The Caspar Estate 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Harvest
There’s something magical about Caspar Estate. Maybe it’s the location: nestled high above Rutherford in the Mayacamous Mountain Range, the vineyards over look the Napa Valley, on autumn days when the mountain peaks pierce the early morning cloud layer. On clear, fall mornings, like the one pictured here, you can see the hot air balloons as they rise over Yountville to get a peak of this special place – a place unlike any other in the world.
Or maybe the magic comes from the fruit? Our estate comprises ten acres of vineyard land tucked into rocky, volcanic crags, where sunlight graces the hillsides while cold, moist fog and gentle rains sweep by. The result is a natural terroir perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc and more.
On September 23rd, 2020, we harvested our Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in the early morning hours. All our fruit is hand-picked by our experienced vineyard crew, supervised by our winemaker, Julien Fayard. We picked a total of several tons of Cabernet Sauvignon, which was then rushed over to our winemaking facility on the south end of Napa Valley, where Julien oversaw the sorting of the fruit as it went to the crush pad.
“Understanding when to pick the fruit is part science, part instinct and part art,” says Fayard. “We want the Cabernet to reach a certain brix before we pick, because that sugar content is critical. But there are other factors at play as well, like weather conditions, moisture levels and more.”
Late summer in Napa saw a strange mix of both heat waves and unexpected rain, followed by a series of wildfires. “Mother Nature will always throw a few curve balls at you,” Fayard says. “That’s where you have to rely on your instincts on when it’s best to pick fruit.”
A mid-September heat spike lead to an earlier-than-usual harvest, with slightly lower yields than the previous year, but no sign of smoke taint. The net result may be a lower alcohol content than previous Caspar Estate vintages, but that’s to be seen.
“Every harvest is different in Napa,” says Fayard. “So, even though I may have winemaking techniques I have honed through experience that I will use on every wine we produce, I have to approach each vintage with a different mindset – one that is focused on maximizing the quality of the fruit from each harvest.”
So, what is it that makes Caspar Estate so magical? Is it our location above Rutherford, the unique terroir, the beauty of our fruit? We like to think it’s the people that make it magic. From our family, to the workers in the vineyards who tend to the grapes daily, to the winemaker who creates delicious, balanced and refined wines vintage after vintage. The magic is in the people who create and nurture the art, science and beauty of wine.
And especially in the people who drink it! Want to be one of them? Sign up for the Allocation Waitlist.
Photo credit @bobmc