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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.
Posted: October 7, 2009 By Peter Cargasacchi
Peter Cargasacchi pulls in two more blocks of Pinot Noir for the 2009 harvest, this time for Brewer-Clifton and Bonaccorsi.
Posted: October 5, 2009 By Peter Cargasacchi
Peter Cargasacchi harvests Dragonette winemaker Brandon Sparks-Gillis Pinot Noir and talks about unorthodox crushing methods and who first brought today's popular Pinot Noir clones to California.
Posted: October 2, 2009 By Peter Cargasacchi
Richard Sanford of Alma Rosa has been releasing Peregrine falcons, which help to protect vineyards from grape guzzling birds such as European starlings. The UC Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group organizes and oversees the releases utilizing a university student workforce.
Posted: October 2, 2009 By Mia Klein
In the past week we've picked Merlot and Cabernet Franc from St. Helena for Bressler, and the same two varieties from Frediani Vineyard in Calistoga for Selene, Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Helena and Malbec from Stagecoach Vineyard, both for Boyanci Wine.
At the end of September, it was in the low 80s every day in Bordeaux, wonderful conditions for harvest. The vintage looks BIG, and the excitement is growing every day! At Château du Tertre, we started the harvest on Monday, Sept. 28, and by evening had already harvested around one-third of our Merlots. The juice tastes great: high in sugar, with rich and long persistent fruit in the mouth. Get the full details, along with details on what we've been picking at Giscours and Haut-Bailly, as well as Caiarossa in Tuscany.
Posted: September 28, 2009 By Peter Cargasacchi
Frank Ostini and Gray Hartley, the winemakers/proprietors of Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post (H.O.), have decided that tomorrow, Tuesday Sept. 29, is the day to harvest their Sta. Rita Hills, Cargasacchi Pinot Noir.
Posted: September 25, 2009 By Peter Cargasacchi
It's been foggy and cool at night in Santa Barbara County, and I've been busy chasing wild boar from the vineyards so they don't eat the still-maturing grapes. Meanwhile I also pressed some Pinot Grigio, using a method more common to northern Italy and Alsace.
Posted: September 24, 2009 By Mia Klein
The 2009 vintage in Napa Valley is shaping up with some promise. It's also presenting challenges for grapegrowers and winemakers, as we have had unusual patterns of ripening. Some grapes in certain areas are maturing very quickly, while another variety growing right alongside might flatten out on its maturing curve. So this year, making excellent wine will depend on making good picking decisions. Here's what's going on with the vineyards and wines I deal with.
Picking of the young Merlot has just started at Château Giscours and Haut-Bailly, and the maturity of the grapes looks promising, both by the numbers and by taste. The weather is expected to be great through the end of the month, allowing us to move on to the older Merlot and hopefully start Cabernet in early October.
Posted: September 23, 2009 By Peter Cargasacchi
Peter Cargasacchi checks his bird nets to ensure his grapes are safe from voracious European starlings.
Posted: September 23, 2009 By Gaia Gaja
Kicking off her harvest blog from Piedmont and Tuscany, Gaia Gaja reports on the 2009 growing season to date at her family’s three properties—Gaja Winery in Barbaresco, Ca’ Marcanda in Bolgheri and Pieve Santa Restituta in Montalcino—and the start of the white-wine crush.
Posted: September 18, 2009 By Peter Cargasacchi
Peter Cargasacchi describes the 2009 vintage for his Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir Vineyards as harvest approaches.
Alexander Van Beek of châteaus Giscours and du Tertre and Véronique Sanders of Château Haut-Bailly will be reporting from Bordeaux on the harvest, which is just about to get under way at their estates. In the meantime, they sum up how the growing season has proceeded so far.
Posted: September 8, 2009 By Tim Fish
Posted: August 31, 2009 By James Molesworth
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