Skip to Main Content

A Late Harvest; Why Limestone Soils Make Outstanding Wines

Josh Beckett, Thibido winery, Red Wine
Fruit Dropping, Veraison, Fall 2023, vineyard

Greetings Friends

Har­vest is slow­ly approach­ing and I’m prac­tic­ing patience. Wait­ing and watch­ing, fend­ing off those per­sis­tent birds in antic­i­pa­tion of the lat­est har­vest I can recall in all twen­ty sev­en years of viti­cul­ture. The upside to our slow start is that I enjoyed my first Labor Day at home in decades. And it wasn’t wast­ed! I spent the day surf­ing, bar­be­quing and enjoy­ing the sun­ny beach­es of our beau­ti­ful Cen­tral Coast with my family. 

Thibido Vine­yard is in it’s fifth leaf and flour­ish­ing after California’s unchar­ac­ter­is­ti­cal­ly wet win­ter. The canopies are pro­vid­ing shade where they should and I’m pleased with the con­ser­v­a­tive clus­ter counts. There’s final­ly some verai­son in the vine­yard as tem­per­a­tures remain warm in Paso and I’m look­ing for­ward to sam­pling some blocks of fruit this week to eval­u­ate sug­ar lev­els (Brix), acid­i­ty, pH lev­els, and fla­vor development.

Vineyard rocks plants vines and sunset
Limestone, rock, willow creek district, paso robles, vineyard

Calcareous Soil Benefits

I’ve always been impressed with the qual­i­ty of fruit from vine­yards in the Wil­low Creek Dis­trict of Paso Rob­les. The soil on the west­ern hills of Paso is excep­tion­al, full of min­er­als and packed with the rare and valu­able lime­stone. The cal­care­ous soils (lime­stone rich) of the Thibido Vine­yard enhance so many of the char­ac­ter­is­tics in the wines we pro­duce. To name a few:

  • Acid­i­ty: This soil offers ide­al drainage, pre­vent­ing over water­ing and pre­serv­ing the acid­i­ty in the grapes. Wines are often more live­ly with good acid.

  • Min­er­al­i­ty: Adding a depth and com­plex­i­ty to the flavor

  • pH Soil: The soil tends to be high­er in pH which enhances acid­i­ty in the fruit and helps boost the struc­ture of the wine, espe­cial­ly in Grenache and Syrah.

  • Age­abil­i­ty: A com­bi­na­tion of min­er­al­i­ty, bal­anced acid, and con­cen­trat­ed fla­vors from low-yields can allow wines to improve and evolve as it ages in the cellar.

French Bulldog, soil, vineyard

- — -

Be sure to fol­low us on Insta­gram or Face­book to keep up on our lat­est events and projects. You can also check out our Youtube Chan­nel for updates on what’s hap­pen­ing in the vine­yard and in the cel­lar this harvest.

I’m so grate­ful for your sup­port of our bou­tique win­ery project. You are such a big part of some­thing small!