Behind the Scenes / What's New

Video: Night Harvesting Russian River Valley Chardonnay Grapes

After two weekends of warmer temperatures, the 2012 grape harvest has kicked into high gear. If you’ve been following our blog, you may have seen some of our night harvesting videos from the last two vintages. It’s the first week of October, and this year’s first night harvest video will hopefully get you in the Halloween spirit.

Every Chardonnay grape that goes into a bottle of Jordan is hand-harvested in the coldest, darkest hours of the morning–and for good reason. During the night, the grapes’ aromas are elevated and acids become brighter. Our elegant, more European-style of Chardonnay demands these very fresh, pristine components as a foundation. Grape skins also get firmer when the fruit is cold, which is beneficial during the pressing phase. Sturdy skins prevent the naturally astringent flavors found in grape skins from being extracted. Our elegant, more European-style of Chardonnay demands these very fresh, pristine components as a foundation.

Cold grapes are also beneficial because they delay the onset of fermentation, and we don’t want our Chardonnay juice to start fermenting too quickly: Freshly pressed juice settles in stainless-steel tanks at Jordan for 24 hours before being transferred to barrel for fermentation. Our 2012 Chardonnay will spend several months in a combination of new and mature French oak barrels, receiving just the right amount of sur-lie aging, battonage and barrel age before bottling next summer.



Winemaking Secrets for the Best Russian River Chardonnay

[…] though he has been making wine at Jordan Vineyard & Winery since 1976—a rarity in California. Night harvesting by hand is also more expensive, but the resulting elevation in vibrant flavors, bouquet and acidity is […]

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[…] been covered in a harvest 2010 post, and if you missed Erin’s 2012 Chardonnay night harvest trailer–created to celebrate the kick off of harvest and John Jordan’s favorite holiday, […]

Christopher J Davies

Very talented Lisa! Impressed!
Chris Davies

2014 vintage grape harvest, Jordan Winery, Sonoma County

[…] is famous for is worth the effort. In the meantime, we may have to wait until a week or so before night-harvesting our first Russian River Chardonnay grapes of the 2014 […]

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[…] harvest kicked off at Jordan Winery on August 30 with Russian River Valley chardonnay grapes—all night-harvested by hand. With continued moderate weather, we were hoping to allow ripening to continue in the rest of our […]

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[…] A Thrilling Night Harvest received an honorable mention from Wine Spectator last year, and we also earned second runner-up for The Talking Grape a few years ago. Wish us luck! […]


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Lisa Mattson

Videographer, photographer, writer and publicist. Find me on weekends trying to capture footage of the elusive Jordan Estate jack rabbits and turkeys.

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