With the California wine grape harvest in full swing, 2013 is shaping up as a good year for many growers, including vineyard manager Jim Stollberg at Presqu’ile Winery in Santa Maria.

Presqu’ile (pronounced press-KEEL) Winery kicked off its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape harvests in early September, followed by pickings of Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, and Nebbiolo grapes. The harvests should wrap up in mid October.

“The wine grape yields are at our estimates or slightly better and the berries are slightly larger than usual,” Stollberg says. “Grape quality looks good and the fruit is clean. The feedback from our winemakersis very positive.”

This fall is the first harvest of Nebbiolo grapes.

The 200-acre operation located in the Santa Maria Valley (SMV) in Southern California’s Santa Barbara County includes 72-acres of premium wine grapes, said Stollberg during Farm Press’ late July visit.

The area’s unique east-to-west flow of cool marine breezes creates an excellent environment to grow Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc grapes.

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Started in 2007, Presqu’ile Winery includes the vineyards and winery. The operation is owned and operated by two generations of the Murphy family, with Matt Murphy at the helm.

Winemaker Dieter Cronje focuses on premium to luxury wines - mostly Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Total case production last year was about 3,000. Estimates this year fall in the 5,000 case range.

The wine price points are Chardonnay in the mid $30 range; Pinot Noir - upper $30s-$50s; Syrah - $40 range; and Sauvignon Blanc in the mid $20s.

Cronje prefers to harvest high acid, lower-sugar grapes.

Presqu’ile sells about one quarter of its tonnage to seven wineries in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Presqu’ile also sources grapes from local vineyards.