Early in the year there was a great deal of talk about the weather. It was a cold and very wet spring. We had unusual rain in May and June. There was concern for the harvest this year.
The basic rule about the weather is that the spring effects quantity, summer effects the harvest date and fall effects quality. The wet cold weather in the spring did effect quantity for us. In our higher vineyards like Chaine d’Or we had really poor fruit set and quantities will be way down. At another high vineyard, Split Rail, the quantity was effected so much that we won’t harvest any grapes this year. The other lower vineyards will have smaller than normal yields but not as drastic as the high altitude vineyards.
The summer started cool, and we’ve not really had any heat waves. I took the picture above from the top of Communication Hill in San Jose. It should look familiar, it’s the same view you see on our labels. That’s what summer has looked like all year. Fog in the morning, sunny during the day, with highs in the 80’s. That’s perfect. Too hot and the grapes will shut down, too cold and sugars will not develop.
Right now I think we’re in for a late harvest. Like 2009 and 2010. It looks like it will be sooner than 2010 and that’s good, but we’re not worried. We are used to waiting into late October.
So far quality looks really good. We’ve had clean vineyards for the most part with mildew pressure only in the higher vineyards. The clusters and berries look good. A few more weeks of weather like this and we’ll head into fall in really great shape.
There’s still alot that could go crazy. Too much heat, rain at the wrong time, or a number of other things could effect quality. If, and it’s always a big if, we have a normal fall though we should be looking at an excellent quality, low quantity year.