Cox Vineyards Update: 2016 Crop

Growing up in our ranch house, which was built in 1856 and served as a Pony Express stagecoach stop, I watched many harvests from our windows. Even though I can no longer cruise around the vineyards and check the crops with my dad, living 400 plus miles south, I look forward to calling my family for the vineyard updates…

It’s nearing the end of harvest season at Cox Vineyards. As mentioned in the previous update, which you can find here, contract deliveries have been made to Jordan Winery, Frey Vineyards, Horse & Plow, Kathryn Kennedy Winery, Carol Shelton, and Sutter Home in the past couple of weeks. Now, all my dad has left is one last delivery to Frey and then custom crushing and picking for himself. A storm hits Thursday, so he’ll most likely resume picking next week as the weather clears.

Dad on the harvester; Photo courtesy of Whitney Vau
Grapes ready to be hauled to the winery; Photo courtesy of Whitney Vau

All of our grapes are certified organic, the most in-demand being Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by Petit Sirah, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, and the lesser-known Carignane grape; these are not the only varieties grown on the ranch.

As mentioned in my first Cox Vineyards update, the ranch is named after my grandfather Jack L. Cox (1936-2015), “Papa” to me, who bought it in 1968 with intentions to subdivide and re-sell. At the time, the formerly-named York ranch was a sheep farm, the only existing vines being eight acres of Carignane. Ironically, he fell in love with the ranch and developed it into the successful vineyard operation that it is today. This has been my family’s second harvest without our dearly-missed Papa, but I know he is supervising close by.


Left: Dad on the harvester; Right: Emptying of the harvester; Bottom: The side of CV’s truck; Photos courtesy of Debi Vau

My sleep-deprived dad giving the camera a grin; he’s such a trooper! Photo courtesy of Whitney Vau