Checking out the Belli Chardonnay

August 13, 2012





Today we headed over to the Russian River Valley to check out our Chardonnay, which comes from the Belli Ranch,

The Belli ranch is located at the Northern end of the Russian River Valley, where the valley floor starts to lift up into foothills. The excellent drainage and southeastern facing slope make for tiny berries that are very intense in flavor.

It’s still pretty early in the season, but we’re already seeing some maturity in the Rued clone, which is planted in blocks 3 and 5, along the left hand side of the picture above.

You can tell these grapes are starting to mature visually by their slight yellow color and slight translucence. Rued clone is a Musque selection of Chardonnay, meaning that it has a slight flavor of Muscat, which is slightly tropical in nature. This character is faint right now, but it is definitely beginning to show and will increase in intensity as we approach harvest.

The rest of the Chardonnay is further behind in terms of ripeness. The other blocks are older, and the vines are more established. They carry more fruit, and so are ripening more slowly than the Rued blocks.

This is clone 76, a Dijon selection that provides a very classic Chardonnay profile of pear, citrus, and minerality. This cluster is visibly underripe, you can tell by its’ dark green color. The fruit is starting to sweeten, but harvest for this block is still some way off.

We are currently looking at some very hot weather in Sonoma (mid 90’s through the weekend at least!), so we’re expecting to see ripeneing progress rapidly. Over the next few weeks, we’re expecting our posts to become more and more frequent as there becomes more and more action to cover, be sure to stay caught up!

Amapola Creek is Richard Arrowoods’ latest winemaking project, to visit the Amapola Creek Winery main site, please click here.



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