Posted: September 30, 2008 By Dave Phinney
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: September 30, 2008 By Josh Bergström
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: September 26, 2008 By Jeremy Seysses
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: September 26, 2008 By Stéphane Ogier
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: September 26, 2008 By Barbara Kronenberg-Widmer
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: September 25, 2008 By Adam Lee
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: September 24, 2008 By Bob Betz
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: September 22, 2008 By Jean-Charles Cazes
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: September 22, 2008 By David Whiting
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: September 22, 2008 By Josh Bergström
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: September 19, 2008 By Bob Betz
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: September 19, 2008 By Tim Perr
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: September 19, 2008 By James Suckling
I was thinking this morning about my winemaking adventure in Baja California, Mexico, which I blogged about on Wednesday, and I was wondering how many of you out there have tried your hand at making your own wine, or have had a similar vinous dreams? I really recommend it.
Posted: September 19, 2008 By Julien Barrot
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: September 18, 2008 By Barbara Kronenberg-Widmer
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: September 17, 2008 By James Suckling
I was a winemaker for a few days. I am not sure what I helped make will be vinegar or Château Rayas, but I hung out at a winery for a few days last week crushing, fermenting and pressing grapes. And it was a hell of a lot of fun.
Posted: September 16, 2008 By Josh Bergström
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: September 16, 2008 By James Molesworth
The Rhône Valley isn’t the only major wine region having a tough go of it in 2008. The Loire Valley is also struggling as they prepare for their harvest. Following a growing season that was marked by extremes, from a severe frost in Muscadet in April to a nasty hailstorm in Sancerre in June , growers are now dealing with the effects of cool, gray days and persistent rain.
Posted: September 15, 2008 By Adam Lee
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: September 12, 2008 By Tim Perr
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.
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