2018 Harvest Update: Blessing of the Grapes

September 11, 2018

Blessing of the Grapes

Our 2018 Blessing of the Grapes is an annual tradition at Chateau Montelena, dating back to the early 1970s. This year's blessing took place on Tuesday, September 11th. Read below for Bo Barrett's comments at the blessing and an update on Harvest 2018 so far.  

"Our Blessing of the Grapes is a day when we remember how lucky we are to be in this occupation, living out here, living in this great country. And of course we gather for the blessing of the people. Those of you who work in the business know that it’s actually quite a difficult profession, and whether it’s growing the grapes, working in the fields, making the wine, or selling the wine, it's a true team effort. For those of us who are religious, it’s kind of an important day because we know nothing happens in this business without people who care, good weather and all the magnificent magic that planet Earth provides for us.

The Blessing worked out great for us last year. People were here, grapes were here, and we were here in September finishing up our Harvest. Then we had a pretty scary event in October. We ultimately survived the fires in 2017, so we think it’s important to keep the tradition of our Blessing alive while we cross our fingers that our luck holds out for another year."

An update on Harvest 2018:

"Basically, Harvest is going quite normal (we call this an average-late Harvest). Right now we’re into the second week of September and we’re mostly bringing in Chardonnay. Last year at this same time we were finishing up with the whites, and by the time of our 2017 Blessing of the Grapes, we were finished with Harvest altogether. This year we’re only about halfway done (we haven’t brought in any red grapes yet*), so we’re going to start getting very busy next week. Knock on wood or praise the lord, so far things are good with this Harvest, and we haven’t had any smoke in any of our vineyards down here. Now we just have to get through the next month or so as it’s too early to tell how the rest of the Harvest season will pan out. When someone asks me “How’s the Harvest?,” I tell them to ask me in November. But we have a great crew, including a couple of interns from South Africa and Australia, so we’re excited to see what happens with the 2018 Harvest."  

*We brought in our first red grapes of the season just a few days after our Blessing.

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