Talk about your jack-rabbit start! If you’ve checked out our Harvest Calendar, you don’t have to ask how the weather’s been. The writing’s on the crush-pad, so to speak. I’m sure there must have been years that have been equally frenetic, but I can’t think of one right now. Everybody’s scrambling to keep up with these impatient grapes!
I must say our Winemaker, Geoff Gorsuch, is in awfully good humor considering the work load. Maybe he’s got his eyes on the proverbial prize – quick harvest means quick finish! Could be he’s delerious from lack of rest – kinda like last spring. Could be he’s happy with quality. 😉 The berries are small, which is good for flavor intensity and, apart from a couple of recent, rather intense heat waves, you’d call it a cool season. And cool is cool as far as the grapes are concerned! Gives them time to actually mature, in terms of flavor development, rather than just getting sweet.
After getting those hot flashes out of her system, Mother Nature has been just as sweet as a little lamb – it’s so mild and comfortable! And, Geoff says the sugars have actually gone down a little. Yippee! Next week’s forecast is cooler yet.
But, in the last three weeks it’s been Chenin Blanc, Merlot, Howell Mountain Cab, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc – BAM, BAM, BAM, BAM, BAM!!! And, today it’s Estate Cab; Monday it’s Estate Cab Franc. Chardonnay’s not far off. Whew! You ought to be here – truly! It smells soooo good!!
Hopefully a couple of weeks of mild weather will pause the harvest before the last push. I’d guess every winemaker in the valley could use a break right now. And, while they’re pleased with quality, if they’re like Geoff, the more reports you see, the more we know yields are down quite a bit – not such a happy thing. Our Howell Mountain Cab was down by over 50%! Fortunately, that’s the worst of it, but it hurts.
Anyway – come by for a delicious sniff before it’s all over!