Looking Back at 2020

Well 2020 isn’t a year any of us will forget in a hurry!

It was definitely a year of challenges. Of course Covid dominated the news, and the various wildfires in wine country, over the late summer and early fall, were also a major concern. Our hearts go out to everyone affected by both of these disasters.

Fortunately Lake County, where our vineyards are located, was largely untouched by fire, and we were able to farm grapes during the year and harvest them without serious interruption. We very much appreciate our vineyard team led by David Weiss of Bella Vista Farms and his entire crew, including those who harvested the grapes, for ensuring an excellent crop delivered safely to the winery. By the time you read this the 2020 Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé will be bottled, ready for release in early 2021.

The Rosé was a real bright spot for Dancing Crow in 2020. When we decided we wanted to add this varietal to our portfolio, we started looking for a vineyard that was planted to Rhône red grape varieties and suitable for a Provençal style wine. The ideal site turned out to be one where 25-to-30-year-old Syrah vines sit on the Smith Lane Vineyard, whose name alone tells you how long the Smiths, who own the property, have lived and farmed there. The site is full of promise for the kind of Rosé we want to make – fresh and complex with alcohol in the 12.5% range and a lovely pale peach color.

Before everything changed in March, we had begun a project to video our winemakers, David and Katharine DeSante, talking about the vineyards and the wines. The effort was interrupted by Covid, but we did capture some interesting clips about individual wines, the vineyards they come from, and the uniqueness of Lake County itself as an up and coming winegrowing region. They are a most engaging and knowledgeable winemaking team so if you’d like to “meet” them and learn more please go to our YouTube channel HERE.

We feel very fortunate that David and Katharine are creating our wines and we thank them and the entire winery production crew for keeping everything moving and on track under the very difficult circumstances of 2020.

And that seems to be the thread here – remembering and appreciating how many people it takes to bring our wines from the place where they grow to the consumer’s table.

We owe thanks to them all, including the warehouse people, the shippers, the sales teams across the country who kept our wines on the store shelves. We are also very fortunate that grocery stores, where we sell the majority of our wines, have stayed open and made our wines available, and we thank the staff that continued to stock and sell them. And of course last, but very much not least – thanks to you, our customers, we truly appreciate your support of our family’s wines!!!

And speaking of appreciation, we are very pleased about the quality of our 2020 vintage wines. David Desante is already raving about the aromatics and bright, luscious flavor profiles of the wines; and these offerings seem destined to be a much needed silver lining to offset our otherwise less than stellar memories of this year.

The photo above was taken in March 2020 by David and Katharine looking from the eastern shore of Clearlake (for which Lake County is named) towards Mount Konocti. Apart from being an evocative image, it also seems to us to embody the wild and beautiful place where our wines begin.

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