Harvest from a Markham Point of View
Not everyone has the chance to experience harvest in the Napa Valley first-hand, so we’d like to share it with you from a Markham point of view. We’re exploring what our team members are excited about and a few memorable moments that make harvest at Markham a fruitful experience for everyone involved.
If our Vineyard and Sustainability Manager Adrienne Uboldi could sum up the harvest in just one word, it would be: painstakingly rewarding (ok, we let her have TWO words). As a self-proclaimed “outdoorsy nerd”, there’s nothing more fulfilling than being able to walk the vineyards and see the full growing season from pruning to bud break and then have it all culminate with harvest. It is Adrienne’s sustainability-centered vineyard management that makes her a cherished member of our team; her constantly evolving approach keeps the health of our employees, land, and fruit at the forefront of what we do and who we are.
Fresh Identity & Storied History
Each year, harvest takes on a fresh identity and offers something new. For our Winemaker Kimberlee Nicholls (now leading her 21st harvest as at Markham)there is a constantly renewed sense of wonder and focus that brings her back year after year. This time around, Kimberlee is particularly exuberated with the Merlot fruit coming out of our 60-acre Rockerbox Vineyard, which sits at the foot of Mount Saint Helena, and is cradled in a natural canyon, surrounded by bay laurel, wild fennel, and oak woodlands.
As one of the first female winemakers in the Napa Valley, and with three decades of experience under her belt, Kimberlee’s delight for creating food-friendly wine is directly showcased by our Marked Parcels Collection. This year will be no different. As the sun rises over our iconic stone cellar, Kimberlee is off to walk the vineyards in search of the best examples of variety and vintage. The hand-marked parcels chosen will be reserved for these rare and limited vineyard-designate bottlings. But for all the new discoveries to unearth this harvest, we also depend deeply on our celebrated heritage that fortifies us and allows the Markham story to evolve, grow, and be enriched by our unique mark of character.
Rumor has it, Bruce Markham would begin each harvest by firing off a miniature cannon. While there may not be a cannon firing in the vineyard in 2021, we still return to our roots each harvest by gathering for a blessing of the grapes.
What This Year Will Yield
With our Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot in, and Cabernet Sauvignon next on the docket, this year’s harvest is described as “an imprint on your memory” by Assistant Winemaker Abigail Horstman. Days, weeks, and even months after harvest, the smell of crushed grapes and subsequent fermentation can be recalled in a thought. She finds these memorable qualities push her and her dedicated female winemaking team forward throughout the year as they collectively strive toward innovation and embrace the willingness to try new things.
Working together is at the core of the Markham story and as Cellar Master Robert Diaz demonstrates with his can-do attitude and innovative thinking, it’s the unique talents of everyone involved, particularly during harvest, that add immense value to our winemaking team and every bottle of Markham Wine. Napa Valley native, and our resident Enologist, Patricia Sciacca shares the sentiment and adds that “It takes the expertise, hard work and input from everyone—Winemaker, Assistant Winemaker, Cellar Master, Vineyard Manager and our whole harvest crew to make Crush 2021 a success!”