Friday, October 7, 2011

2011 Harvest

And then there was sun! In the latest hill of the 2011 roller coaster, it looks like the threat of rain was a glancing blow rather than a direct hit. On the heels of a front that just moved through, the 10-day forecast is nothing but beautiful little orange balls on the computer screen. I can’t tell you what a relief that is for Napa Valley grape growers and those whose livelihood depends on their precious fruit.

It has been a truly crazy year. First we had a late spring. Then came a series of ill-timed storms which led to the condition known as “shatter” (poor fruit set when the pollination process is inhibited by wind or rain) in a lot of Cabernet vineyards. Then came the coolest summer any of us could remember. It even rained on Auction Napa Valley… in June! It doesn’t rain in Napa Valley in June. Really, historically weird stuff we’re talking about.

So here we sit in early October with most Pinot off the vines ahead of the most recent storm front. Anybody with Chardonnay still out – which includes much of Carneros – is understandably nervous about potential mold issues, but a solid week of mid-70’s weather and some light breezes are a wonderful antidote. It’s also going to kick the sugars back up in the Bordeaux varietals for the last push before we pick. We’re getting close. It just needs to stay dry. If we get dumped on again just before harvest, you won’t be able to distinguish between raindrops and tears, so keep you fingers crossed for us, folks, and we just may make it out of this in great shape.

--Rhett Gadke, Wine Director

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