Picking Under the Stars and the Noir Not Pinot

Picking Under the Stars and the Noir Not Pinot


5 minutes reading

Dear Friends,

This was the biggest week to date for harvest in terms of how much fruit we received. All reports from the team are the fruit is pristine, flavors are concentrated, chemistry is in check and it is one of the smoothest harvests they can remember. This is all very exciting and there are more details below. 

Pascal also started working harvest in Champagne this week and soon will be on his way to Alsace returning to Domaine Ostertag for a second vintage. He has sent you all a special message.

As we wrap up celebrating the month centered around our legacy and the continuation, I have shared an article just three years after Jimi passed that names all the wineries that helped us. 

Happy Sunday!

Update on Harvest 2021

The 2021 Harvest interns in front of the red wine press
Our 2021 harvest interns: From left to right: Jimmy, Denise, Mellanie, Lauren, Kristi and Gregory.

This was a very busy week for our harvest and production crew. Let’s take a look at some stats in the last two weeks:

We have brought in 170 tons or 10,726 cases worth of fruit.
The fruit came from 15 different vineyards
Total labor hours for the team in a little over 2 weeks 1,865 (averaging 12 hour days)
9 different varietals: Pinot Noir, Muscat, Riesling (just for sparkling), Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, AND new this year Gamay Noir!

The vineyard crew picking the pinot noir under the stars

We did have a new picking experience for us this year. Due to the labor shortage of vineyard workers and combined with forecasts of 86 degree heat on Friday, we had to bring in a crew of 50 to pick all the Estate Pinot Noir at once. The Pinot Noir would not have done well sitting through a hot day like that. To avoid the heat, they had to start at 3 in the morning. The lights you see are headlamps. They literally picked under the stars! Thank you to the crew and to our vineyard management team at Vitis Terra for making this happen!

Why Gamay Noir?

Gamay Noir has many of the wonderful characteristics of pinot noir but tends to be lighter in body and is very floral and earthy. It is a refreshing and excellent wine to pair with food. It is delicious and you don’t see very much of it grown in the US. It is the primary red varietal of the Beaujolais region in France.

Four years ago, Dick Crannell planted one acre of Gamay Noir. It typically takes at least three years for a new vine to produce high enough quality fruit to make wine. This was the first year we picked this Gamay Noir, fourth-year also known as the fourth leaf. And yes, WE, our team, and Dick Crannell actually picked the fruit. The good news is the fruit was GORGEOUS. The bad news is the yields will result in less than 30 cases. 

It was working with Gamay Noir in Beaujolais where my brother, our founder, Jimi, fell in love with farming and winemaking. It is the primary red varietal of the Beaujolais region and he was fortunate to work with the Deschamps family there for six years. When Pascal and I visited their Estate in 2019, they gave us this bottle. it was from the last vintage Jimi made there. If you haven’t read the amazing story of that trip, you can find it here.

A dusty bottle of 1995 wine from Beaujolais

The bottle is stored with the rest of our wine as Pascal asked me to save it for when we could all be together to drink it…me, his mom, my family, our Brooks team, and Jimi’s closest friends who are like uncles to Pascal. I look forward to when that day happens!

Finale Celebration Of Legacy Month

Honestly, I could talk about the Legacy of Brooks every month but it is nice to focus on it for September. Pascal and I know Brooks would not be here without the amazing support of our Wine Club Members, our guests, and our hardworking team. A special message from Pascal!

Pascal, the owner of Brooks.

One of the first writers I met in the industry was Cole Danehower. Cole wrote about us often. He was at the groundbreaking of our new winery in 2014. Sadly, he passed away shortly thereafter. I love this article in particular that he wrote about us in 2007. I love that he took the time to highlight the wineries that helped us. Cheers to them..without their vision, we wouldn’t be here today. Please raise a glass to them!

With the pinot in the door, pressing and barrelling down will begin soon and now we just patiently wait for the Riesling to get ripe! It is always the last fruit in the door.

Tomorrow marks another trip around the sun for me. I will be 54. My favorite part of birthdays is that I get another one. Life is short and I appreciate every day and moment. And all of you make it that much better!

Please reach out if there is information you want me to include next week. [email protected] and cell is 831-238-4828.