from Winery Owners Don and Deedee Sodaro
Another year has passed and Mother Nature, as usual, was the big factor in our lives. It is very clear that our vines do not read the newspapers or watch TV, but they do study the weather very closely and respond to it accordingly. As you may recall, last year we found ourselves wanting for warmer temperatures and sufficient rainfall. This year we found that the tables had turned.
This winter the rains came, and remained well into late spring, which held the temperatures down and delayed the budding. Cool temperatures lingered through the summer, and the vines fell further and further behind their normal development schedule. Fortunately, the longer hang time improved the richness of the berries and reduced the need for watering. The harvest was clearly three weeks behind, but decisions had to be made: Should we prune the vineyard and drop a lot of fruit, focusing the vines’ energy into the remaining fruit, or should we “sweat it out”? We chose the latter and, as luck would have
it, everything worked out beautifully. The fruit matured at a more leisurely pace as the fall temperatures gently rose.
The old adage “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” is especially true in the wine business. We make every effort to keep the vines at their best, encouraging them to produce the finest fruit possible regardless of what Mother Nature may send our way. However, harvest is a delicate balance of timing between brix (sugar levels), seed maturation and acidity levels. With a winery facility dedicated to our own vineyard, we’re able to quickly respond to the needs of our vines and harvest each varietal at its peak of ripeness. The 2010 harvest will be a great vintage for those of us lucky enough to get our crops in at the right time.
A number of years ago, when we began this journey, we had a vision for the future, but we knew it would require time and dedication to achieve it. As some of our original Scion Society members may recall, we shared this vision in a booklet entitled “Evolution”. Today we offer you a taste of this journey. This year’s Holiday Scion Society Wine Club shipment includes a library vertical of our 2003, 2004, and 2005 vintages of Felicity Cabernet Sauvignon. We hope you enjoy this taste of our evolutionary process.
As our vineyard and wines continue to grow and evolve, so do our people. Many of you know our esteemed colleague Mark Phelan who joined us several years ago as a graduate student at Chapman University. This past fall he felt called to service, and is now moving forward with his career as a soldier in the United States Army. He will be sorely missed by all of us as he is a wonderful, intelligent, caring human being and a real pleasure to work with. We wish him all the best and hope someday he will return to his wine roots at our humble winery.
From all of us at Sodaro Estate Winery, we wish you and your family a very happy holiday and prosperous New Year!