A quick update on where we are for 2013 harvest. We brought in our first lot of Pinot Noir on 9/1 which was eight days earlier than 2012 and a month earlier than the very late 2011. Weather has been good and the vineyards look excellent with a decent crop load.
One thing we’ve noticed this year is the grapes look to the eye more mature than the chemistry on them is showing once back in the lab with samples. The Chardonnay at Chaine d’ Or was a good example. It looked as I walked through the vineyard like harvest would be 9/8 or 9/9 but in the lab the Brix was 20.0 and pH 3.05. We’re actually likely to pick on 9/14. When we tested the Mourvedre at home it was the same story. The grapes looked like they would be ready in 2-3 weeks, but Brix tested at 18.2. It will be 4-5 weeks before the grapes are ready.
I’ve not really seen this before. Usually I have a good handle on visual, with taste and chemistry but in 2013 the visual is ahead of the taste and chemistry. That’s ok though just likely going to be different from most years where the chemistry is ok and then we wait a few weeks for flavor to be where we want it. This year I think we’ll be getting flavor at the same time the chemistry is right. Normally we just test until we reach 22 Brix and 3.3 pH then go totally off of taste. This year we’ll have to watch that both are on mark at the same time.