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Wine Harvest 2022 in Santa Maria Valley

Fall means harvest in agricultural areas. For wine grapes, this is when the leaves start to turn pretty colors and the fruit reaches its ripest peak–or maturity of the right level for the grower/winemaker.

Vineyards were abuzz with harvest activity earlier than normal this year. The heatwave on the central Coast caused the grapes to mature faster, making the need to harvest them sooner than expected. The heat also stayed high at night during the August/September heatwave, so the grapes didn't get much reprieve.

Even with the extreme heat, the overall quality of the grapes has been very high, even if the yield is lower this year. It reminds some of the 2020 vintage.

Presqu’ile Winery in Santa Maria Valley, by

Many wineries have noted that this year is the earliest picking dates on record. Others picked grapes destined for sparkling wine at the normal time (that’s always early, as champagne-style wines require grapes with less sugar and maturity). And some picked vineyards through the end of October or still have small quantities left to pick.

Vineyard Views from ridges near Vintage Ranch, by

One of our closest winery and vineyard neighbors, Presqu’ile (‘press-keel’) has been working hard day and night for several months (picks happen during the night so that the grapes are cold and more protected from jostling.) This family-owned winery in the Santa Maria Valley is dedicated to crafting exceptional, cool-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah from Santa Barbara County. They are located 3 miles from Vintage Ranch, and can actually be seen from the some of the highest ridges around the homes.

Presqu’ile Winery in Santa Maria Valley, by

Presqu’ile has some interesting options for visiting the winery and vineyards, and all of them include food. Chef Julie Simon creates a delicious and beautiful Mezze Picnic, with seasonal sharing plates and dips, with many ingredients coming right from the 1-acre winery garden. It is quite a feast, and includes comforting dips and dishes like gazpacho as well as more exotic flavors and plenty of fresh herbs and edible flowers. You won’t leave hungry! And the wine pairing is perfect.

Presqu’ile Winery in Santa Maria Valley, by

Another fun way to visit is to do the Estate Horseback Tour, seeing the 400-acre estate and vineyards,  San Rafael Mountains, Solomon Hills, and Santa Maria Valley. This tour ends on a private terrace overlooking the property, with the Mezze Picnic and wine pairing.

Presqu’ile Winery in Santa Maria Valley, by

And to get a close look at what happens during harvest, plus the rest of the year, reserve the Private Wine & Food Tour. This tour through the state-of-the-art winery begins with sparkling wine, and a look at the modern tasting room, expertly integrated with the nature outside (Frank Lloyd Wright would certainly like it) and moves into the 240-foot barrel cave, which is also a tunnel to the rest of the winery above.

You’ll take an elevator up to Presqu’ile‘s tank room, which is at a higher elevation so that gravity can do the work of moving the wine instead of electricity. This is where fermentation and punch-downs happen after the grapes come in. Higher up still is a walkway above the tanks to the outside, in the back of the winery, where the grapes arrive to be pressed.

Presqu’ile Winery in Santa Maria Valley, by

You’ll then walk outside to see the pond, where irrigation water is held, plus several vineyards that grow the grapes you are sipping in your glass plus solar panels that power the winery. You’ll then enjoy single-vineyard wines along with the Mezze Picnic in a private lookout terrace surrounded by 280-degree views of our vineyard, the San Rafael Mountains, Solomon Hills and Pacific Ocean.

Presqu’ile Winery in Santa Maria Valley, by

Being in the middle of Santa Maria Valley wine country is just one perk of living at Vintage Ranch! Located in Orcutt, the climate is moderate all year, with sunshine almost every day. These modern farmhomes are nestled against 580 of open space and rolling hills with majestic oak trees, plus hiking and biking trails right outside your door.

Live in Santa Barbara wine country and live the wine country life; Vintage Ranch homes are being built so get on the list today!

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