This 2001 vintage of Echelon Merlot is a blend of
our best grapes from the benches and canyons that border the
Salinas Valley. These wind-sheltered areas benefit from welldrained,
alluvial soils and long hours of sunlight with warm
days and cool nighttime temperatures. All of these
conditions are optimal for high quality fruit.
Vine canopy management such as vertical
shoot positioning, leaf pulling, cluster thinning
and deficit irrigation are used to
enhance the excellent growing conditions.
Working closely with each vineyard manager
insures special care is given to our fruit.
We pick only when we achieve full flavor and
color in the grapes. Our philosophy is that the
wine is grown in the vineyard, not made in the winery.
The 2001 vintage began with a warm spring and
very hot weather during bloom. The high temperatures
caused shatter in the young clusters, resulting in looser bunches
and lighter tonnage than expected. The summer was moderately
cool until August and September when temperatures
spiked and the grapes ripened in a short period. The quality
was excellent, partly due to the natural reduction
performed by Mother Nature in the spring.