Bordeaux reds are now in full-on harvest mode. The bit of heat we had last week pushed a lot of vineyards into the harvest window, which means that the winemaking staff have been covering a lot of ground. There is a two-pronged approach we apply to making the important decision about when to harvest that includes both sampling (and subsequent lab analysis) and the berry sensory analysis portion. Often, the two cooperate and line up simultaneously. However, the funny thing about this profession we call winemaking is that, just as often, a vineyard block that has all the chemistry markers of being ripe doesn’t pass the taste test, so we make the commitment to be present in every block to make the call. At the moment, we have some of the latter case, which results in us returning in a day or two, as a lot can change in a surprisingly short amount of time. This makes for some busy days.
Although we have not hit “all-out” mode in the Oakville or Geyserville Wineries yet with respect to crushing or cap management, I’ll quote House Stark (Game of Throne fans out there?) and warn that “Winter [Wine-ter?] is Coming”. It’s going to be a busy few weeks.