Driving around last week in Alexander Valley I’ve really started to notice serious veraison. A sister winery of ours down on the Central coast has Pinot Gris scheduled to be picked tomorrow. Harvest is truly upon us. The weather this week has been beautiful. Cool, foggy mornings have given way to bright, sunny mid-days and afternoons around 90 degrees. Light breezes pick up in the late afternoon signaling the shift in the maritime pull which will bring back the fog for the next morning. I, like the grapevines, am thriving in this weather. I like to spend a lot of time outside during this time of year as I know it will soon be too busy to enjoy it. There is a distinct pleasure in lifting your face to the sun and relaxing in its soothing warmth.
In the winery there is a distinct sense of anticipation. The year will begin with Pinot Gris sometime late Week 3 or early Week 4. It will be joined soon after by Sauvignon Blanc and perhaps a Gewurztraminer as it was one of the first on the docket last harvest as well.
The weather seems to be holding in the upper 80s-low 90s through the rest of the week so it should be ideal ripening for the next few days.
We’ve had the great news that the European Grapevine Moth has been dealt a swift blow this year and the population numbers have been greatly reduced. Hopefully we can keep up the industry and community cooperation and eradicate this pest before it becomes established in the area.
Overall, I’m very excited about this harvest. Quality looks good, yields are down, acids are holding, and things are progressing nicely. I hope this trend keeps going but we’ll see what Week 3 has to offer for us!