Week 9 – The End is Nigh

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I took this photo from the side of Atlas Peak on my way back from looking at some of our vineyards up there. It reminded me of the Blue Ridge Mountains near my parents home in South Carolina. This year has seen some crazy weather. We just had a second “rain event” during the last period of “unsettled weather” ( I still can’t get over the Californian weather speak) and this week we’ve seen really dry and windy conditions. Humidity below 20% is especially tough for a Southerner. I hate the dry feeling on my skin and in my nose. It’s bad for the grapes as well because dry wind means dehydration for all; winemakers and grapes included. As I see it, the season is now over and it starts to become a triage to pick the most vulnerable fruit first. As I said last week, everything is ready and it’s just a matter to get it all in the winery. Even though I thought last week was halfway, I didn’t realize that we would be completely finished by the end of next week. They are calling for yet another rain event on Wednesday so a tiny bit of the harvest might push into week 11 but for the main event week 10 will see the last large harvest days for Robert Mondavi Winery. My husband, Brian, inspired by my blogging has suggested a partner harvest blog called “Harvest Widow”. Maybe he will be a guest author next year to give the other side of the story. Behind every great winemaker during harvest is a fantastically supportive spouse trying to keep the house from falling apart, the cats from killing each other and the baby fed and clothed.

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