2015 Veritas Viognier
Today, I share with you the story of our 2015 Viognier – a story, which began just about one year ago this month. It was April 13th, 2015 when the Viognier vines came out of hibernation and the buds sprang alive. Each year we expect bud break around the 15th of the month, so they were right on time. It was a cool and rainy spring with plenty of clouds – a moody way to start the vintage to say the least, but the vines were okay, they enjoyed the damp soil and soaked up all the nutrients to give them a firm foundation for the later growing season.
Cool and cloudy weather is fine in the early part of the vintage, but after about a month of growth, every winemaker prays for their vines to get some sunshine and heat. Come May 25th, we got just that. Our notes from Memorial Day weekend say “sunny and glorious weekend,” which is just what we wanted as the Viognier vines began to flower. The flowers are where the fruit is formed and you need nice warm and sunny weather to make the magic happen. By June 12th it was clear that we had a lovely berry set and a lot of fruit to bring in someday soon!
Over the next 60 days, the cool nights of spring rapidly became cool nights of summer and the berries were able to maintain a lovely acidity as they matured. It really was shaping up to be the perfect vintage. The sunny, warm days allow the sugar levels to rise, and the cool evenings which characterized the 2015 vintage maintain the bright acidity and balance in the grape.
By August 18th the vintage harvest had started with the chardonnay for sparkling. It’s almost as if a whisper runs through the vines that the time has drawn near, and as soon as you have picked the first berry, they all rush to get in line to come into the winery. By early September, our Viognier grapes had waited patiently enough and were ready to come inside and tell their story.
We don’t know whether it was the new high density planting in the vineyard, or the transition fromcordon pruning to cane pruning, but this was a vintage to remember for this remarkable varietal. The Graves Field (which runs perpendicular to the road as you drive into the winery on the right)in particular produced some of the most glorious fruit the winery has yet seen.
The Viognier was released just last week, and we recommend that you give it a few more weeks in the bottle. In fact, I just opened a 2014 bottle of Viognier and I think it did better for that year in the bottle, so maybe buy a bottle for now and a bottle for this time next year and compare the life of the wine. How has your friend developed and changed? Better yet, save that bottle of 2015 to open with the 2016 vintage and compare.