Below is a press release from our Santa Lucia Highlands Association president Dave Muret:
"Winemaker Tom Stutz has, for several vintages now, used grapes from the McIntyre Vineyard in the S.L.H. for a top flight Blanc de Noirs under the La Rochelle brand - going forward, the wines will come under the "La Vie" label. Tom anticipates getting Pinot Noir from McIntyre's Block 4 on Saturday or Monday. "Forty-four year old vines; quality looks great, although bunch counts are light. Should be another typically good year in the S.L.H.," comments Mr. Stutz. Winegrower Steve McIntyre also uses the vineyard to supply fruit for his own label's "l'Homme Qui Ris" release.
The majority of Santa Lucia Highlands vineyards and producers will begin picking Pinot Noir in early September for their still wines. S.L.H. winegrowers polled agreed that while it looks like another "light year" in terms of crop loads, they are very happy with the slowly developing ripeness and maturation of flavors and expect "a very high quality harvest" across the appellation.
The Santa Lucia Highlands is one of the crown jewels of California viticulture, growing and producing some of the state's best cool climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah. The appellation encompasses more than 6,500 acres of prime vineyards, planted on the elevated terraces and alluvial fans of the Santa Lucia mountain range. The area's unique character was recognized with official A.V.A. status in 1991; 2016 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the S.L.H.'s designation.
Formed in 2005, the Santa Lucia Highlands Wine Artisans is an association of vineyards and wineries that grow grapes here or use this region's fruit to craft their wines. The group's online home is SantaLuciaHighlands.com"