Courtney Kingston
September 29, 2015 | Winemaking | Courtney Kingston

The Frost Blanket (and Our New Wines!)

For many, frost conjures up images of a crisp autumn morning and a white dusting on your neighbor’s roof or lawn. For our family’s vineyard in Chile, frost is also a hallmark of fall, but it is even more so a rite of passage for Casablanca Valley’s early spring.

We have lived through almost 20 years of nail-biting induced by western Casablanca’s spring frost season.  It has become part of what we expect each year, and we breathe a collective sigh of relief when late September comes and we’re finally in the safe zone.  

Frost in the vineyards

We have extensive frost protection throughout our vineyard, including overhead micro-sprayers and wind turbines.  The micro-sprayers are usually most effective, because as the water freezes on the buds, it releases latent heat and keeps the new green growth warm.  But given Casablanca’s 9-year drought, it means making a big bet with our most precious resource, water. Once we start the water sprinklers, we have to keep them on until the temperatures rise again above freezing.  Thankfully, our vineyard manager Patricio and his crew are quite adept at 2am decisions about whether or not to use water on those clear, cold nights.  

Ice on the vines creates an igloo effect

The sun warms the frozen vines.

The 2014 vintage was particularly challenging, when the strongest frost in over 40 years hit us on the night of September 17, 2013.  Similar to a 50-year flood or a forest fire, there was little we could do to counteract Mother Nature’s powerful freeze that night.  But also akin to those devastating natural disasters—with time we saw small signs of rebirth.  

For this fall release, we made just 5 barrels of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay—bottling 50 cases of our 2014 CJ’s Barrel Pinot Noir, and 75 cases of our 2014 Sabino Chardonnay.  Despite the high farming costs and meager harvested grapes per hectare, we are especially pleased with the quality of these wines and think they are among our best ever.  Our winemaker Amael Orrego commented in his recent tasting notes: “it’s wines like our 2014 Pinot Noir that inspired me to become a winemaker.”  David Gates, our longtime vineyard consultant from California’s Ridge Vineyards, fortunately tells us outstanding wine frequently emerges from extreme frosts as the additional bud break produces low quantities of grapes, but exceptional fruit.

Hope springs, bud break reaches the vineyards

Unfortunately due to the very low quantities, our new wines will likely be sold out immediately to our Old Corral Club members.  For our general mailing list customers, we’re delving into our library to share some earlier vintages that have since been highly rated.  I pulled together a fun set of my husband Andy's and my favorite wines that we too will be enjoying this Fall with our family and friends.

Frosts and other challenges notwithstanding, our family is grateful for our farm, and for the opportunity to share our corner of the world with you.  Thank you for your support and enthusiasm for our wines; it means everything to our small, family vineyard.


Cassandra Garza's Gravatar
Cassandra Garza
@ Jul 7, 2020 at 11:01 AM
Management of the frost and theme are invited for the flow of the offers. Margins of the turns and are selected for the targets for the team. The part is introduced for the host of the management skills for the groups.

안전놀이터's Gravatar
@ Nov 9, 2020 at 12:18 AM
I am curious to find out what blog system you have been using? I’m having some small security problems with my latest website and I’d like to find something more secure. Do you have any solutions?

cbd delivery white plains's Gravatar
cbd delivery white plains
@ Nov 15, 2020 at 2:27 AM
I have noticed that over the course of developing a relationship with real estate homeowners, you’ll be able to get them to understand that, in every single real estate transaction, a commission is paid. In the long run, FSBO sellers will not “save” the commission. Rather, they fight to win the commission by means of doing a great agent’s job. In completing this task, they invest their money along with time to conduct, as best they will, the assignments of an broker. Those duties include getting known the home by means of marketing, representing the home to all buyers, constructing a sense of buyer desperation in order to prompt an offer, making arrangement for home inspections, taking on qualification checks with the loan company, supervising fixes, and aiding the closing of the deal.

토토가족방's Gravatar
@ Nov 15, 2020 at 2:28 AM
Keep up the great piece of work, I read few content on this website and I think that your blog is real interesting and contains lots of wonderful info.

free chat website's Gravatar
free chat website
@ Nov 23, 2020 at 11:10 AM
I am thankful that I noticed this web blog , just the right info that I was searching for! .

먹튀검증's Gravatar
@ Dec 4, 2020 at 11:23 PM
Thanks for helping out, superb info .'s Gravatar
@ Dec 4, 2020 at 11:23 PM
I went over this site and I believe you have a lot of excellent info saved to favorites .

innersloth's free game's Gravatar
innersloth's free game
@ Dec 6, 2020 at 2:49 AM
Many of the brightly painted buildings are old and weathered and there is graffiti everywhere. But there are a lot of paintings that you will surely enjoy for sure

playing battle cats's Gravatar
playing battle cats
@ Dec 6, 2020 at 2:50 AM
Casablanca Valley is amazing place to visit! There are many cafeteria near the area that you can try too, good food and coffee is waiting for you

ophthalmology expert witness NY's Gravatar
ophthalmology expert witness NY
@ Dec 13, 2020 at 12:03 AM
Solid post! I honestly wasn’t aware of this. It is a relief to read because I get so disappointed when writers put no thought into their work. It is obvious that you know what you’re writing about. I’ll definitely visit again!

토토's Gravatar
@ Dec 23, 2020 at 5:40 AM
I’d have to check with you here. Which isn’t something Which i do! I quite like reading a post that can make people believe. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

파워볼게임's Gravatar
@ Dec 28, 2020 at 12:51 AM
Thanks a ton for your time and effort to have put these things together on this weblog. Janet and i also very much appreciated your suggestions through your articles on certain things. I know that you have a variety of demands on your own program hence the fact that you took all the time just like you did to guide people just like us by means of this article is also highly valued.

dispensary near me's Gravatar
dispensary near me
@ Jan 16, 2021 at 12:04 AM
There is noticeably a lot of money to comprehend this. I assume you’ve made certain nice points in functions also.

poker's Gravatar
@ Jan 16, 2021 at 12:05 AM
I am curious to find out what blog system you happen to be utilizing? I’m having some minor security problems with my latest website and I would like to find something more risk-free. Do you have any solutions?'s Gravatar
@ Jan 17, 2021 at 3:10 AM
You produced some decent points there. I looked online for that problem and located most people may go in conjunction with with your internet site.

ethereum cloud mining's Gravatar
ethereum cloud mining
@ Jan 17, 2021 at 3:10 AM
This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to more of your magnificent post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

먹튀검증's Gravatar
@ Jan 23, 2021 at 1:28 AM
I’m just commenting to let you know what a excellent discovery my cousin’s girl encountered going through your web site. She noticed several details, which include how it is like to possess an ideal coaching spirit to let others smoothly learn a number of grueling subject areas. You actually did more than visitors’ desires. Thank you for distributing these great, dependable, informative and unique tips on that topic to Tanya.

청주출장안마's Gravatar
@ Jan 23, 2021 at 1:28 AM
You got a very good website, Gladiolus I found it through yahoo.

Add A Blog Comment
E-Mail me when someone comments on this post
Leave this field blank: