Scholium Project

2005 Glos McDowell Vineyard

The vineyard illuminated by the full moon and our enthusiasm alone.
Christo on the deck, awaiting pressing to finish and dinner to cook.

In 2005, the venerable sauvignon blanc vines of Glos received two harvests, the first under the full moon. We could not resist. It seemed only right for this strange vineyard, full of merlot, chardonnay, and sauvignon planted side by side and on top of each other. What could preserve the striking honeysuckle character of the grapes better than harvesting them in cool of the night, guided not by the harsh sun, but by the cool, sheltering moon?

Four ardent fans of the vineyard picked 300 lbs. in the middle of the night and pressed them that same night on my front porch. We took only the ripest fruit, from the southern half of the vineyard, perhaps twenty or thirty vines.

The yield was barely 20 gallons.

We made the second harvest nearly two weeks later: more conventionally, in mid-day. We found another 800 lbs., and scavenged some few clusters that we left behind from our midnight pick. This fruit certainly seemed riper, with thicker skins, and perhaps less delicately fragrant.

We fermented the wines separately: each moved so slowly, but especially the first pick. Two weeks after harvest, it still had not started—or only barely so. The second was moving more rapidly, but still quietly. We combined the wines and filled two 60 gallon barrels half full of a blend of both wines—thinking that the second fermentation might encourage the first.

But the blending did nothing to produce two identical wines—one barrel is deeply mineral and somewhat hard. The other sings out with all of the rich floral character of the vineyard’s best fruit. I am happy to say that we have just completed blending trials based on blind tastings of multiple blends—and that the result is a rigorously selected blend.

17 cases bottled.