Clearly it’s been a while since I have posted. With so much going on this year it has been hard to find time to write but my harvest updates are always appreciated so I wanted to make a priority to get those up this year.
We started with a super wet spring with a very late rain storm so disease pressure has been high (for CA) this season. Powdery Mildew has not been kind to those who weren’t on their spray game. Outside of that, the season looks very similar to 2018 however if we look at the growing degree days we have seen so far we are ahead of last year. It definitely doesn’t feel like it though as the Cabernet, Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir all seem to be jockeying for the same time frames at this point. With the threat of rain on Monday, I’ve pulled in the majority of the Pinot Noir. One thing I don’t mess around with is Pinot and rain. If it is ripe enough, it’s coming in. Pinot will melt on you faster than an ice cube in the desert. I feel the same way about Chard generally but so much of the Chardonnay needs more time we are having to gamble a bit there. The Bordeaux varieties will only benefit from a little bit of rain. It will dust the leaves off and likely jump start the ripening process. Brix are definitely running ahead of physiological indicators so far on healthy plants and young plantings. The older/virused blocks are running behind similar to what would be expected.
Pinot Noir in Carneros
It’s been the normal variable weather in the Finger Lakes. Bud break was mid May which is generally late for the region. There was over 10 inches of rain recorded in Geneva, NY for the summer which is not terribly unusual. For those fortunate enough to attend the FLXcursion this July, we were able to enjoy a very rainy Monday on the first day of the conference which was just enough to cool off after the few days before of hot weather. August has been relatively cool and wet but the past week or so it has been drier and warmer which is helping the vines move along quickly at up to three Brix per week. The next few weeks will be critical in determining what this vintage shapes up to be.