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Ana Keller
October 13, 2022 | Ana Keller

2022 Harvest

Today we finished picking the 2022 fruit. That being said, we haven’t picked fruit for over two weeks. What does this mean? We picked all of our chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot gris during August and September and only waited patiently for the syrah to finish ripening.


This year we are grateful that we had access to water for our vines as needed. After a mild summer, it surprised us when a heat wave around labor day weekend was predicted, forcing us to make decisions. Julien, our winemaker, tasted the grapes, made lab analysis, and decided to pick some blocks before and others after the heat wave. 


Grapevines shut down in excessive heat, halting maturation, and then restart once temperatures come down. There are always questions regarding the dehydration of the grapes and chemical imbalances. So there is as always gambling in farming. 

We are pleased to report that the decisions have given us a wide array of flavors; things are slowly but surely fermenting in tanks and gently put in barrels for aging. 



With the grapes harvest over, we now focus on our olive harvest: We are excited to see a bountiful crop. Our goal this year is to produce two different oils: A Spanish Olive Oil and a Tuscan Olive Oil. We’ll release them towards the end of the year and you'll be the first ones to know!


Spanish Olive Oil:

  • Nutty
  • Fruity
  • Sweeter in comparison

Tuscan Olive Oil:

  • More herbal
  • "grassy" taste
  • Mild bitterness

 I always say that there is plenty of bland olive oil out there, so we choose to make ours flavorful, which means paying attention to picking them when half the olives are green, and half have turned brown. Green olives have more flavor but less oil and brown ones have more oil. We aim for flavor and good extra virgin olive oil perfect for salads and dishes where you want to enjoy the oil’s taste and health benefits. 

We’ll be back soon with a complete offering of seasonal wines for your festivities; until then, sip smartly. 

Time Posted: Oct 13, 2022 at 9:49 AM Permalink to 2022 Harvest Permalink
Ana Keller
June 17, 2022 | Ana Keller

A Tale of Two Barrels

When visiting Keller Estate and near the end of the winery tour, we walk our guests from the wine production facility, through the cave, and back to the tasting room. Lined up, we see a few hundred French oak barrels along the cave walls, many stacked two high. Here and there, one notices a few dozen stainless steel barrels, and the question has been asked: when and for what wines does Keller Estate use those barrels?


Stainless steel barrels have only been used for aging since the 1950s. Their use swept through Chablis and Europe, and across the US wine-making regions adding a new facet to the wine-making toolkit. The oak barrels in use for centuries adds oxygen, tannins, and layers of flavor to the wine during barrel aging. While that is desired for most red wines and many Chardonnays, those same flavors can overwhelm the taste of many white wine grapes. Stainless steel does not let any oxygen into the barrel, resulting in freshness and a crisp character to the wine. As the wine develops, it builds a more fruit-forward profile, both in aroma and taste.

At Keller Estate, we use French oak for our Pinot Noirs, Syrah, and most Chardonnays. For our Rose of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Oro de Plata Chardonnay, we choose to ferment in stainless steel tanks and age the wine mainly in stainless steel barrels, as it allows us to capture the essence of each varietal and the expressions of the estate.

Additionally, there are many advantages to using stainless steel barrels:

  • no oxidation of wine
  • better temperature control
  • environmentally friendly
  • Reusable for years
  • easy to clean
  • no flavor transfer from the previous barrel use. 

These advantages, along with our cool Petaluma Gap climate, contribute to light, fresh, crisp, and food-friendly wines.

Time Posted: Jun 17, 2022 at 9:00 AM Permalink to A Tale of Two Barrels Permalink
Ana Keller
December 21, 2021 | Ana Keller

Magnolias in December

Winter is when we have a chance to forget about the vineyard for a few months. Plants go dormant, and pruning starts early in 2022. As it was to be, we had an atmospheric river come through Sonoma County in October, irrigating our vineyards and putting water in our ponds. We were, of course, very relieved.

However, a warm fall meant that the water reinvigorated the plants and didn't go straight to dormancy. It's December and to our surprise we have some beautiful magnolias in full bloom. Traditionally bloom happens between late January and March. We also are seeing some swelling of the vines; thankfully, it is now very cold, and hopefully, the vines will go dormant. I encourage you to look around, and you will notice these changes. We need to take notice and have a constant reminder to take action and combat global warming.

At Keller Estate, we will continue to review all our practices and establishing new goals to reduce our footprint. Our vineyard practices, infrastructure, bottling, we will do everything we can and invite you to take action too.

As we look forward to new beginnings, we invite you to check out our fun-filled calendar of in-person and online activities for 2022. Some classic favorites (our Harvest celebration and car rally are back). New are some fun activities that will make your day just a little more exciting with a glass of Keller Estate by your side.

I would like to take a moment and acknowledge the work of all our team. Javier Rascon started as Vineyard Manager in January 2021, and he had a brutal drought season. After nurturing and carefully tending to our vines, I know 2022 will feel like a breeze. Julien Teichmann continues to craft stellar wines and find new ways to improve our quality. The third critical member is Jose Cruz, our Hospitality Manager, whose passion for serving wine to our guests and creating a friendly hospitality team has made our Tasting Room a wonderful place to visit.

Together with their teams and the Keller family, we wish you happy holidays and a healthy, happy 2022.

Time Posted: Dec 21, 2021 at 9:59 AM Permalink to Magnolias in December Permalink