Harvest Moon Winery combines the best parts of boutique wineries: fun vibe, passionate winemaker, raving fans, and of course, amazing wine. We recently made some time to catch up with Harvest Moon, and a good time was had by all!
The Harvest Moon Estate is in a modern farmhouse-style building surrounded by grapevines and mature trees, protected by a formal stone and steel entrance gate. There is plenty of parking, included shaded areas for folks traveling with dogs. Since we were not accompanied by any furry friends, we parked in an open space and walked past the antique car to the tasting room. Owner and winemaker Randy Pitts welcomed us, even remembering our previous visit!
Randy got us started with a 2016 Sparkling Gewürztraminer. We enjoyed the green apple and spice flavors, with a pleasantly dry finish. What a unique start to our tasting flight! We moved on to their 2014 Sparkling Zinfandel, which we learned spent six days “on the skins” which delivered great color and amazing raspberry and cranberry notes. Yet another unique, only at Harvest Moon, approach to a sparkling wine. Hospitality Manager Gretchen tagged in, and poured a 2016 Gewürztraminer, this time presented as a still wine. A trip to the tropics for the palate, with light and crisp layers of mango, guava and lychee nuts cascading over each other.
Our next happy surprise was their 2015 50/50. Named for its 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Zinfandel blend, we were amazed to experience a near-perfect red blend. Great aromas leading to fun layers of fruit and spice. Next up was their 2015 Pitts Home Ranch Estate Zinfandel. This immediately led off our “take home” list, with notes of pitted fruit, spicy terroir, and just enough acid and tannin to stand up to food. Their 2014 Harvest Moon Syrah combined juicy fruit, dusty Chinese 5 spice, and herbaceous notes with leather, tobacco, and cola on the finish. We would pair it with roast chicken and bok choy or a medium rare pepper steak.
We next experienced something truly special: a taste of first vintage Harvest Moon ever produced. Randy popped open a 2002 Zinfandel, made from the same vineyard as our beloved 2015 Pitts Home Zin. Upon tasting this wine, exclamations included “there’s something important happening” and “the TV is going on pause and nobody gets back to it until the bottle’s empty” and “Heaven!” and, finally, “lock the door.” The aging of this Zin had magically softened all of the edges and highlighting the fruit and leather. This was definitely a case ofus being in the right place at the right time!
Having tasted heaven, we collected our wines, tried to express our gratitude to Randy and Gretchen, and set off for our next tasting.
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?
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