H A R V E S T      2009 !!!!


Mike Sullivan, Benovia Winery

Rod Berglund, Joseph Swan Vineyards

Ben Miller, Merry Edwards


The week of August 31st was the official kick off of the still-wine Harvest 2009 in the Russian River Valley AVA.  Pinot Noir is coming in!


Here are some snapshots:


Mike Sullivan, winemaker, Benovia Winery – located off of Piner Road in the Russian River Valley. Mike started harvesting Pinot Noir, September 2nd which is normal for them.  Mike says that the yields seem to be about average and quality, very high.  He’s thankful that the weather so far is perfect with cool mornings and evenings and warm days with no rain forecasted.


Rod Berglund of Joseph Swan Vineyards – started picking Pinot Noir from the “Great Oak Vineyard” off of Westside road on September 3rd.  This vineyard is what Rod refers to as “Billy Goat terrain” …..it is a very rocky vineyard.  Despite the terrain the sampling was showing amazing consistency in ripening.  The fruit from the “Great Oak Vineyard” according to Rod, “Is the best ever off of this vineyard.”  He adds, “The Canopy is intact and not shutting down, there is no dehydration and the juice is dark in color with amazing flavor.”   The juice from this Westside road vineyard is much darker fruit than is normally the case.  Rod claims that the fruit “is scary good!”


Ben Miller, Merry Edwards

Merry Edwards Wines started full swing in their vineyards from Westside Road to Green Valley this week.  Ben Miller, “We are picking 90% of our pinot this week and quality is through the roof.”  Ben says that the yields are low, and everything is ready all at once, no matter which part of the county it’s from!



Other news:  Some Chardonnay is being picked for still-wine but most growers are 10 days to 2 weeks from harvesting Chardonnay.  So far the variety is showing wonderful flavors at low sugars indicating that a lot of it will be picked at lower sugars – A stylish Chardonnay year if that is the case.


I’ll keep you posted, because these guys are going to be busy for a while………..

Lee Hodo – Marketing Manager, Russian River Valley Winegrowers

Monica Turner
Contributor to Stark Insider for tech, the arts and All Things West Coast for over 10 years.