Last week’s heat wave jumpstarted the harvest in California, much to the relief of growers and winemakers. Temperatures were in the mid-90s all week, one of the rare extended blasts of heat all summer.
But the sigh of relief was short-lived. A major rainstorm is predicted for early next week. Still, knowing that forecasts change quickly in California, winemakers remain optimistic.
I've been doing blind tastings for 20 years and have only made a fool of myself a handful of times. That's a fine average for any wine lover. Tasting blind isn't for the faint of heart-it's wine tasting without a net-but it keeps you honest and, with any luck, a bit humble.
Did I mention that it's potentially a whole lot of fun too? Because there are really two kinds of blind tasting—professional and social.
California winemakers don't usually have time to talk this time of the year, but this week they're chatty. The 2011 harvest is more or less underway. Sort of. Let's just say that grapes have been picked, a few anyway, mostly whites and for sparkling wine.
Yep, the season is running late again this year, and while the size of the crop is generally small, winemakers aren't complaining.