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This will be the last harvest report for 2014 as we finished crushing in both Alexander and Napa Valleys on Monday, September 29th. Although crushing is complete for the year, there is still a lot of work to do in the cellars: pressing tanks, monitoring malolactic fermentations, racking and topping tanks and generally preparing the wines for blending in January.
Our Geyserville Winery completed crush with Cabernet from a partnering vineyard on Red Winery Road. We had a huge week of pressing and the wines are showing beautifully: dark and redolent of berries. Our Oakville Winery completed crush with Cabernet from southwest Napa. We pressed multiple tanks and the resultant young wines are impressive with great finesse, balance and fruit intensity. We will continue pressing and might finish this week.Read more ›
Last week began with moderate temperatures and dry weather, but by Wednesday, September 24th the southern edge of a storm passed through and we received rain. Alexander Valley received more rainfall than Napa, but in general, amounts were about a quarter of an inch. Then on Friday there was a surprise thunder storm with widely varying rainfall amounts and intense hail in the southwest part of Napa. Rainfall varied from next to nothing to close to an inch. This wet weather slowed down ripening, but the soil and canopies dried out and we were able to finish harvest.Read more ›
Last week began with warm temperatures and clear weather, so it was hard to believe rain was in the forecast for Thursday the 18th of September. Sure enough by Wednesday evening it clouded up and began raining in Alexander Valley. By morning, Alexander Valley received over a quarter inch, while Mt. Veeder in Napa got less than a tenth. The rain stalled us for a day, but by Friday, the weather was clear and the grapes tasted quite good. A light rain will wash the dust off the leaves and actually give a little boost in sugar. There is a slight chance of more rain late this week; which may be too much of a good thing.Read more ›
Last week started out with a thick marine layer every morning and afternoon temperatures in the comfortable mid-eighties. By Wednesday, September 10th though, the fog had disappeared and the days warmed early and afternoon highs were near the century mark and beyond by Friday. At first the fruit rehydrated and we saw berry weights rise and brix readings (sugar levels) drop, but by the end of the week we were seeing great concentration and skins softening. With our berry sensory method we have been able to pinpoint ripeness block by block and ranch by ranch and the wines reflect this refined sense of ripeness. It looks like the fog will return this week and there is even a slight chance of rain by mid-week, so keep your fingers crossed.Read more ›
Last week started out seasonably warm and then the fog started asserting more influence by Wednesday, September 3rd, so that Thursday and Friday were quite cool until early afternoon. This was a really nice pattern for gradual ripening and we saw some real changes as flavors developed and skins softened. It is interesting that we are seeing some vineyards achieve physiological ripeness at low sugars and others needing to wait. It is the strength of Berry Sensory Analysis that we don’t generalize, but take each vineyard block as a unique individual. This week promises to be a little warmer, but not extreme.Read more ›
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