Every growing season has its ups and downs. Each season leaves its mark and no two are ever the same. Every single day in the vineyard adds to the DNA that will help define the characteristics of the wine in the bottle. It is never a perfect process…as a matter of fact it is perfectly imperfect! I’ll give you some examples; three years ago our harvest took place in the middle of a freezing cold rain storm and took two days to complete, last year was a big challenge as the four year long drought was finally taking its toll, the addition of wild fires and last minute rain storms made for a challenging growing season. All of these events have an impact on the end result . We were luckier than most last season, going down from 76 tons two years ago to just 38, but some grape yields were down as much as 60 percent or more due to the drought.
Now with harvest just two weeks away, more or less, everything is looking very good and the fruit production will definitely be up from last year, guesstimate at +-50 tons. The anticipation is somewhat agonizing…what could happen next? You can feel the excitement and anxiety in the conversations I have been having with growers and winemakers alike.
This past week, we awakened to heavy fog on the mountain with cool temperatures hanging around till noon time, thus slowing down the maturation process…last year, no fog at all. As I am writing this, it is very humid as clouds are blocking the sunlight…could there possibly be a shower coming on? That would not be a well timed thing right now! Although technology in wine making and grape growing has come a long way, there are certain things you have no control over. Ill timed rain, too much sun/heat, the wrong bugs, wild fires, wind, hail storms, wild boar, wild turkeys, wild deer, make for a very wild ride! This is the time of year when you hold your breath a little with the hope that there will be no new surprises! So, if you are a ‘control freak’, this is not a business you would like!
I’ll let you know how it goes…