The Hartford family farms its vineyards to allow the vineyards to display characteristics that are unique to their sites.
We have performed in depth soils analyses of each of our vineyards. Different soils have been identified and vineyards were mapped into small blocks at the time of planting. Farming practices and rootstock/clonal selections are then tailored to the soils and other environmental conditions. Our goal is to allow each specific block within a vineyard to express its optimum, most distinctive character.
The least invasive farming principles are followed. Organic practices are employed in several of our vineyards and Biodynamic practices have been used at two sites.
We believe that limited intervention promotes the expression of vineyard personality or character and adds to our belief in sustainability.
The vines are tightly spaced (from 4 by 6 feet to 5 by 8 feet, depending on location). We believe that tight spacing encourages competition among vines, promotes smaller cluster and berry size, and accentuates the intensity of our wines.
We believe low yields generally produce more intense concentrated flavors and textures. Our vineyards typically yield from as little as .75 ton per acre to about 3 tons per acre.
Several of our established vineyards are not irrigated. We feel over-watering of vines produces more crop but dilutes flavors.
We harvest when the flavors are right. We do not harvest our grapes based solely on brix readings, or testing in the lab.
We consider such measurements to be valuable, but at Hartford Family Winery, we harvest our grapes when we judge, by tasting, that sugars, tannins, acids and most importantly flavors are all optimum.