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CREWS POISED FOR HARVEST AT DOMAINE MICHEL

 CREWS POISED FOR HARVEST AT DOMAINE MICHEL
 HEALDSBURG, Calif., Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Harvest crews and winery


personnel busily attended to last minute details Friday at Domaine Michel in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley, waiting for word from wine maker Fred Payne that harvest is ready to begin.
 Domaine Michel is one of the first small California wineries producing still (non-sparkling) wine to begin harvesting its wine grapes, with Chardonnay ready for picking early Saturday morning and Merlot the following Tuesday.
 "We are fortunate at Domaine Michel that we are small enough to wait and pick the grapes just when they reach their optimum ripeness," said Payne. "This ability to act quickly ensures superior quality fruit."
 Payne explained that the cool summer in Dry Creek Valley has extended the time between veraison, the changing of color, and harvest. This develops both color and flavor, he said.
 Domaine Michel Wine Estate is located only 17 miles from California's North Coast. This close proximity to the ocean means a cool climate for the estate and steady ripening for the Chardonnay grapes.
 "The 1992 Chardonay is offering nice, ripe flavors," said Payne. "It should be an outstanding year."
 Payne is also pleased with the weather conditions for harvesting Merlot.
 "The Merlot is ripening without excessive heat," said Payne. "The north wind arriving just when the grapes are ripe means cool, dry air making perfect conditions for harvesting a concentrated grape."
 Merlot plays an important role in Domaine Michel's Bordeaux blended Cabernet Sauvignon, which also includes Cabernet Franc. It contributes to the flavor and softness of the blend.
 Once picking begins Saturday, Domaine Michel will continue harvesting through the following four weeks, with Cabernet Sauvignon being the last to come in.
 -0- 8/21/92
 /CONTACT: S. Renee Koon of Domaine Michel, 707-433-7427/ CO: Domaine Michel ST: California IN: FOD SU:


RM -- SF010 -- 2359 08/21/92 20:54 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 21, 1992
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