Three Questions with… Brad Knapp of Pinnacle Ridge

Pinnacle_Brad1. What activities take place in the vineyard during the month of June? What kind of weather are you hoping for?

Vineyards explode during June and our main objective is to try and keep up with the rapid vine growth. We need to position the rapidly growing shoots in the trellis wires so that the resultant canopy is thin and vertical. This allows every leaf in the canopy to be exposed to sunlight for maximum photosynthesis. We also look for enough heat to keep the vine growing and fruit ripening, and enough rain so that the vines do not stall in their development.

2. Many of our local winery owners have either a professional science or engineering background (including yourself). Why are those fields so helpful when it comes to making wine?

I have a PhD in analytical chemistry so I find the lab work associated with winemaking to be fairly straightforward. Additionally, my background helps when dealing with wines that are not “normal” – high or low acid, high or low pH, etc.

3. Pinnacle Ridge has developed a great reputation for its sparkling wines. But they don’t just have to be for special occasions and toasts any more. How can wine lovers incorporate sparkling wines into their regular wine drinking habits?

Unfortunately the wine culture in the United States is fairly new and limited. In most of Europe wine is a major part of daily life. Sparkling wines have typically only been enjoyed on special occasions here, but in Europe they are part of daily life. Sparkling wines are light and refreshing and are perfect for warm weather. They are the perfect wines to pair with light appetizers or salads. I find nothing better than rewarding myself with a glass of bubbly after cutting the grass!