2013 happened to be one of the warmest vintages on record. Historical weather data show it to be one of the warmest heat accumulation years on record, especially early accumulation of heat. As a result we started harvesting grapes for the vintage before Labor Day, which in 2013 fell on September 2nd. For only the second time since I started making wine in Washington, we picked grapes in August to get things started. One of the more unusual factors that influenced the vintage was how much heat was accumulated early in the vintage. By September 1st the amount of heat accumulated over the summer was significantly higher than any vintage I had seen previously in my 26 years. As a result, nearly everything was ready prior to October 1st. The final heat accumulation numbers ended up being lower than 2003 in total but the way in which we got the heat was very unusual. Many reviews of the vintage talk about early ripening and then a cooling period before other varieties got ripe.
Centuries ago the Castle was the center of village life. Although hard work occupied the day from sunup to sundown, the long nights allowed ample time for relaxation. Sweetness was highly prized, and wine was one of the few ways to preserve the "Sweet Nectar of the Gods". The Castle Blush was said to be a compromise between Damsels & Knights, Kings & Queens, Young & Old. A wine to please them all, where all went to bed happy.
The word GÃ¥rd, which means "farm," honors the Scandinavian heritage of the Lawrence family. We have been farming the fertile Royal Slope of Washington's Columbia Valley for more than 45 years. Inspired by the French Grand Cru wines, Gard â€œGrand Klasseâ€ is our reserve-level program, aptly named in reflection of our Scandinavian heritage. It represents the top tier of GÃ¥rd wines, the best of what our estate vineyard has to offer. Award-winning wines produced by winemaker Aryn Morell to showcase the quality of the Lawrence Vineyards estate. To be designated â€œGrand Klasse,â€ each wine must meet strict standards of quality and is blended, bottled and aged with the utmost of care to bring you the very best of our grapes and effort in the bottle.