Join us for Harvest time at the scenic Ampelos Vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills of Santa Barbara County. We followed Peter and Rebecca Work of Ampelos Cellars during the exciting fall harvest time as they Ampelos is a Greek word meaning “vine” and since the Peter and Rebecca also have strong ties to Greece where they were married and once owned a Bed and Breakfast, so they named their vineyard “Ampelos.” Peter and Rebecca truly respect nature and have worked hard to practice organic and biodynamic methods of winemaking.
Peter makes us so excited about the harvest process and with all the different varietals it goes on for some time. “It feels like harvest just takes forever” Peter says and “When we go out and we pick like we do today, it is like the moment of truth, it is all the stuff you have been working on throughout the year from the first little bud break, going out training the shoots, and knocking shoots off and counting and finding out what to do and how much water to irrigate this week and how to train the canopy and all these things that you work on throughout the year, day after day, this is the day when you will see what the products is like, what the result is like. ”
The 2008 harvest had a lot of problems with weather, the worst frost in eight years and then three days with temperatures above 100 degrees. This will give a much lower yield and pretty intense flavors in the wines.
Peter and Rebecca purchased the land for their vineyard in 1999 and had their first harvest in 2004 with Pinot Noir and Syrah. In 2009 the winery became organic and biodynamic certified and in 2011 SIP certified. SIP stands for sustainability in practice.
After the morning at the vineyard we headed to the cellar located in the Lompoc to deliver the grapes and to try some wines that were still in progress with much promise. You can try Ampelos wines in the ‘Lompoc Wine Ghetto’ in a tasting room with up-cycled design elements.
We had such a wonderful time and learned much at the vineyard. Thank you Peter and Rebecca for sharing your harvest day with us. Cheers!