Staff Report – Photos by Daniel Dreifuss

Fall in the Santa Ynez Valley is a busy time as farmers and vintners are in full swing of harvesting crops from apples to grapes.

Among the Santa Ynez Valley’s many award-winning wineries and vineyards is Beckmen Vineyards, which allowed the Santa Ynez Valley Star to document their harvest this season.

The label was started in Los Olivos by Tom and Judy Beckmen with their son Steve, and they have set themselves apart as one of the leading wine labels in the area. Their 365-acre certified biodynamic vineyard is planted in mostly clay with a limestone subsoil, which is great for Rhone varietals that yield more intensely flavored fruit. Their vineyard, Purisima Mountain Vineyard, has an elevation change of 500 feet, which offers multiple climate changes.

Their vineyard doesn’t use any herbicides, insecticides, pesticides or nitrogen-based fertilizers, and they produce mainly white wine that includes Sauvignon Blanc, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Viognier and Chardonnay, as well as reds such as Syrah, Mourvedre and Counoise.

Harvest usually begins in late August or early September and runs through November. The farmers work around the clock harvesting, often at night to ensure that the grapes are picked at the lowest temperature and the peak of flavor.

Beckmen is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2670 Ontiveros Road in Los Olivos. Log onto for more information.