Journey: Thoughts and Reflections along the path. 

Sheldon Haynie
August 5, 2013 | Sheldon Haynie


It seems I am to be perpetually busy, with farming, cellaring and marketing duties. Every now and then its good to pause and reflect on the journey to date. Less than 4 years ago Jane and I had no idea we would be running a winery, doing all this farming and meeting so many great, people. Lightheart Cellars has taken on a life of its own, more stakeholders in part time employees, volunteers and our customers who all have expectations and who help to shape the path. 

As we learn and grow we are doing better, earlier and smarter and the results are evident. Still have some vineyards and varietals to learn as the differences matter, and we are evolving our winemaking style as well. From our first vintage in 2010 to this our fourth upcoming, we've made better wine, by more attention to detail, better equipment and knowing what to look for. 

Our customers have gone from standing in a tent to comfortable seating on the patio, and we aren't done yet, with further improvements planned. 

to quote the Greatful Dead " what a long strange trip its been" and we're still trucking along. 



Time Posted: Aug 5, 2013 at 6:35 AM
Maria Bruhns
August 4, 2013 | Maria Bruhns

Back in the wine industry

After a hiatus and attention to domestic duties, I'm back behind a bar. 

Time Posted: Aug 4, 2013 at 1:30 PM
Sheldon Haynie
August 2, 2013 | Sheldon Haynie

Harvest Planning

We've had early veraison this year, and the birds were out in force before August 1st. That's about 2-3 weeks ahead of recent years. With our expanded vineyard acreage, harvest this year looks to be a much larger operation. Current projections show a crop load in the 4-6 ton per acre range, though we may do some cluster thinning in the Mourvedre and Grenache to compensate for low vigot. Multiply that by 36 acres and you are seeing some serious tonnage possible. 

Lightheart Cellars is only physically capable of aging about 50 barrels a year, so we only need to have about 25 tons of red grapes out of the more than 100 tons we are growing. We will sell some to other wineries, and probably end up letting the birds have a good portion in the larger vineyards as we really don't have a home for 7 acres of Syrah, and 12 of Merlot. 

With a few years of yield records we will be able to more accurately predict crop, and modulate it earlier in the season, the lesson learned this year was to have pruned to one bud per spur and shoot thinned earlier and more severely than the industry norm of two canes per spur. 

Time Posted: Aug 2, 2013 at 5:31 AM