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John Taylor
June 21, 2013 | John Taylor

Volume IV: June 2013

Summer Comes To The Valley...

Dear Rocca friends,

Summer is here, bringing with it big changes in the vineyards as the vines grow and the fruit starts to develop. It means lots of work for our vineyard team, but it's so exciting to see it happen.

We have a wonderful  young lady, Schuyler Tompkins, interning with us for a month.  Schuyler will be a senior at the University of Virginia this summer, and is a friend of my daughter Giovanna.  She is curious about everything, and it's so fun to have her with us: her first two days were spent in the vineyard, and she amazed our crew.  They were sure she wouldn't be able to make it through one full day, much less two, working from 6am until 4pm.  But she did, and they have decided she is an  honorary Farmer! Congratulations Schuyler! 

The great thing about having someone like Schuyler around, is that it makes you open your eyes and look at things with a fresh perspective.  It's refreshing.  So this summer, I hope that you have the opportunity to enjoy some new perspectives too!


Notes From The Winemaker:

It's June, and boy, are things looking good in Napa Valley!  While it's absurdly early to make any predictions about the 2013 vintage, and while our job as farmers is to worry incessantly about what little pranks Mother Nature may have in store for us, we couldn't be happier with the growing season so far.  Our vines are looking decidedly happy and healthy.  They've shown quite a bit of vigor this year, so we've been busy selecting and separating the new shoots, managing the vines' leafy canopies, and spacing and manicuring each individual cluster so that our vineyards can produce the highest quality fruit possible. 

Happily, if a bit surprisingly, we look to be on track for a relatively early and abundant harvest.  The trend over the last 5 or 6 years has been toward cooler-than-normal growing seasons that have resulted in fairly late harvest dates, often flirting with the shift to our cold, rainy winter weather pattern in late October / early November.  So we're pleased to see that the vines appear to be on a much more "average", or even early, schedule this year. 

Following the generous crop we enjoyed in 2012, we would normally have anticipated more restrained yields in 2013 -- that's typically how grapevines work.  But the quantity of fruit in the vineyards looks quite substantial again this year, a situation which will allow us the luxury of cutting off all but the very best-positioned clusters as we work to reach the perfect balance between the vines' vegetative growth and their fruit production and ripening.  All in all, we're very happy farmers right now.

In the cellar, all of our 2012 lots have finally finished their primary and secondary fermentations, and they are more than living up to the significant buzz that already surrounds that exceptional vintage.  We've already begun working on the preliminary blends for our 2012 wines, and we're having a heck of a lot of fun doing it.

Enjoy the gorgeous weather of summer, everyone.  And if it isn't absolutely beautiful where you are, come visit us at our new tasting room!



Progress On The Tasting Room!

No, really :-)

We are in the final stages of completion on the Tasting Room. The back deck is practically finished, the new Wine Closet nears completion and perhaps best of all, we have A/C!! The Landscape Architect has submitted his final plan, and we may POSSIBLY be open by the end of summer. We've put together a photo album of our progress so far that you can check out by clicking here.

This and That...

We're branching out! Rocca wines will now be available in Texas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Southern California, Knoxville and Reno, with more states and metros adding soon...We're proud to have raised almost $4,000.00 for Auction Napa Valley charities (and thanks to all the bidders!)...Our 2008 Merlot was added to the wine list at The French Laundry in Napa - world class wine at a world class restaurant!

Until next time! ~ JT

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