Cristom 2023 harvesting grapes

Photo courtesy of Cristom Vineyard Foreman, Luis Armando Orozco

Harvest 2023 harvest began with a flurry on September 7th, with the first tons of Chardonnay being hand-harvested from Eola-Amity Hills partner, Stiling Vineyard. The following day, we harvested Chardonnay from the 6 acres planted on the volcanic soils of our Paul Gerrie estate vineyard. Two days later, we began harvesting Pinot Noir from the steep, volcanic soils of our Jessie Vineyard and some of our oldest vines in Louise Vineyard on September 10th.

Cristom Vineyards Harvesting team toasting
Cristom vineyard and harvested grapes
Cristom Harvest 2023 Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir_Photo by Owner-Winegrower Tom Gerrie
Cristom Harvest 2023 Louise Vineyard Pinot Noir_Credit Tom Gerrie

For the month of September, our incredible winegrowing team brought in 10+ tons of fruit almost daily, and our all-star production team worked in a beautifully synchronized manner to flip fermenters, barrel down to the cellar, and make room for new arrivals.

Cristom Harvest 2023 Production Forklift Dance

The compressed harvest timeline was made possible by our incredibly talented, hardworking, and well-rounded winegrowing and winemaking teams, who picked record numbers of grapes in a day and who punched away (pun intended) on Pinot Noir punch-downs and pump-overs and completed Chardonnay rack and returns.

As of September 26th, we’d finished the rack and returns on our estate Chardonnay, and completed the Royer Vineyard Chardonnay in the following days.

Pinot Noir fermentations were steady and aided by a key improvement in the temperature control of our fermenters, which aids the quality of the wine. The first fermenters of this vintage were pressed and went to barrels by the end of September, and we are really pleased with the Pinot Noirs going down into the cellar. As of October 27th, we completed Pinot Noir fermentations and pressings.

The small lot of Gamay Noir carbonic maceration fermentation also progressed nicely.

Cristom Harvest 2023 Production Shovel Fermenter_Credit John Valls
Cristom Harvest 2023 Production Winemaker Daniel Estrin Barrels Down Pinot Noir_Credit John Valls
Cristom Harvest 2023 Production Barrel Down
Cristom Harvest 2023 Production Assitant Winemaker Chris Butler Pours Over Carbonic Gamay Noir_Credit John Valls

As of Friday, September 29th, 85% of our grapes were in the winery. We paused picking during the rains and found it to be a real benefit to the remainder of the fruit hanging as it refreshed the vines, elongated the fruit development, and seemingly broadened the flavor profile, which was already showing incredible promise.

Cristom 2023 Pinot Noir Jessie Vineyard

After the welcomed break, the last blocks of Pinot Noir were harvested on October 7th. With a final pick of Syrah on Sunday, October 8th, we concluded a fast-paced yet fantastic harvest.

Cristom Eileen Vineyard Pinot Noir harvested on 10.7.23


The 2023 growing season was warm and dry, albeit for the rain at the end of September and early October, and in many ways is comparable to the 2022 growing season. In several of our estate vineyards, we saw a one- to two-day difference in the length of the growing season compared to 2022 and generous yields at or slightly above the previous vintage.

The incredible quality and yields of the Chardonnay 2023 vintage mark a real turning point in Cristom’s ability to showcase the capability of our vines and terroir to produce world-class Chardonnay.

Cristom Eileen Vineyard Growing Season 2023_Credit B. Kochvar


Structurally, the 2023 vintage fruit appears to be in between the 2021 and 2022 vintages with bright acidity, leaner tannin, modest alcohol, and gorgeous aroma and flavor characteristics. We are extremely excited about the quality of this vintage — our third great vintage in a row — and look forward to how the wine takes shape and when we can share it with you!

Cristom 2023 harvest Pinot Noir grapes
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