MONTEREY, Calif., Dec. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- This winegrowing season was the definition of "atypical" - above average rainfall, the coolest summer on record, and the latest harvest in memory. "But sometimes the weird and wacky combine to create something special - this vintage is shaping up to be the best ever in my 32 years in the Chalone appellation," so says Michael Michaud.
Michael reports that the region had a very wet winter and spring. The cool weather delayed bud break by three weeks. Daytime highs during the growing season were in the 75-85 degrees F range, allowing for slow, gentle maturation in the fruit.
"Normally we start picking the first week of September; this year we began September 28th. The grapes developed a lot of flavor early on, while waiting for the actual sugar ripeness to catch up. There was a week of substantial heat just before harvest, which accelerated ripening and got us to the 'finish line.' The grapes were picked at 23-23.5 degrees Brix."
Michael's early thoughts on quality? "My first impression is one of elegance and balance, due to the long ripening period, with high retention of natural acidity. The wines were delicious right after fermentation - we have very high expectations for the eventual wines from this 2010 vintage."
Michael Michaud knows the historic Chalone appellation better than anyone. He began his three decades long winemaking career at Chalone Vineyard, where he crafted acclaimed, Burgundian-style wines. Michael fell in love with the mineral structure and character the arid climate and rocky soils provided. He acquired land with his wife Carol and began to gradually plant his own vines in the area. After 19 vintages with the Chalone brand, he left in 1998 to devote himself to his own vineyard.
The Michaud Vineyard is situated at 1500 feet altitude, in the cooler, northern end of the Chalone A.V.A. With only 29 planted acres and nine different clones of Pinot Noir alone, Michael is able to "micromanage" the various blocks at harvest time - achieving limited-production wines that speak directly to the unique terroir of the Chalone district.
Michaud Vineyard's award-winning wines are available from fine wine retailers and restaurants. Visitors to Paso Robles can sample Michael's efforts at the Meritage Tasting Lounge. The winery's online home is http://www.MichaudVineyard.com
SOURCE Michaud Vineyard