Tag Archives: California

Vintage 2013: Budbreak

The air is warm now and the slightly tangy smell of sulfur dusting is beginning to permeate the valley.
My weather update says it is 84 degrees today. After a super dry January and February we’ve seen a little bit of rain at the end of March and beginning of April. It was much needed and the vines are soaking it and the sunshine now right up. The Cabernet in front of the winery on the Tokalon vineyard are almost 4″ out already! It will be harvest before we know it. In the meantime, we’re watching for frost over the next few weeks although the forecast is currently not calling for any over the next few days. My husband and I are being brave and have put a few tomatoes out already. The winds have been very gusty but so far the tender little shoots seem to have escaped damage. If the weather stays like this it is on track to be a beautiful spring and a promising vintage.


Harvest 2011 – Week 7 – The Waiting Game

This past week brought cooler temperatures to the regions around Asti Winery.  We saw a noticeable slowdown in sugar accumulation and thus a drop in tons being delivered as growers waited to see movement again.  This week is forecasted to be warmer and hopefully this will kick ripening back into gear.  Chardonnay is coming in more rapidly now and the Pinot Gris is tapering off pointing to the second phase of the harvest during which we use oak during fermentations and the tank planning needs to be more long term rather than a few weeks as wines go through Malolactic conversion and stay on lees.


The crop is still short as estimates are falling short of what is actually on the vines.  I hesitate to throw out numbers but let’s just say we’re removing trucks more than we’re adding them. It seems to be a state-wide trend. 


So we’re waiting…


Waiting to see how the season will go.

Waiting to see how the remaining crop estimates will stack up.

Waiting to see what the quality will be on the high end reds. 

Waiting to see if the weather and tank space will hold out.


I haven’t been out in the North Coast vineyards very much for reds yet this year.  I’ve been busy with whites so far.  We’ve had a fewLodired varieties come in so I’m sure the North Coast reds varieties are working there way towards ripeness but this will not be one of those years where the Cabernet will reach 26 Brix. California may have to content itself with some lower alcohols for this vintage as it did last year. This is an exciting prospect for me but not everyone shares my sentiment.  Only time will tell for sure however.