As far as growing seasons go, when the row crop guys look scared, the grape growers are cautiously grinning. We’re about 8.5” of rain behind this year. In fact our 100 yr old cistern at the bottom of the property that was full at the beginning of the season, now has only 2” of water in it. The vines are pretty stressed and are going into survival mode, when they shut down vegetative growth and focus on ripening the fruit. Currently we’re looking at a lighter than normal crop, owing to loose clusters with small berries. Fortunately, these tiny clusters and berries can produce concentrated wines with wonderful depth and longevity.
We could start picking Muscat, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc for sparkling wine by the end of next week! As many of you may have noticed, we don't have our winery built yet, so this year we’re taking all our fruit up the mountain to Fox Meadow and making the wine there. Hauling all that fruit will be quite a feat, fortunately, I like a good challenge.