Well, the fun part of making wine predictions is that you get to be, well, wrong.
A few posts back, I explained how it looked like we were running late. I did point out that things can change quite a bit with a bit of heat. I *may* have also had a bit of an error in my measurements….yeah, it happens to the best of us. At any rate, we were late – just not quite as late as I thought – but we needed some help/heat to get ahead.
Well, we sure got it. Now we’re ahead. At least a week ahead. What a difference six weeks and a properly functioning spreadsheet makes…
As you can see, bloom has started – and is well on its way – throughout the vineyard. The Chardonnay started off the party, followed shortly by our oldest Pinot blocks as well as the 115 (of course). As I’ve noted before – the date of bloom & set really sets the harvest date. Like being pregnant – it takes a certain amount of time for grapes to get ready – and that clock started early.
So – having made a somewhat embarrassing prediction the last go around, why don’t I fire up another one. I predict that our harvest will start on….September 23rd. Why that day? Well, it’s very close to what we are projecting off the start of bloom (100-110 days) and it’s a Tuesday. I figure it’ll take the weekend and Monday to convince ourselves to pick…so, call it Tuesday.
Naturally, Nature wants to keep things tricky – we have some rain forecast for the next several days. Rain – and the cold weather that accompanies it – can disrupt bloom, leading to a small crop. The bloom has been going for some time – so it should be substantially complete – and the rain isn’t forecasted to be too much…but still, we’ll cross our fingers that things don’t get too disrupted.
This rain is a good example that just because we have a decent idea of when harvest will start doesn’t mean we’ll know what the vintage will be like. We could – as noted – get a small crop from a poor set. We could have a really hot summer – and big wines – or a cool summer with leaner wines. It could – like last year – rain at harvest, causing delays and problems. It could not rain at all – a la 2008 – and allow for a delay or harvest for more ripeness. There are still many variables in play.
But, at least one big one is now know. Looks like we’re going to be early.