According to Jillian Johnson, who produces Bechthold Vineyard Cinsaut under the Phoenix label (for the unreleased 2011 vintage, transitioning to her new Onesta label), these grapes will probably be ready to pick by Labor Day (September 3) or soon after. In fact, Bechthold’s Cinsaut has always been one of the first red wine vineyards picked. That’s also when some of California’s most celebrated vintners (like Larry Turley and Tegan Passalacqua of Turley Wine Cellars, and Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon) are seen in Lodi wine country, sipping on espresso at the local Starbucks, before heading out into the field at dawn’s early light to harvest their precious allocation of Bechthold Cinsaut.

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