Posted: December 4, 2009 By Peter Cargasacchi
California grapegrower Peter Cargasacchi reports that the winter forecast is for an El Niño condition, which could cause much more rainfall than the Golden State has seen in the past three years, and will require viticultural adjustments in the vineyards.
Posted: December 3, 2009
Posted: December 2, 2009
Posted: December 1, 2009 By Peter Cargasacchi
California grapegrower Peter Cargasacchi is overseeing the malolactic fermentations of his Santa Barbara County Pinot Noirs and more as the temperatures drop.
Posted: November 30, 2009
Posted: November 23, 2009 By Peter Cargasacchi
California grapegrower Peter Cargasacchi reports on his Wine Spectator blog that the vines in his Santa Barabara County vineyard are nearing dormancy as winter approaches.
Posted: November 16, 2009 By Alexander Van Beek
Wine Spectator guest blogger Alexander Van Beek says that after watching the fermentations at Châteaus Giscours, du Tertre and Haut-Bailly, the 2009 vintage in Bordeaux could be a great one.
Posted: November 13, 2009 By Peter Cargasacchi
California grapegrower Peter Cargasacchi reports on his Wine Spectator blog that his late-harvest Pinot Grigio has been harvested and his last three barrels of Pinot Noir have been pressed.
Posted: November 9, 2009 By Peter Cargasacchi
California grapegrower Peter Cargasacchi reports that the late-ripening Mourvèdre grapes in Paso Robles have been harvested while he waits for the perfect moment to pick his late-harvest Pinot Grigio.
Posted: October 30, 2009 By Peter Cargasacchi
I escaped the vineyards and winery and spent the last two days visiting retail and restaurant accounts in Sacramento, the capital of California and a beautiful city. Great food transforms wine, and winemakers make every effort to put their wines into the best restaurants, so I had some great dining experiences there. I left Sacramento late last night and got home early this morning. The nocturnal business of night picking makes unusual schedules and night travel a little easier at this time of year. But maybe it's just that the habits of the vampires on our nighttime picking crew are rubbing off on me?
Posted: October 26, 2009 By Gaia Gaja
Gaia Gaja says that the harvest at Pieve Santa Restituta, in Tuscany's Montalcino district, began Sept. 20 and ended Oct. 12--all in all a very fast harvest that resulted in optimal-quality grapes despite some weather concerns leading up to harvest.
Posted: October 23, 2009 By Peter Cargasacchi
Wine Spectator guest blogger and California winegrower Peter Cargasacchi says that Brian Loring waits until the last moment to harvest his 2009 Pinot Noir crop.
Posted: October 20, 2009 By Peter Cargasacchi
Why pick at night? Fruit that is undamaged and cold has a much lower potential for the growth of unwanted microorganisms and for oxidation. Simply put, fruit picked at night or in the cool of the morning makes better wine by giving the winemaker control of the fermentation.
Châteaus du Tertre and Giscours finished harvesting this past Tuesday, and Château Haut-Bailly on Wednesday. Now it's time for the end of harvest parties and some early assessments of the vintage, which looks to be fantastic.
Posted: October 16, 2009 By Peter Cargasacchi
On Monday, with the remnants of a typhoon in the Pacific heading straight toward us, I picked the slightly more than 1-acre parcel of Pinot Noir I grow for Ken Byron Brown. The rainfall total for Tuesday and Wednesday was 2.75 inches. It was a soaker, with no runoff. A little early and poorly timed for both the Pinot Noir and pastures. However, the rain gave me a little more time to spend with my fermenting wines and develop the calluses on my hands doing punch-downs.
Posted: October 15, 2009 By Gaia Gaja
The harvest at Ca'Marcanda, in the Bolgheri area of Tuscany, occurred between Sept. 7 and Oct. 6, starting with our experimental white varieties. On Sept. 18, we finished picking the last of the Syrah but still had all of the Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese left to harvest. However, it started to rain in Bolgheri and continued for five days, dropping a total of 200 mm (8 inches). The rain worried us and, after the fifth day, we thought we faced real trouble. Yet on the sixth day, as if by plan, the rains stopped, good weather resumed and providential northern winds dried the grapes off, preventing mold and preserving the quality of the crop.
Posted: October 14, 2009 By Véronique Sanders
At Château Haut-Bailly, we have 70 acres of planted vines on one piece of land, and 15 percent of the vines are more than 100 years old! They are a mix of six different grape varieties-seven-twelfths Cabernet Sauvignon. You can see us harvesting them in this video.
The excitement here in Bordeaux is growing day by day as the Cabernets being brought in also show tremendous potential, like the Merlots, thereby confirming the quality of the vintage. The weather continues to be amazing: Record fall temperatures beat down on Bordeaux! It was 30°C (86°F) on Oct. 6 ... just like in 1929!
Posted: October 9, 2009 By Peter Cargasacchi
There's a big change in the weather coming next week, with rain forecast to arrive late Monday night. It looks like a potentially significant first storm of the season. Hopefully the only thing left on the vines by then will be a 2.5-acre block of clone 115 Pinot Noir that goes to the Loring Wine Company and myself.
It's been a very busy week harvesting Pinot Noir, during the night into morning, to keep the grapes cool.
Posted: October 9, 2009 By Gaia Gaja
The 2009 harvest is proceeding very well and progressing quickly. The harvest of Nebbiolo grapes began on Monday, Sept. 21, starting with our vineyards in the Barbaresco district. Since then, picking has been going on every day, with Sundays being the only rest days. If we continue at this pace, weather permitting, we will likely finish this week, one week earlier than last year.
During the first two weeks of September, we enjoyed moderate temperatures, a welcome relief after the heat of August. The afternoon of Sept. 19 brought clouds and a few drops of rain. However, since we started the Nebbiolo harvest, the days have all been sunny and warm, with average temperatures of 25º C (77º F), allowing the grapes in all of our vineyards to fully ripen.
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