Posted by Brian Loring Every year presents its own unique set of challenges. Whether it’s heat spells, rain or frost, it’s always something. This year we’ve seen it all. Starting with one of the worst frosts in California in decades, to the crazy heat spell we saw at the end of August, to the potential for some nasty rain in Oregon, 2008 maybe be one of the weirdest vintages in recent memory.
Posted by Dave Phinney Thank God for fog. We all enjoyed waking up to fog a couple of weeks ago. It was exactly the type of weather we needed. The grapes have enjoyed an extended period of cool to mild temperatures that has realigned the flavors and sugars.
Posted by Josh Bergström For the first time in ten vintages, I have not harvested any fruit in the month of September. Usually our young vines are ready to come in around the week of September 20th. Currently, our ripest fruit is sitting at 22.
Posted by Jeremy Seysses Right. It's decided. We will begin picking on Saturday. Another two days and we are throwing ourselves into it, a decision that was a long time coming. But first, let me give you a quick summary of the story so far.
Posted by Stéphane Ogier The vintage has just begun in Côte-Rôtie; the ban des vendanges commenced on the 18th of September. It has been a difficult vintage for the region, with a cool summer and above-average rainfall.
Posted by Barbara Kronenberg-Widmer After last weekend's rain we have been enjoying the sun this week, which gives us tranquility while completing the harvest in the Maremma and finishing picking the Merlot in Chianti Classico.
Posted by Adam Lee Currently, there is a movement in California backing away from the bigger, higher alcohol wines that seemed to become the norm sometime in the late 1990s. Some of this is due to a string of cooler vintages, but some of it is a deliberate decision by a number of winemakers to necessarily take a step back from always pushing the envelope on ripeness.
Posted by Bob Betz Washington wine growers endured a minor scare beginning Monday night, September 22, through the morning of Tuesday the 23rd. Temperatures dipped dangerously close to freezing just before sunrise Tuesday, with potentially serious consequences, considering how much fruit remains to be harvested.
Posted by Jean-Charles Cazes Smiles are back on vintners' faces in Bordeaux, because we have been enjoying continuous sunny weather with cool northern winds for almost two weeks. The maturity of our red varietals is approximately one week behind normal, but the present, favorable conditions mean that we'll be able to wait for maturity before picking, without much risk of rot or other problems.
Posted by David Whiting The 2008 vintage is upon us, and what an exciting vintage it is. In truth, every vintage rolls in on wheels of excitement. Every year in New York's Finger Lakes is different. This summer was quite warm, in fact about as warm as 2007, one of the ripest vintages of the decade.
Posted by Josh Bergström Every one of Oregon’s last 12 vintages that I have been involved with have been marked by unique climactic events—the kind of natural, agricultural-driven events that force the best wineries to put in extra efforts and expenses to ensure a great vintage despite Mother Nature.
Posted by Bob Betz All the planning, praying, cleaning and shouting is over; harvest 2008 is in full swing in Washington’s Columbia Valley. There was some apprehension rounding the final turn in August: a cool spring followed by temperature peaks and valleys isn’t what Mother Nature typically throws at us.
Posted by Tim Perr One of my dominant personality traits is that I am an impulsive buyer (which, according to my wife, is more of a fault than a trait). So a few months ago, when I was visiting French Camp Vineyard (east of Paso Robles) to check out a block of Zinafandel they had for sale, it was no surprise to anyone that knows me that in addition to the Zinfandel, I came back with an agreement to buy some Barbera as well.
Posted by Julien Barrot Tuesday we started harvesting for Domaine la Barroche after five days of a strong mistral wind, which is once again this year our strongest ally. We have picked the Syrah from Cabrières, a mostly limestone parcel in the northwest corner of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation.
Posted by Barbara Kronenberg-Widmer The weather here in Tuscany has not been as stable as we expected—we had some heavy rainfall, but luckily none of the threatening hail. Since last Friday afternoon, we have been picking on all estates, and during the periods without rain, we have been pulling some leaves off the unharvested vines.
Posted by Josh Bergström Pinot Noir follows an interesting curve when it is sitting on the vine, ripening. The ultimate goal of hang time is, of course, perfection—which, in my mind, means balanced flavors and structure, as well as purity of fruit.
Posted by Adam Lee In case you haven’t been following along, Harvey Steiman, James Laube and I have been talking about ripeness in some of our recent blog posts. Jim started the discussion by talking about how ripeness shows itself in a number of different wines.
Posted by Tim Perr Our 2008 harvest is already underway. Most of our Pinot Noir from Sonoma and Monterey counties (about 27 tons) has been crushed in the last few days and is presently undergoing cold soak—a process whereby the crushed grapes and their juice soak at low temperatures in order to extract flavor and color prior to the beginning of fermentation.
Posted by Dave Phinney Well, it started off with a bang! An extended period of heat here in California got things ripe quickly. The Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon from Tofanelli Vineyard in Napa Valley, for Orin Swift's Veladora bottling, are in and look great.
Posted by Brian Loring My sister Kimberly and I love to be at vineyards when our fruit is being picked. Many mornings start off foggy, and then give way to a beautiful sunrise. Since we don’t own any vineyards, being able to spend that time in the vineyard gives us the connection to the site that we don’t get the rest of the year.
Posted by Jean-Charles Cazes The harvest has slowly started in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where, since 2006, we have owned the 67 acres of Domaine des Sénéchaux. We bought the estate from Monsieur Pascal Roux, who had started to restructure the vineyard in 1993 and equipped the winery with state-of-the-art equipment.
Posted by Barbara Kronenberg-Widmer The Chianti weather continues to be dreamlike. If the days were not getting shorter, you would not realize that it is almost mid-September. Moreover, the weather forecast for the coming weeks promises stable temperatures, despite the fact that the risk of thunderstorms is supposed to increase heavily in the next 15 days.
Posted by Josh Bergström As I traveled up California’s Highway 101 through Santa Rosa last week, I couldn’t help but notice all of the deeply colored fruit hanging on tired vines, the picking bins stacked in vineyard rows and the harvest trucks with juicy payloads cruising back and forth between busy wineries.
Posted by Brian Loring You can pick your friends, and you can pick your vineyards, though you can't pick your friends’ vineyards—but it turns out you CAN pick with your friends’ bins! And you can also borrow your friend’s intros.
Posted by Adam Lee I was fascinated to read James Laube’s blog this week, Chime in On What’s Overripe , and the subsequent comments by readers and a couple of winemakers alike. From my point of view, the timing couldn’t be more perfect as I think ripeness (and overripeness) begins in the vineyard, and that’s where Dianna and I are spending a good bit of our time right now.
Posted by Brian Loring Since this is our 10th harvest at Loring Wine Company, my sister, Kimberly, and I were recently reminiscing about the past. So many amazing things have happened during that time–things that dreams are made of.
Posted by Barbara Kronenberg-Widmer The weather in Tuscany is absolutely perfect for the time being–during the day, we enjoy highs of 86 degrees F, and at night the temperatures decrease to below 68 degrees F.
Posted by Adam Lee You can pick your friends, and you can pick your vineyards, but you can’t pick your friends’ vineyards. Deciding when to pick is one of the more personal decisions that we make as winemakers.
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