Coquerel Family Wine Estates is located just beyond the town of Calistoga at the north end of the Napa Valley. The heart and soul of our winery is our estate “Walnut Wash” vineyard, a gorgeous, oak-studded property that sits in the afternoon shadows of the Mayacamas Mountains. Since 2005, we have done extensive enhancement and replanting of the site to ensure world-class fruit from vintage to vintage. The combination of warm temperatures and deep, clay/stone soils makes this ideal terroir for Sauvignon Blanc, our flagship variety. It also produces exceptional Verdelho, Tempranillo and Petite Sirah. In addition to our estate fruit, we source Chardonnay, Cabernet and other noble grapes from a handful of premier growers throughout the Napa Valley.
Harvest Update 2014
Shaken and Stirred: An Interview with Winemaker Christine Barbe
How has the quake impacted harvest?
It’s been a roller coaster. We started harvesting Sauvignon Blanc on August 23rd. The next morning at 3:30am the earthquake hit and picking came to a screeching halt. The winery where we make our wines had 800 barrels on the floor and a pool of wine from wall to wall. It was a disastrous mess that required five straight days of intensive work to clean up. Miraculously, Coquerel lost only one barrel of wine – 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon! The winery crew was incredibly patient and helpful throughout the whole process. We were fortunate that Miner Family Vineyards had room in their cellar for our Sauvignon Blanc. It is progressing nicely. The rest of our wines will be made back at our regular facility.
How would you describe this vintage?
So far the weather has been very dry with only 18 inches of rain this year. It was warm until July – prompting everyone to predict a super early harvest ‑ then it cooled down in August putting everything back on schedule. Surprisingly, our Sauvignon Blanc was picked the same date as last year.
Does this remind you of any previous vintages?
Except for the lack of rainfall it has been a little bit like 2006.
What grapes have been harvested so far and how do the wines look?
Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are all in and still fermenting. Petite Sirah and Tempranillo will be harvested by the end of September. The Sauvignon Blanc is very aromatic and crisp. The Chardonnay is still fermenting but it looks very good. Overall I am very excited about the quality of our 2014s. Either way, this will be a vintage none of us in Napa will ever forget.