06 Nov Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Harvest Party at Fiddlehead Cellars’ Fiddlestix Vineyard
Harvest 2021 is almost complete. And to celebrate, Fiddlehead Cellars in the Sta. Rita Hills hosted a private celebration at the Fiddlestix Vineyard. It was a clear Saturday morning last weekend when I drove up the coast from Los Angeles. Spending the afternoon celebrating Fiddlehead Cellars’ 2021 Harvest was a lovely way to spend an afternoon and is the Please The Palate pick of the week.
From what I am hearing from winemaker friends in the Santa Ynez Valley, and elsewhere, 2021 is looking to be a great vintage. There is a lot of excitement when they talk about what they are tasting in the barrel so far. There seems to be a lot to celebrate – completing another successful harvest and the potential of the vintage!
I always accept an invitation from Fiddlehead Cellars to one of their events. I attend the “Drink 728 on 7/28” event each year, as well as the “Pink Party” when the Rosé is released. Parties at Fiddlehead Cellars are welcoming, jovial, and filled with good wine and food. The Harvest Party was no exception.
Kathy Joseph has been making wine in the Sta. Rita Hills since the late 1980s. She produces Pinot Noir from her Fiddlestix Vineyard, as well as from the Alloro Vineyard in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. She makes Sauvignon Blanc from fruit from Happy Canyon AVA. And, she has also been making Gruner Veltliner as she planted it in the Fiddlestix Vineyard.
At the Harvest Party, Kathy generously shared currently releases and older releases of all of her wines. It is quite a treat to be able to taste older vintages and all the more impressive how well her wines have aged. There were Sauvignon Blancs from 2001 and 2003 that I drank. These wines are 20 years old and they still had fresh acidity and beautiful aromas. I was especially impressed with the vibrancy of the 2001 Happy Canyon Sauvignon Blanc.
And from the Pinot Noirs, I enjoyed them all….the Alloro Pinot Noir and the Oldsville Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley and various vintages of the Fiddlehead 728 Pinot Noir. But I especially enjoyed fruit and earth notes and the lovely mouthfeel of the 2016 Doyle Pinot Noir, a single barrel select named in honor of Kathy’s husband Tom Doyle.
There was a taco bar and we enjoyed the food and wine while listening to live music and looking out at the Fiddlestix Vineyard. Now that the grapes have been picked, the leaves are turning colors, letting us know that Fall/Winter is here.
It was also wonderful to see other local winemakers celebrating, especially after not seeing than for almost two years. Norm Yost and his wife Kate Griffith from Flying Goat Cellars, Karen Steinwachs from Buttonwood Farm Winery and Seagrape Wine Company, Gretchen Voelcker from Luna Hart Wines and Piazza Family Wines, Tara Gomez and Mireia Taribo of Camins 2 Dreams, and Kris Curran and Bruno D’Alfonso from D’Alfonso-Curran Wines.
And like all good Fiddlehead Cellars parties, it ended with making smores…
Kathy Joseph’s parties are always filled with great wine and fun. And, while Fiddlehead parties are known to continue even after the music stops, I had to hit the road to head home.