Pellenc’s selective process harvesters pick about 80 percent of the grape crop, including higher-end grapes.

“The machine actually picks grapes cleaner than a hand crew, and has the flexibility to harvest grapes at night,” Mitchell said.

Chardonnay grapes and most Pinot Noir grapes are picked at night to minimize oxidation.

Hahn’s target production is: Pinot Noir – 2.5-5 tons per acre; Chardonnay 4-6 tons per acre; Syrah – 4-6 tons; Grenache – 5-7 tons; and Malbec 4-6 tons.

About 85 percent of Hahn-grown grapes craft Hahn estate wines.

Hahn’s has two wineries – Hahn Estate Winery in Soledad and Cycles Gladiator Winery in Lodi (San Joaquin County). The wineries produced about 400,000 cases of Hahn estate wine last year.

The labels and price points and labels include: Lucienne - $50; Hahn SLH - $30; Hahn Winery - $14; and the Cycles brand - $12.

The remaining Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are sold to wineries including Testarossa, Calera, Pisoni, V. Sattui, and Hope and Grace.

The most common rootstocks include 101-14, 420A, 1103 Paulsen, SO4, Teleki 5C, and 3309.

In the SLH vineyards, water requirements are 8-12 inches in the ancient alluvial soils. The vineyards in Arroyo Seco consume about twice that due to sandier soils and warmer temperatures.

Other management practices bid well for the operation. For bird control, the use of falconry successfully dissuades large flocks (“dragons”) of starlings and blackbirds away from the grapes.

The Hahn operation participates in the Sustainability in Practice (SIP) program. Insectary rows are planted each spring between every 10th row to create a habitat for beneficial insects to remain in the vineyard.

Key beneficials include the ladybird beetle and lacewing. The insect larvae are veracious eaters of mites and mealybugs.

Clifton and Mitchell are pleased with the Flash Détente processing equipment from the Della Toffola Group utilized at the Cycles Gladiator Winery. The winery is one of about a hand full of California wineries utilizing the Flash Détente technology.

Mitchell says the system quickly heats grapes and fully extracts the grape’s contents in a vacuum chamber. The process helps remove any off flavors affiliated with under-ripe fruit and botrytis issues.