When last we left, I had predicted a harvest start date of September 23rd. We had a warm spring, leading to an early start of bloom, which, given the time driven nature of phenolic development, usually leads to an early harvest. That’s about, oh, a week early.
And, well, then we got summer. A lot.
The rumbling of an approaching freight train could be heard in the 2nd half of July…our projected harvest crept from a week ahead to 8 days….9 days…10 days…
Then the August Freight train came in- 100 degree days, average temperatures well above normal, color change in the grapes, hot-sweaty pouring events where the ice chilled Gris tasted like nectar.…and the forecast is now 12 days ahead and – given the 90 degree days forecast for the 2nd half of August – rapidly headed for two+ weeks ahead.
Oh yeah – did I mention that the crop looks to be huge this year?
I think – probably – that every winemaker has a moment of HARVEST PANIC!!!! Sometimes it’s only a moment before the end of day beer in an otherwise smooth harvest. Other times it lasts all harvest. For me, last week I was enjoying a nice camping trip when, on the last morning of the trip, my brain woke up and started putting the calendar together-given the accelerating schedule – and….ahhhhh!!!!!!! We’ve got a lot to do before harvest – bottle some of the 2013’s, clean the winery, get new tanks, get new barrels, do lots of cluster samples, pick some grapes for sparkling (wait-forget I told you that) and, oh, work on getting a new building (with a small tasting room!!!!) going.
It’s a great way to ruin an otherwise fun camping trip.
So – for those of you who love bottling (really?- love ya!), we’ll be doing that the last week of August and the first week of September. Contact us if you can help! If you’re interested in experiencing the joys of harvest – I’d block out the last two weeks of September and the first week of October. 2014 is coming on fast & hot – I think a vintage similar to 2009 is likely.
Of course…just like last year, we could have an ex-typhoon role through during harvest. Each vintage is unique and we love them all. The 2014 version is coming on fast.