our HALL Rutherford winery. Our Sauvignon Blanc and the fruit for our Napa Valley Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are taken to our HALL St. Helena winery.
The grapes are weighed, visually checked, and hand sorted to remove imperfect fruit, leaves, and other material that might detract from the quality.