Harvest 2016 Update, September 22nd
The nights are becoming colder and getting up in the morning for crush activity now means getting dressed in pitch black. Out in the vineyard we’re noticing the change of seasons - the vines are starting to act like fall is fast approaching.
Our big focus this week for Bordeaux varieties is getting ahead of the game. We knew going into this week that higher temperatures were headed our way. So, our strategy is to be very active when others are not. Once we feel the grapes are ripe, we get them in as soon as possible, as every day extra they hang beyond our ideal ripeness we run the risk of over-ripe flavors and higher sugars/alcohols.
The last few days have been important for Twomey. They completed the last of their harvesting phase with Oregon Pinot Noir and Monument Tree Vineyard from Anderson Valley and the final component of Sauvignon Blanc. In fact, winemaker Erin Miller pointed out that Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Pinot Noir all completed harvest on the same day, an omen of good fortune to come.
The other big milestone this week occurred in Alexander Valley. The only force more powerful than nature is Miraval Vineyard’s Block 1. It is, by far, our largest single vineyard block. Regardless of weather, seasonal progression, etc., we are not on the downhill slope to the finish line until the fruit is at the winery. We finished Block 1 today, so we really do feel that we’ve rounded the post.
In Napa, Soda Canyon Ranch is starting to feel empty, as bare vines outnumber those with fruit. We’ll continue harvesting from Soda Canyon Ranch next week, with a focus on Cabernet Franc. We’ll also move into the Atlas Peak AVA in a big way with three growers getting picked, and hopefully have our estate Jump Rock Vineyard coming off by the end of the week. In addition, fruit from the Lamoreaux Ranch in the Oak Knoll District will come into the winery, a vineyard that excites us for a lot of reasons.
Right now, I’m off to taste some fresh grape juice. Cheers.